Leaders and Innovators
JASON BLESSING is CEO of Plex Systems Inc. in Troy. A cloud enterprise resource planning technology company, Plex Systems provides businesses integrated applications to manage manufacturing execution systems, supply chain management, customer relationship management, shop floor integration, quality management, and others.
Rob DeWit is president and CEO of the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center in Kalamazoo. The Southwest Michigan Innovation Center is a business incubator and accelerator for life science companies. The center celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and has about 75 percent of its lab space and nearly all of its office space occupied. The center initiated its Launch MI Lab, a fully equipped and staffed bioscience laboratory, in late 2012. Five companies have graduated from the center and moved on to become successful startups. Responsible for hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars added to the local economy, the center is expanding its offerings with a $600,000 Michigan Strategic Fund grant awarded in 2012. DeWit has 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry starting with the Upjohn Co. and serving the legacy companies in a variety of roles until retiring from Pfizer in 2008 as the R&D site lead in Kalamazoo. In addition to his continuous association with drug safety activities, DeWit led a complete preclinical laboratory in Japan for two years, participated in global acquisition team work, and represented safety interests for consumer health care, manufacturing quality assurance teams, and the animal health divisions of the various companies. He also aided research and leadership functions in the United Kingdom. DeWit started his career with Warner-Lambert/Parke Davis in Ann Arbor. He received his bachelor of science degree from Calvin College and his doctorate in toxicology from the University of Michigan. More at http://www.ltu.edu/leaders/bio_082013.asp
David VanAmburg is managing director of the American Customer Satisfacation Index at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. ACSI is a national economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of goods and services from companies and government agencies. It is the only uniform, cross-industry measure that links customer satisfacation to a company’s financial performance. VanAmburg joined ACSI in 1998 and was named director for ACSI’s federal government satisfaction study in 1999 before being promoted to managing director of the ACSI as a whole in 2001. Most recently, Van Amburg has been named managing directo of ACSI’s sister index in the UK, NCSI-UK, and also co-manages the Brazilian Customer Satisfaction Index. He ahs lectured extensively both at UM and abroad on topics related to customer satisfaction, quality, customer loyalty, and shareholder value and coauthored “The American Customer Satisfaction Index at Ten Years, ACSI 1994-2004: A Summary of Findings, Implications for the Economy, Stock Returns and Management.” VanAmburg received his bachelor’s degree in public policy and history from Michigan State University and a master’s in history from UM. More at http://www.ltu.edu/leaders.