LBCA Business Person of the Year & Unsung Heroes

These awards recognize the members of our association and community that have been bestowed with our two awards: Business Person of the Year and Unsung Hero. Nominations are accepted for both awards and voted upon by the board each year. You can download a nomination form here.

YearBusiness Person of the YearUnsung Hero


Jen WestLarry Sparkes
2012Paula WilloughbyJohn Carroll
2011Ed BuskirkJean Austin
2010Dr. Marsha BrandonJody Frank
2009Carrie Rathbun Hawks, APRGladys Wing
2008Randy MederTom Turek
2007Kevin McPhailN/A
2006Dee SwainN/A
2005Karan DeanN/A
2004Carolyn KirkbyN/A
2003Robert WildN/A
2002Halstead BeattyN/A
2000Tom TurekN/A
1999Tammy GrangerN/A
1998Y. CriagerN/A
1997Carolyn KirkbyN/A
1996LaDonna FairN/A


"Where the City and the Country Meet"

Laingsburg is located on the western border of Shiawassee County at Clinton County, about 15 miles northeast of Lansing. It is located in a growing rural area slowly changing to a more urban nature. It is supported by a growing local business base and resident commuters. With the convenience of travel to larger metropolitan areas, we're located in the center of a hub surrounded by Lansing, Flint, Mount Pleasant, St. Johns and Owosso.

Laingsburg was named after Dr. Peter Laing who built a tavern here in 1836 and was one of the town’s early settlers. In 1841, a post office opened here under the name Nebraska. The name went back to Lainsburg in 1860 when the Jackson, Lansing & Northern Railroad, (later the Michigan Central), came through the area. It officially incorporated as a village in 1871. Later it was incorporated as a city in 1951.

The main street running through Laingsburg was originally a trail, more or less following the Looking Glass River, and eventually becoming a busy stage route that was one of the main routes stretching across Michigan. Today it is one of Michigan’s most beautiful historic roads, winding for miles, lined by ancient maple, oak, walnut and hickory trees planted long ago by unknown hands. It passes through many small, unique towns all historically connected together by the Grand River Road (also known in some areas as Round Lake Road).

In the 1600’s the Native American village of Wassololo was located exactly where Laingsburg now stands. No one knows what happened to this Chippewa village.

At the corner of Fenner and Grand River roads Peter Laing built a tavern. Other taverns and hotels followed. This was a main route between Pontiac and Grand Rapids.

Early businesses include: Saw Mills, Hardware stores, a Grist Mill, Feed and Produce stores, Drug stores, a Cooperage and Stave mill, General Stores, Brick making operations, Liveries, Photographers, a one man Cigar Factory, a Pickle Factory, Morticians, Hotels, Restaurants, and Taverns, Barbers, Banks, a store that sold crockery and groceries, Doctors and Dentists, Cobblers and others.

Laingsburg was not without culture. Through the years a variety of entertainers called our city home. The Laingsburg Band started around 1863. In 1910 an Opera House was built (it also served as a roller skating rink). In 1908 a touring tent show known as Kelly and Brennan Dramatic Company was formed.

In spring the owner of the show would drive around town with his calliope playing to announce the beginning of the new show season. The was also an entertainer known as Poluhni - the Mystic who conducted telepathy acts, magic, and death defying stunts. The Opera House was also host to many theatrical and musical acts during the five years it was in existence.
Fire damaged a lot of buildings and businesses through the years including: Hotels, Grain Elevator, Post Office, Millinery and Groceries to name a few.

In 1888 a huge fire on both sides of the road in town nearly destroyed the village. Even the beautiful St. Isadore’s Catholic church was destroyed in 1966, the original brick building being built in 1902.
There was a train wreck east of town in about the 1920s.

Some say that Roosevelt came through Laingsburg on a train when he was campaigning.

Bob Tisch, a local political activist who ran for Vice-President of the United States on the Tisch party ballot, resided with his wife in Laingsburg.

Laingsburg offers family living, growth. and great recreational opportunities. Within 5 miles of the city are three lakes - Scenic, Round and Victoria. The popular Sleepy Hollow State Park and the Looking Glass River are also nearby.


Laingsburg Business and Community Association