Southwestern Alliance Region

The Southwestern Alliance provides economic development services to the communities in southern Berrien County, Michigan.† The Alliance also recognizes and promotes the value of regional businesses, amenities, and the population found in the larger Michiana area which includes six counties:† Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties in Michigan along with Elkhart, St. Joseph and LaPorte counties in Indiana.

As part of this regional approach, the Southwestern Alliance shares news, information, and celebrity highlights from these six counties.

These People, Places and Things are from Southwestern Alliance's
"Celebrity Series" featured on Facebook and Twitter

#10 James Heddon invented the first artificial lure in Dowagiac, Michigan on the banks of Mill Pond.



#11 Kitty-Litter was invented in Cassopolis, Michigan by entrepreneur Edward Lowe.

#12 Frank Lloyd Wright designed three houses in Southwest Michigan (2 in St. Joseph and 1 in Benton Harbor).



#13 Roger Ebert, a film critic, has a vacation residence in Harbert, Michigan.

#14 Emery Valentine, the 13th mayor of Juneau Alaska, was born in

Dowagiac, Michigan.


#15 Vivica Anjanetta Fox is an actress who was born in South Bend, Indiana.



#16 Sinbad (David Adkins) is an actor/comedian from Benton Harbor, Michigan.

#17 Ryan Newman is a current NASCAR driver from South Bend, Indiana.


#18 Robert Whaley is an NBA player from Benton Harbor, Michigan



#19 Bobo Brazil was a Pro-wrestler who lived in

St. Joseph, Michigan.

†#20 Muhammad Ali currently has a home in Berrien Springs, Michigan.


#21 Schuyler Colfax, the 17th Vice President of the United States, is interred at the South Bend City Cemetery.

#22 Avanti Motor Company was founded in South Bend, Indiana at the former Studebaker complex.avanti_motors.jpg

#23 Oliver Corporation, a farm equipment maker, built chilled plows in South Bend, Indiana.


†#25 Chris Taylor was an Olympic wrestler who hailed from Dowagiac, Michigan.


#26 Wilson Chandler is a current NBA

player from Benton Harbor, Michigan.wilson_chandler.jpg

#28 David Stremme is a current NASCAR driver from South Bend, Indiana.

#29 Ernie Hudson is an actor from Benton Harbor, Michigan.
ernie_hudson.jpg #30 Dennis Farina, an actor from Chicago,has a vacation residence in New Buffalo, Michigan.


#31 Gene Harris was a well-known jazz pianist from Benton Harbor, Michigan.

gene_harris.jpg #32 RV Hall of Fame/Capital of the World is located in Elkhart, Indiana.

#33 Enoch Hill Turnock was an architect who lived in Elkhart, Indiana and designed many public and private buildings throughout Indiana.

#34 Richard M. Daley, mayor of Chicago, has a summer home in Grand Beach, Michigan.
richard_m_daley.jpg#35 Condoleezza Rice obtained her masterís degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1975 and is the former Secretary of State for President George W. Bush.

#36 Shawn Kemp, a former NBA player was from Elkhart, Indiana.

#37 Lindsay Benko is a two time gold medal Olympic swimmer from Elkhart,

lindsay_benko.jpg#38 Studebaker was an iconic automobile manufacturer located in South Bend, Indiana.
studebaker.jpg#39 AM General is located in Mishawaka, Indiana and produces civilian and military vehicles for the United States Armed Forces.
#40 Conn Musical Instruments is located in Elkhart, Indiana and is a pioneer in the musical instrument industry.
conn_musical.jpg#41 Julie Krone, was the first female jockey to win the Belmont Stakes and is from Benton Harbor, Michigan.

#42 Iris Kyle a professional female body builder is from Benton Harbor, Michigan.
iris_kyle.jpg#43 Freddie Fitzsimmons, former MLB pitcher and manager is from Mishawaka, Indiana.

#44 Achille "Chick" Maggioli, former NFL player for the Bills, Lions and Colts isFrom Mishawaka, Indiana.
achille_chick_maggioli.jpg#45 Craig Counsell, current MLB second baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers was born in South Bend, Indiana.
#46 Erich Barnes, former NFL player for the Chicago Bears, New York Giants and Cleveland Browns is from Elkhart, Indiana.
erich_barnes.jpg#47 Preston J. Horne is an actor from Benton Harbor, Michigan.


#48 Arte Johnson is an actor/comedian from Benton Harbor, Michigan.

arte_johnson.jpg #49 John Bromfield is an actor from South Bend, Indiana.


#50 Peter Reckell is an actor from Elkhart, Indiana.
peter_reckell.jpg #51 Rome (Jerome Woods), R & B singer from Benton Harbor, Michigan.
#52 Charles Willard Moore, Architect and AIA Gold Medal Winner from Benton Harbor, MI.
#53 Joseph "Joe" Kernan, former Governor of Indiana, resides in South Bend, Indiana.
joe_kernan.jpg #54 Benjamin Franklin King, Jr. was a poet from St. Joseph, Michigan.
#55 Michael Warren is an actor from South Bend, Indiana.
#56 Jon Gruden is a former NFL Coach, most recently with the Tampa BayBuccaneers where he won a Super Bowl in 2003. Jon is now an ESPN Monday Night Football Analyst. Jon lived in South Bend, Indiana while his dad was an assistant for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team.
jon_gruden.jpg #57 George Terlep is a former NFL player for the Buffalo Bison and Cleveland Browns and is from Elkhart, Indiana.
#58 Anthony Miller, NBA player from Benton Harbor, Michigan.
anthony_miller.jpg #59 Chet Walker, NBA player from Benton Harbor, Michigan.

#60 George Gulyanics, former NFL player for the Chicago Bears from

Mishawaka, Indiana.
george_gulyanics.jpg#61 Charles Butterworth was an actor from South Bend, Indiana.
#62 John Clarke is an actor from South Bend, Indiana.
#63 Chad Everett is an actor from South Bend, Indiana.
#64 Vandalia, MI was a junction for the Underground Railroad.

#66 Sharon Versyp, former Miss Indiana Basketball and Current Purdue Womenís

Basketball head coach is from Mishawaka, Indiana.
sharon_versyp.jpg #67 Skylar Diggins was honored as Miss Basketball while playing at South Bendís Washington High School and will continue her career playing at the University of Notre Dame.
#68 Dean Joseph Norris is an actor from South Bend, Indiana.
#69 University of Notre Dame is prominent catholic university located in South Bend, Indiana.
notre_dame.jpg #70 Rich Wingo, is a former NFL player for the Green Bay Packers from Elkhart,Indiana.


#71 Bethel College is a liberal arts college located Mishawaka, Indiana.


#72 South Bend Silver Hawks is a minor league farm team for the Arizona Diamond Backs.

silver_hawks.jpg#73 Southwestern Michigan College is a community college located in Dowagiac, Michigan.


#74 Andrews University, located in Berrien Springs, Michigan is one of the most diverse universities in the nation.


Do you know one we missed?
Share it with us and if you want, we'll tell everyone where we got it.† Email our office at:

This page last updated on 11/24/2014.
 Point o Woods golf club
††††† 333 N 2nd Street, Suite 302 | Niles, Michigan 49120 | Phone: 269-683-1833 | Email: