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Ben Hughes

I am responsible for the management and development of a team of approximately 25 customer care executives in an international call center right here in Grand Rapids.  We handle guest inquiries round the clock and service over 40 different languages through email and phone contact.  In my role I am responsible for not only the different administrative tasks that come with people management, but also employee productivity and quality.  We work in a fast paced environment, so ensuring employee motivation and keeping up employee morale also plays a big part in my daily duties.  I am also responsible for handling escalated complaint situations with our international guests and ensuring speedy and satisfactory resolution.  As an international business I also spend a far amount of time interacting with our colleagues around the globe, from those within the United States, to our other international call centers in Europe and Asia.

As a call center we have experienced constant growth since I began in 2009, an encouraging sign for future development within the company.  I have had the opportunity to help develop our newest staff members and also got the chance to spend 3 months in France helping open a new call center.

Job Title: Customer Care Team Leader
College: Grand Valley State University, Bachelor of Arts - Communications, Bachelor of Arts - French, Allendale, MI

Steve Wilkins

I am most excited about the opportunities at Lake Michigan Credit Union, specifically- applying my knowledge as well as creating successful solutions. I’m learning new things every day and enjoying working with others to be successful.

Job Title: Application Support Analyst
Company: Lake Michigan Credit Union
College: Grand Valley State University , Masters Degree, Business Administration, Grand Rapids, MI

Joy VanOeffelen

I am the Marketing Programs Manager at LeanLogistics, Inc., a global solutions provider of transportation management system (TMS) applications and supply chain services enabled by the industry’s largest transportation network on a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform. My core responsibilities include creating, executing and measuring program plans for core initiatives. I develop lead generation/nurturing programs to support sales; manage tradeshow coordination and event promotion; evaluate and drive marketing campaigns to maximize revenue; and coordinate the development of promotional materials for marketing programs, including webinars and email marketing.
I am proud to live and work in West Michigan. I am an alumnus of the 2011 class of the Emerging Leaders Series through the Center for Community Leadership (Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce). In addition, I completed my Master of Business Administration degree in 2010 from WMU. I have been working full-time in marketing since 2004, with experience in the food & beverage, financial services, and transportation industries. In addition to full-time work, I enjoy freelance marketing and business coaching, as well as being a Big Sister Mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

Job Title: Marketing Manager
Company: LeanLogistics
College: Western Michigan University, Master in Business Administration, Kalamazoo, MI

Mike Burnside

I typically deal with people who are looking to secure loans and find that their credit scores are too low to qualify. A loan officer, real estate agent or insurer will tell a potential client that, while they would like to do business with them, it's not possible at this time and that if they were interested, there is someone who can help: me. The process of improving a credit score isn't hugely complicated, but it is daunting for the average person and can take some time. I make sure that the biggest score increase is achieved in the shortest time possible so that the client can then be eligible for the loan they wanted. When I do my job, everyone ends up winning.

Job Title: Legal Assistant
Company: Finn Law Group
College: British Columbia Institute of Technology, Diploma of Technology, Burnaby, Canada

Kylie Schultz

I am excited to be part of the Ecotrek Fitness Team in Kalamazoo! My two passions in life are being outside and helping people get fit. Achieving greater wellness through outdoor activity is my mission. I have worked as an environmental educator with the Kalamazoo Nature Center and Michigan Department of Agriculture and as a wilderness therapist for youth for Catherine Freer Wilderness Therapy Programs in Albany, OR. I have been an outdoor challenge course instructor with the Adventure Centre at Pretty Lake in Mattawan, MI since 2006. Here we use high and low ropes courses, cooperative games and team-building activities to help groups and individuals with issues of personal growth and leadership. I recently co-founded the Michigan Earth Corps program in Kalamazoo, where youth and young adults work on outdoor, conservation projects while learning about environmental and community problem solving.

Ecotrek Fitness compliments both my personal lifestyle and current work. I have been a long-distance runner for 21 years, ran track and cross country through college at Western Michigan University, and have been marathoning and doing triahlons since 2002. As a Wellness and Physical Education Instructor with Kalamazoo Valley Community College, I help students learn about physical fitness through classroom lecture, discussion and hands-on fitness activities. I also teach a class called Holistic Health, where students learn about whole-person wellness, mental/emotional wellbeing, mindfulness and complimentary and alternative health-care strategies. As an Ecotrek Fitness Series Leader, I help people learn and practice a holistic vision of health for their lives that includes physical and outdoor activity, healthy nutrition and building a community of healthy life-stylers!

Job Title: EcoTrek Fitness Series Leader
Company: EcoTrek Fitness
College: Western Michigan University, Masters, Counseling and Holistic Health, Kalamazoo, MI

Kim Bray

My experience began at The Family Ford Store. My family owned the dealership 60 years ago from 1927 until 1987 and they sold Model T’s door-to-door with a photograph. Today, I am selling cars differently but still enjoys selling quality vehicles with a personal touch like my family did 60 years ago.

Along with 39 years of experience, I am also certified with GM, Ford and Chrysler but my specialty has always been trying to understand the pulse of the customer. The Auto Center has a great professional staff that understands what our customers want. We have a saying, ‘A car’s history is no mystery.’ We operate with the same high-standards as Lake Michigan Credit Union and realize that it is not enough to just be moving cars off the lot. We want you to come back because you received an excellent price on a quality pre-owned vehicle plus an enjoyable experience.

