News & Events

FACC Upper Michigan board members interviewed on WOLV, WCCY and KBear Radio

On the Sunday morning, August 31st Copper Country Today, Todd Van Dyke talks with Kevin Manninen and Glen Tolksdorf about the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce Upper Michigan and the opportunities it presents.

You can follow the discussion at



PONSSE Board Chairman Juha Vidgrén to speak at Finnish American Heritage Center September 2nd at 4pm

FACC Upper Michigan, Finlandia University and the Finlandia University CEO club are pleased to announce the following presentation: 

How a small one man operation in rural Finland became a global leader in its field 

Juha Vidgrén 
Chairman of the Board 
Ponsse Plc

Tuesday, September 2 at 4:00pm 
Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock 
A reception will be held following the presentation

Established in Vieremä, Finland in 1970 by Einari Vidgrén, Ponsse now has 11 subsidiaries around the world and does business in 40 countries. The family of Einari Vidgrén, initially a forest machine entrepreneur, is still involved in the day-to-day operations of the company. Ponsse is a family company whose roots are deep in the Finnish countryside 
In addition to Ponsse, Mr. Vidgrén is Chairman of the Einari Vidgren Foundation, and is a board member of the University of Oulu, the Finnish Film Industry (Suomen Filmiteollisuus Oy), and other local and regional organizations. 


Michigan’s EB-5 Regional Center: an incentive for Finnish entrepreneurs to invest in Upper Michigan

HOUGHTON, Michigan (July 16, 2014) – Michigan’s EB-5 Regional Center, a tool Governor Rick Snyder championed to attract foreign investors and create jobs in the state, was among key initiatives discussed during a public forum at MTEC SmartZone Lakeshore Center June 27. 

The federal EB-5 visa program is designed to provide green cards and a path to citizenship for immigrants who invest in an enterprise that creates at least 10 direct or indirect jobs in Michigan. Investments can range from $500,000 to $1 million, depending on whether the enterprise is located in a rural or high-unemployment target area. Michigan is the second state in the nation to manage its own regional center for an immigrant visa program. Several local and regional entities expressed interest in collaborating with the state to attract and retain international students and entrepreneurs to create more jobs. They include: MTEC SmartZone, Michigan Technological University, Northern Michigan University, and the cities of Houghton, Hancock and Marquette

Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley said, “When you consider the global reach of this area and put it together with core competencies that exist at Michigan Tech and Northern, and the type of quality of life, spirit, and the attitude of Houghton, Hancock and Marquette, it really is the type of welcoming environment to continue the tradition of excellence here in our state. The tradition of excellence is really about having an environment for success for people with all different types of backgrounds, talents and interests.”

According to Michigan Technological University President Glenn Mroz, the university draws students from more than 60 countries each year. He said, “These students call Houghton home, even after they leave. Having them be able to stay here and start a business or work for somebody else, is a great opportunity for them and the state of Michigan.”

The EB-5 Regional Center serves as an investment partner and assists with identifying qualified visa candidates, underwriting projects, verifying investors and handling the compliance process. Since the center was approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in late March, there has been a strong demand for visas. MTEC SmartZone CEO Marilyn Clark said, “Michigan Tech has international students and MTEC SmartZone has access to funding and training programs to help create companies and jobs. We’re working together right now to develop strategies to promote and support the EB-5 program here in the U.P.”


For more information about the EB-5 Regional Center and visa program, visit



Finnish American Chamber of Commerce Upper Michigan is Launched!

Michigan's Upper Peninsula has joined the network of Finnish American Chambers of Commerce with the launch of the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce Upper Michigan in April, 2014.  Known as a center of Finnish and Finnish-American culture, Upper Michigan also has a vibrant high tech and innovation-based economy. With over ten initial business members, the FACC Upper Michigan is off to a successful launch.