Portage, Michigan

2 CIVIL AND MUNICIPAL VOLUME 3, ISSUE 7 N atural can mean a few different things. It can refer to something from nature. It can refer to someone or something being at ease. It can also refer to an inborn, innate quality. Portage, Michigan, embodies all these definitions of ‘natural’. Their leadership is intentional in developing, renovating, and cultivating a city that makes it both an easy and beautiful community to be in. For a long time, Portage was viewed as simply a suburb of Kalamazoo. But in recent years, the growth and development have given it its own unique identity. It’s become a natural place to move. Located an hour from Lake Michigan in Southwest Michigan, Portage is exactly halfway between Chicago and Detroit. It makes for a great destination and an ideal place to settle down. Acting City Manager Adam Herringa has worked with the city for 17 years and has two daughters in the local schools. He notes, “One of the things this community has is a great blend of employers where you’ve got both major and smaller employers in the community. They’re supported by a very robust and well-respected school system and library system – a great blend of the public sector and the private sector working together to make a community really grow and thrive.” Most notably, Pfizer Inc. and Stryker Corporation have major corporate campuses in Portage. “Both of those had significant roles to play in the pandemic recovery. We were visited by President Biden, so we really had some global outreach,” Mayor Patricia Randall adds. “We have many other manufacturers that are supportive industries, like Kenco and FedEx. A lot of these support Pfizer.” Portage garnered world-wide media coverage in December 2020 when the PORTAG E , A Natural Place to Move