Published in Talent

People in the News: May 23, 2022

BY Sunday, May 22, 2022 06:24pm

Here is the MiBiz People in the news report for May 23, 2022 


  • Gun Lake Investments, the non-gaming economic development arm of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, has named Jimmy TenBrink chief operating officer. TenBrink holds a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and two master’s degrees from Loyola University Chicago and Grand Valley State University. He is currently studying business law at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. A member of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi, TenBrink brings a wealth of experience from his previous roles as president of RSI Manufacturing and Baker Engineering, as well as director of corporate business development and director of operations at tribally owned holding company Waséyabek Development Co. LLC.



  • Allegan-based Perrigo Co. plc has named Eduardo Bezerra as executive vice president and chief financial officer and Kyle Hanson as executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary. Hanson will succeed Todd Kingma, who plans to retire after 19 years in the role. Hanson previously served as general counsel at The Buckle and as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary at Wolverine World Wide. Bezerra is the former senior vice president and chief financial officer of Fresh Del Monte Produce, and also brings more than 20 years of experience in commercial, finance and strategy positions at Monsanto Co. and Bayer AG. 



  • Michigan Capital Network has hired Shawna Pendergrass as an investor relations associate. Pendergrass has more than 20 years of experience in administrative and customer relations roles across industries, including investment management, property management and construction. At MCN, she will assist with internal and external projects including meeting with investors, closing deals, financial transactions and managing MCN’s statewide angel network.
  •  Grand Rapids-based financial services company Acrisure LLC has named Matthew Kirk as executive vice president and head of insurance strategy and execution. Kirk is a graduate of Michigan State University’s James Madison School of Political Science. He formerly worked in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs as deputy assistant to George W. Bush and spent 16 years as senior vice president of The Hartford. At Acrisure, Kirk will support the execution of wider insurance plans and the deployment of A.I.-based technology.



  • Grand Valley State University’s Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy has hired Aimée Laramore as director of learning services. Laramore holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and supervision from Purdue University, a masters of business administration from the University of Toledo, and a certificate in transformational leadership from Christian Theological Seminary. She has previously served as executive director of Northwest Ohio Hemophilia Foundation, strategist for the John H. Boner Community Center, associate director of the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving at Indiana University, and as philanthropic strategist at Christian Theological Seminary.



  • The Cancer Network of West Michigan has appointed Shruti Jolly as executive director and Ashley Mitchell as administrative director. Jolly is a graduate of Wayne State University and ​​Wayne State University Medical School and is the former chief resident at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. Jolly is currently professor and associate chair of community practices in the department of radiation oncology at the University of Michigan and also is heavily involved with Michigan Medicine. Mitchell is an advanced oncology certified nurse practitioner with nearly 20 years of experience in oncology. Mitchell is Trinity Health Saint Mary’s Lack Cancer Center administrative clinical services director of oncology.
  •  HealthBar, a Grand-Rapids based provider of custom and mobile health care services, has hired Martin Axelrod as director of finance and general counsel. Axelrod, a corporate attorney, will help to oversee the next phases of the company’s growth. Axelrod has previously worked in sales management, as a consultant at IBM, in sales and trading for a global investment bank, in software development, as lead adviser for a private bank’s wealth management team, and at the largest national law firm based in Michigan.

— Compiled by Abigail Ham

Incoming GMED leader plans to ‘hit the ground running’

Greater Muskegon Economic Development (GMED) has named Marla Schneider as its new president and CEO following a three-year restructuring the organization took on to attract new corporate funders and revamp strategic planning. 

Schneider is taking over for Jim Edmonson, who led GMED’s three-year transition plan. Schneider officially begins her new role on June 1, but she is meeting with Edmonson this week to prepare for the transition.

“I think it will be a very smooth transition,” Schneider said. “I don’t have any concerns with carrying out the plan and building on it. I am very impressed with the immediate response and capabilities of the existing staff. It’s going to be something where I can hit the ground running.”

Schneider previously spent a decade working as the vice president of marketing and communications for Greater Fort Wayne Inc., the economic development organization for the Fort Wayne/Allen County region in Indiana. She also served as the president of Three Rivers Distilling Co. in Fort Wayne, and since 2015 has worked directly with a local entrepreneur in Fort Wayne to help grow private businesses. 

However, Schneider knew she wanted to return to an economic development role.

“That’s always been my plan to get back into the economic development industry — that’s where my passion lies,” Schneider said.

One of Schneider’s goals in Muskegon is to help grow the food manufacturing industry, which she has experience in from leading operations at Three Rivers Distilling, she said.

“That will be a big focus of mine, looking at growing that industry, which has really helped me learn from the standpoint of a business owner what the struggles are,” Schneider said. “Stepping back into economic development, I have a key understanding of the labor deficit we’re facing and being business friendly and streamlining that.”

Schneider’s 90-day plan upon starting at GMED includes meeting with 100 businesses.

“That’s the bread and butter of economic development: Getting to know businesses, what their struggles are, and what they see as opportunities for growth,” Schneider said. “I want to develop a short-term strategic plan for the last quarter of the year and then work with the (GMED) board on a long-term vision for what the county is looking for in building its growth.” 

— Reported by Kate Carlson

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