Published in Talent

People in the News: June 20, 2022

BY Sunday, June 19, 2022 06:21pm

Here is the MiBiz People in the news report for June 20, 2022 


  • Colliers International’s West Michigan office has hired Leann Stachowiak as marketing manager. Stachowiak brings more than a decade of marketing experience to the role. At Colliers, she will oversee external communications and produce property campaigns and other marketing materials. “Leann adds tremendous value to our team with her years of marketing experience,” said Jon Potvin, managing director for Colliers West Michigan. “Leann embodies the values of Colliers and we’re so excited to see how she grows our robust marketing strategy to create more opportunities for our clients.”


  • Greg Cane has been named vice president of finance for food distribution at Byron Center-based SpartanNash Co. Crane holds a master’s of business administration from the University of Michigan and is a certified public accountant. His past roles include chief financial officer for GHSP Inc. and a variety of financial and leadership positions at Wolverine World Wide Inc. At SpartanNash, Cane will support the food distribution leadership team and provide leadership over budgeting, forecasting and risk analysis as well as financial guidance on improving efficiency and reducing operating expenses.


  • Tim Shangle of Sparta-based ChoiceOne Bank was named to Independent Community Bankers of America’s “40 under 40: Emerging Community Bank Leaders.” Shangle holds a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Aquinas College and is a graduate of the Michigan Bankers Association’s Perry School of Banking. He is assistant vice president of innovation and data analytics and head of the innovation department at ChoiceOne.
  • Jessi Goldner, director of compliance for the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi’s economic development firm Waséyabek Development Company LLC, has been named to the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s 40 under 40 list. Goldner has worked for the tribe since 2011, serving as an education program specialist and office administrator to the board of directors and CEO before taking over as director of compliance in 2021. The National Center’s list recognizes emerging leaders in numerous professional fields 
  • Grand Rapids-based Intandem Credit Union announced Executive Vice President Kristen Plichta will succeed president and CEO Barbara Page, who plans to retire July 1 after six years at the helm. Plichta has 28 years of experience in the credit union industry and has been on the Intandem team since 2017. She holds a master’s in business administration from Western Michigan University and designations of Bank Secrecy Act Compliance Specialist and Credit Union Human Resources Compliance Professional.
  • n Southern Michigan Bank and Trust has appointed John Waldron as Jackson market president. Waldron brings more than 30 years of experience to the role, including serving as president and CEO of County National Bank in Hillsdale since 2002. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University and a resident of Jackson, where he serves on several local boards. 
  • Alison Mast has been appointed senior managing director and president of Western Michigan at Northern Trust Wealth Management. Mast has served as head of strategy for wealth management with Northern Trust since 2019. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s of business administration from Harvard Business School.
  • Michigan State University Federal Credit Union has appointed Quinetta Roberson Connally to its board of directors. Roberson Connally — the John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor of Management and Psychology at MSU — has been serving on the Board of Managers of MSUFCU’s holding company, Reseda Group, since 2021. She has published more than 40 scholarly journal articles and book chapters, and her research focuses on organizational capability, diversity and strategic management. 


  • The Michigan Manufacturers Association has announced an internal reorganization that includes several promotions and new hires. Longtime president of the MMA Service Corp., Larry Janicki, plans to retire June 30. He will be retained as a consultant through the end of the year. Delaney McKinley, who has worked with MMA since 2011, has been named executive vice president of operations. Mike Johnston, who previously led MMA’s government affairs team, has been named executive vice president of government affairs and workforce development. Brenda Nalett, MMA’s longest-serving employee, has been promoted to director of member services; Ashley Wakefield was named director of membership, marketing and events; and Dane Cooke was named information technology and facilities manager. MMA in the coming weeks plans to hire several additional staff members in its membership and insurance departments.


  • Kaylie Pomper, a 2020 graduate of Michigan State University, has been named marketing manager of the West Michigan Tourist Association. Pomper has two years of experience in the property management field and also previously worked with the student demographic in event planning, social media and sales.
  • Broadway Grand Rapids has named Jennifer Pascua as marketing director. Her previous roles include serving as a member of the community relations team at Spectrum Health, adjunct professor of communication at Hope College and owner of media freelance group Halo Halo Multimedia LLC. Pascua also spent 25 years as a broadcast journalist. At Broadway Grand Rapids, Pascua hopes to create more community partnerships and elevate DEI initiatives.
  • The Manistee County Visitors Bureau has named Sammie Lukaskiewicz as executive director. Lukaskiewicz is a Manistee resident who brings to the role more than 20 years of experience in marketing and public relations, including many years as vice president of marketing and communications for NASCAR and, most recently, vice president of marketing and communications at Crystal Mountain resort. 


  • Davenport University has named Rashid Faisal associate professor and department chair for the College of Urban Education. Faisal comes to Davenport from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where he served as an instructor and principal internship supervisor for the College of Education, Health and Human Services. He holds a master’s degree in education from the Rackham School of Graduate Studies, a master’s of education in organizational leadership with school building certification from Teachers College of Columbia University, and an education doctorate in metropolitan education from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He will lead Davenport’s graduate program offerings in education.

— Compiled by Abigail Ham


Simmons to head DEI at Bell’s-New Belgium

As someone who has enjoyed West Michigan’s craft beverage community, Courtney Simmons will now carry influence at one of the industry’s heavier hitters.

Kalamazoo-based Bell’s Brewery Inc. and Fort Collins, Colo.-based New Belgium Brewing Co., which are now partners under the Lion Little World Beverages portfolio of brands, recently announced that Simmons would assume the role of director of diversity, equity and inclusion. In late 2021, Australian beer conglomerate Little Lion purchased Bell’s, bringing the two breweries together.

“What is appealing to me is that I’ve always personally enjoyed participating in the craft beer community,” Simmons told MiBiz. “I’ve had lots of opportunities to sit in taprooms and be a part of the communities that are created there, and I love that combination of beverage, community and food.”

Simmons will now oversee DEI efforts across the companies’ combined 1,300 employees who conduct operations throughout four different states. 

Simmons took the role after serving as DEI manager at Zeeland-based global furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, now known as MillerKnoll Inc. Simmons also serves as the chairperson for the Equality Michigan Action Network and is a volunteer for Make-A-Wish Michigan.

She steps into an industry that has notoriously struggled with attracting more diverse business owners and workforce. However, both Bell’s and New Belgium have embarked on initiatives to fix this persistent problem. New Belgium is a certified B-Corp that installed the industry’s first diversity and inclusion specialist back in 2019.

However, the industry has a long way to go as it remains dominated by white males. A 2019 survey conducted by industry trade group Brewers Association showed that, among its membership, 88 percent of brewery owners were white and only 7 percent were classified as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color). Just 1 percent of owners were Black, per the survey.

“It does feel like the industry is a bit further behind,” Simmons said. “I was coming from 100-year institutions before I joined this much younger industry.”

“(Other industries) had different resources and different teams dedicated to the work,” Simmons added. “As a young industry, it has been surprising to see how far craft has to go and I’m really encouraged that I joined organizations that I think are at the forefront. That doesn’t mean we’re doing it perfectly, it doesn’t mean we have it figured out — we still have a lot to figure out.” 

— Reported by Jayson Bussa

Read 2853 times