Job Title: General Manager
Company: Lake Michigan Auto Center
College: Northwood Institute, BBA, Associate’s in Automotive Marketing and a Certified Automotive Marketing, Troy, MI

Ron Reeves

As a Public Relations Representative at Herman Miller, Inc. I work with a small Corporate Communications team on all external communications for the company. This includes writing press releases, financial statements, coordinating external media efforts such as magazine or blog editorials and reviews, and managing our media presence at numerous conferences and trade shows. We also manage all of Herman Miller’s social media efforts. It is our job to help tell the many amazing stories of Herman Miller’s employees and products and history. Working in public relations for Herman Miller has been an extremely rewarding experience and I look forward to coming to work each day.

Job Title: Public Relations Representative
Company: Herman Miller
College: Univeristy of Michigan, College of Literature, Science and Arts, B.A. Communication Studies, Ann Arbor, MI

Nick Wasmiller

In my role as manager of public relations at Michigan Blood, I lead a team of six PR professionals across the state and manage daily operations in the Grand Rapids region.  My main responsibilities include overseeing an intentional process to promote community support through community partnerships and strategic alliances, community education, media relations, special events and stewardship/social responsibility initiatives. 

Job Title: Manager of Public Relations
Company: Michigan Blood
College: Ferris State University, Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Major in Public Relations, Big Rapids, MI

Mindy Ysasi Castanon

After working 12 years at Cascade Engineering I am continuing my HR career at Herman Miller in Zeeland, MI.  I work with the operations team providing conflict resolution, training, coaching and strategic staffing support. There is a great spirit in the company and a desire to leave a positive imprint in all we do. I found out about the opportunity from Maxine Gray.  Herman Miller is doing good work to ensure diversity in the workforce they are hiring!

Job Title: HR Consultant, Operations
Company: Herman Miller
College: Grand Valley State University, Seidman College of Business, Allendale, MI

Joseph P. Hymes

My responsibilities include setting operational strategy and optimizing the core functions that support the Company’s delivery of patient care, as well as its ongoing business development efforts.  In addition to my oversight for Agility Health’s centralized sales, marketing and administrative operations, I am focused on ensuring seamless clinical performance across the Company’s extensive array of service sites.  I am also a key member of Agility Health’s senior management team.
Prior to joining Agility Health, I was senior regional vice president of operations for Sound Physicians, a leading Tacoma, Wash.-based hospitalist medical group, where my responsibilities included the completion of 12 new hospital start-ups in 26 months and  facilitating major process improvement initiatives at each site.
Previously, I was director of Michigan operations for Concentra Medical Centers, a national occupational medicine and urgent care practice management company, where I had oversight for 22 sites whose 66 providers and 300 employees served 2,500 patients per day. In addition to exceeding key financial and clinical performance metrics, I was instrumental in the successful introduction of an urgent care service line and new organizational culture initiatives.
My professional and board affiliations include the American College of Healthcare Executives, Society of Hospitalist Medicine and National Association of Occupational Health Professionals.  I hold a bachelor’s degree in general science, with a concentration in neurosciences, and a Master of Public Health degree in health care administration from the University of Rochester in New York.

Job Title: Chief Operating Officer
Company: Agility Health
College: University of Rochester, Master of Public Health, Health Care Administration, Rochester, MI

Steve Nowak

As a Network Engineer at IT Resource, I will be working on customer projects and assisting with support. My areas of expertise lie in the fields of Microsoft Products, Hp, Dell, IBM servers, and Motorola Wireless and Wired Barcode Scanning Solutions. I also have my Microsoft MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) certificate.

IT Resource is a provider of Information Technology services, including high level consulting, virtualization, unified communications, messaging solutions, and disaster recovery.

Job Title: Network Engineer II
Company: IT Resource
College: Grand Valley State University, Bachelor's of Science, Computer Science Information Systems, Grand Rapids, MI

Mark Mohr

I have over 12 years of experience in the mortgage industry with a specialization in new home purchase utilizing FHA, Conventional, Rural Development and MSHDA programs.

I always try to have a more open discussion with my members to be able to make logical decisions based on their needs. I want to relate to my customers and remain available. If someone has a question at 8 o’clock at night and they call me, I will answer.

Job Title: Loan Originator
Company: Lake Michigan Credit Union
College: Lake Superior State University, Bachelors Degree, Sault Ste. Marie, MI

Patrick Kyle Ball

I work directly with the request team to determine the scope of the project, quantity, distribution plan and budget. The PM determines who the players are and what their roles will be.  

Job Title: Market Research Project Manager
Company: Chervon North America
College: Grand Valley State University, Bachelor of Science, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Grand Rapids, MI

Emily Ross

My professional experience includes working in print and environmental graphic design. I have a B.S. in Graphic Design from Ferris State University.

Tiger Studio is a company that develops Passion-Driven Design.  They specialize in Industrial Design, User Interface, and Brand Identity.  Tiger Studio is a creative design firm based in Zeeland, Michigan.  They seek out and employ innovative minds with diverse experiences and capabilities.  The studio is a leader in design in diverse markets from transportation, lighting, medical, consumer, to electronic industries.

Job Title: Graphic Designer
Company: Tiger Studio
College: Ferris State University, Bachelor of Science, Graphic Design, Clinton Twp, MI

Anne Meehan

Robert Half Management Resources is the world's premier provider of senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project and interim basis ( I work with employers and job seekers in Lansing, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. A Michigan native, I decided years ago to stay tied to the community I love. After 15 years as a controller, a VP of finance and a consultant, I wanted to join Robert Half Management Resources to use my knowledge and expertise in helping others find rewarding positions and to match clients with the right consultant for their needs.

Job Title: Division Director
Company: Robert Half Management Resources
College: Davenport University, Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, Emphasis on Accounting and Communications, Grand Rapids, MI

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