2010: The Year in Numbers

As we wind down 2010 and look forward to a new year, we thought it would be fun to look back at all the national lists—the Top 10’s, the #1’s and the Best of’s—the Capital region scored during a surprisingly ranking-heavy year.

These arithmetic accolades are more than just popularity contests.

Typically derived from complicated algorithms and research at some of the nation’s leading publications, they validate what our own instincts have been telling us—that despite the economic roller coaster we’ve been on, this region is definitely getting some key things right.

Read on, and be reminded what a successful year it's really been.

1. Kiplinger Names Lansing One of Nation's Top Ten Best Cities For Young Adults

OK, so this one came out of the blue a bit—I mean, how often are we sharing a short-list with New York and Houston? But once the good folks at Kiplinger explained their rationale, I could totally see it:

“Home to five medical schools, two law schools and Michigan State University, Michigan’s capital is a little-known hotbed for young professionals. Granted, this Great Lakes community can’t quite compare to the larger cities on our list in terms of job prospects or things to do. But it has a relatively low cost of living. And its youthful population, downtown renewal projects, and emerging technology sector make Lansing a stand-out in mid-sized cities.”

Nice, right? Best of all, this ranking also gives Lansing a clear metric for where to go next, and what matters to future entrepreneurs and leaders—things like good transit systems, a lively downtown scene and affordable housing.

Read the entire Kiplinger article and view the slideshow here.

2. Sparrow Ranks 22nd on List of Top 500 National Technology Innovators

Healthcare is a growing industry nationally, and the fact that Lansing’s Sparrow Health System ranked 22nd among top technology innovators in the country on the InformationWeek 500 list is a really good thing.

In recent years, Sparrow has fully automated its emergency care in the Sparrow Tower and made technology innovations to improve Sparrow Laboratory Services, which is the 24th largest lab in the nation.

Sparrow scored above competitors from other sectors — think folks like Hewlett-Packard and Lockheed Martin — which suggests a bright future ahead for regional healthcare.

3. Neogen Hits Number 82 On Fortune's Top 100 Fastest-Growing Companies

This isn’t the first time that Neogen Corp., the Lansing-based animal and food safety company, has been ranked on Fortune’s annual list of the 100 fastest-growing companies. But as long a local company gets ranked alongside the magazine's "annual collection of rising phenoms," we’re going to keep bragging about it.

Fortune also noted that the company is planning to expand in Lansing, and it was one of only five Michigan companies that made the list.

4. East Lansing and Meridian Township Among Top Seven Entrepreneurial Places

The City of East Lansing and Meridian Township were among a group of seven elite communities recognized for fostering entrepreneurial growth and economic development in a study by researchers at the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research (iLabs).

To arrive at these seven winners, the eCities 2010 research project “surveyed more than 100 Michigan communities in order to determine which communities best understand what small businesses need to be successful.”  

5. Lansing Wins Next American City and IBM Smarter Cities Web Challenge

This little gem demonstrates the connected power of our region’s businesses, young professionals and social media gurus.

IBM and Next American City picked the winner based on the number of online responses to their contest; Lansing blew everyone out of the water.

According to Tivoni Devor, director of partnerships for Next American City, there were several cities that tried to organize posting momentum via Twitter and other outlets. “But the #LoveLansing crew was definitely the most organized and organic team in the competition,” says Devor.

6. MHA Named One of America’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2010

The Lansing-based Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) was selected by Modern Healthcare magazine as one of the nation’s best places to work among healthcare employers in the country.

The Best Places to Work in Healthcare 2010 award is “another example of how the Lansing region can be home to award-winning corporate culture,” says Spencer Johnson, president of MHA.

7. GiftZip.com Makes Entrepreneur Magazine National Top 10 Startup List

The East Lansing web company GiftZip.com was named one of “10 Hot Startups” in the country by Entrepreneur magazine.

“Probe a bit beneath the surface” of the winning companies, according to the magazine’s editors, and “you'll find a combination of creativity, determination, hard work, great products and services—not to mention a strategy that produces rapid growth.”

8. MSU Ranked Among Top 100 Universities By U.S. News and World Report

In addition to helping drive our local economy and providing lots of spin-off businesses and brainpower, East Lansing’s MSU is also among the top universities in the nation, according to the latest rankings by U.S. News and World Report.

MSU was tied for the 79th spot in the rankings, which “are considered a key factor in attracting both students and research dollars.”
9. East Lansing Art Festival Ranked on Nation's 200 Best

Part of creating a great community is a thriving arts and culture scene, with great events that attract talent and creativity. So we can count among our regional assets the East Lansing Art Festival, which was ranked among the nation's 200 best by the Sunshine Artist Magazine.

The rankings are based on actual sales that participating artists make at the show, and the top-selling shows make the list.

10. Playmakers Store In Okemos Named Running Specialty Store of the Year

The popular local source for all things running, Playmakers in Okemos was named the 2010 Running Specialty Store of the Year by Formula4Media, which hosts a national running event trade show.

“Playmakers is terrific for runners and for the student,” agrees local runner and Detroit Marathon winner Nick Stanko. “They do a lot of publicity for the high school running scene. The kids get so excited to see their names and times up on their website, and when they’re excited, they run faster.”

There you have it—our ten favorite, randomly selected, in-no-particular-order, forgive-us-if-we-missed-you, Capital Gains 2010 Lansing List of Lists!

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you again in 2011!

Brad Garmon is the Editor-in-Chief of Capital Gains. He can be reached here.  

Dave Trumpie is the managing photographer for Capital Gains. He is a freelance photographer and owner of Trumpie Photography.


Downtown Lansing

Old Town Lansing

Sparrow Hospital


Michigan Health & Hospital Association

GiftZip's Sam Hogg

All Photographs © Dave Trumpie

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