Automation Alley Announces New Hires: Automation Alley, Michigan’s largest technology business association, has welcomed several new faces to its team this month, complementing and enhancing its staff of professionals dedicated to the organization, its members and its mission. The new additions will be joining Automation Alley in the areas of sales, public affairs and philanthropy. Catie Keomahavong joins Automation Alley’s sales team as a business development specialist, responsible for recruiting and welcoming new members to Automation Alley. Previously, Keomahavong worked in the events and marketing industry. She is currently studying at Walsh College, working towards a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing. Nicole Beattie joins the public affairs team as a copywriter and is responsible for writing marketing and promotional materials for Automation Alley, including press releases and content for Automation Alley’s email communications: the E-Newsletter and EntrepreNews. Beattie comes from a journalism background and has held positions as both a writer and graphic designer at various news publications. Beattie received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Oakland University. Kim Cross is Automation Alley’s new director of philanthropy, responsible for managing the fundraising initiatives to support Automation Alley programs and services through the Automation Alley Fund. Cross was an investment adviser for high net worth individuals, corporations and foundations for 18 years, a volunteer fundraiser for 20 years and a professional fundraiser for eight years. She started her career in Michigan, moved to New York City in 1985 and then San Francisco in 1989. She has a certificate of nonprofit management from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Arts in marketing and economics from Lubin School of Business at Pace University. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive and a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy. For more information, contact the Automation Alley Resource Center at 800-427-5100 or, or visit

Snyder Appoints Two To Michigan Tech Board: Gov. Rick Snyder has announced the appointments of Robert “Bob” Jacquart of Ironwood and Linda Kennedy of Troy to the Michigan Technological University Board of Control. The eight-person board is the governing body of the university. Kennedy, a 1991 alumna of Michigan Tech, is a shareholder in the Detroit office of Butzel Long PC, one of Michigan’s oldest law firms. Previously, she served as in-house counsel for Dow Chemical Co. and as a technical writer for IBM’s software solutions division. Kennedy holds a bachelor’s degree in scientific and technical communication from Michigan Tech, as well as a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a law degree from the University of Minnesota. She replaces Martha Richardson, whose term on the Board expires Dec. 31, 2012. Jacquart is chief executive officer of Jacquart Fabric Products, a textile designing and manufacturing company his father began in 1958. Under Jacquart’s leadership, the company has grown from a small storefront business to a thriving 80,000-square-foot complex with $15 million in annual sales, including the popular Stormy Kromer. He is chair of Gogebic Community College’s Board of Trustees until Dec. 31, 2012, and a member of the Michigan Garment Industry Council. Jacquart replaces Kathryn Clark, whose term also expires Dec. 31, 2012. Appointees serve eight-year terms that expire Dec. 31, 2020, and their appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

Snyder Appoints Two To Grand Valley Board: Gov. Rick Snyder last week appointed a Grand Valley State University alumna and an energy executives to Grand Valley’s board of trustees. Snyder has chosen Mary Kramer of Detroit and John G. Russell of East Lansing for eight-year terms. Kramer is vice president and publisher of Crain’s Detroit Business, a weekly business newspaper and Web site. She graduated from Grand Valley in 1979 and has worked as a writer and editor for newspapers before joining Crain’s in 1989 as editor. She earned a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University and holds honorary doctorates from Grand Valley, Walsh College, Alma College, and Central and Eastern Michigan universities. She is the first woman ever elected president of the Detroit Athletic Club and is a member of the foundation boards at Wayne State, Grand Valley and the Michigan Colleges Foundation. Russell is president and CEO of CMS energy and its principal subsidiary, Consumers Energy. He was previously president and COO of Consumers Energy from 2004 to 2010. He has spent most of his career with Consumers, aside from 1985 to 1987, when he was manager of shipping operations for Meijer Inc. He graduated from Michigan State University wiht a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1980. In 1994, he completed the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School. He serves on numerous boards, including Business Leaders for Michigan, The Right Place Inc. and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. Kramer and Russell will succeed Kate Pew Wolters, who followed her father and brother onto Grad Valley’s board, and Noreen Myers, who was the first Grand Valley alumna to serve on its board.


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