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Mia Henry to lead Arcus Center at Kalamazoo College

Mia Henry has a passion for social justice advocacy and now she has a chance to share it with Kalamazoo College students.

Following a national search, Henry has been named executive director of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, beginning Aug. 11.

She has experience as a nonprofit administrator, education program developer, public school and university instructor, and social justice leader at the local and national level.

Henry says she looks forward to sharing her passion for social justice advocacy with Kalamazoo College students, faculty and staff, as well as people in Kalamazoo.

"Kalamazoo College’s commitment to connecting academia to the study and practice of social justice aligns with my own professional mission and personal values," Henry says. "I look forward to helping the Arcus Center continue to embrace practices that support collaboration, transparency, and bold programming."

At K College she will develop programming and partnerships with local, national, and international organizations, raise the profile of the Center and Kalamazoo college, and work with K faculty, staff and students on projects and practices in social justice leadership. She will collaborate with Arcus Center Academic Director Lisa Brock.

For the past four years, Henry has served on the national leadership team for Black Space, an initiative of Safe Places for the Advancement of Community and Equity (SPACEs) that supports intergenerational groups of community leaders working for racial equity across the United States.

She currently serves on the boards of directors for the Community Justice for Youth Institute and the Worker’s Center for Racial Justice, both in Chicago, and has been a consultant with the Chicago History Museum, Chicago Public Schools, the University of Chicago Hospital, and the University of Chicago Oriental Institute.

She founded Reclaiming South Shore for All, a diverse grassroots group of residents committed to mobilizing Chicago’s South Shore community by institutionalizing systems that promote peace, youth leadership, and political accountability. She also owns and operates Freedom Lifted, a small business dedicated to providing civil rights tours for people of all ages.

From 2007 to 2012, Henry served as the founding director of the Chicago Freedom School, overseeing most aspects of the nonprofit school dedicated to developing students aged 14 to 21 to be leaders in their schools and communities and to training adults to support youth-led social change.

Kalamazoo College President Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran says Henry will build upon the  work of Arcus Center's inaugural director Jaime Grant, who led the Center for four years.

"We are thrilled to welcome Mia Henry to Kalamazoo College," says Kalamazoo College President Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran. "She is a strategic, thoughtful leader with wide experience in social justice, education, and leadership development. She’s served as an executive, educator, entrepreneur, and supervisor. I’m convinced she will help us build on the multifaceted collaborative efforts that have helped shape K’s social justice leadership center into the first of its kind in higher education."

Source: Jeff Palmer, Kalamazoo College

Perrigo hires Nan Ainsworth as associate director

A new Associate Director, responsible for integrating newly acquired businesses and supply chain functions at Perrigo Co., has been named.

Nannette Ainsworth will be based in Allegan. She has been with Perrigo for 35 years. Procurement, material planing and full-time continuous improvement in support of the Lean Sigman program have been among her responsibilities.

She has been a customer quality team manager and helped build an infrastructure to develop customer quality programs and strategies.

Ainsworth earned her associate degree in business management from Davenport University in 1996, with honors, and her bachelor’s degree in management and organizational development, summa cum laude, from Spring Arbor University in 1998.

She is a lifetime Certified Purchasing Manager, a Certified Black Belt in the Institute of Supply Management and a member of the Association of Operations Management.

Source: Rebecca Herrington, Perrigo

Helmet sensors to detect concussion under development at WMU

Today's football coaches are being trained to recognize and prevent concussions at practice and during the game. Now Western Michigan University students have helped design a device that goes in a football helmet to monitor the severity and location of a blow to the head that could take the guess work out of such calls.

Using printed electronics on a flexible organic plastic layer that covers the inside of a helmet, WMU engineering students have designed a pressure sensor that measures the severity of a hit.

Now the team is seeking investors and grants to keep their startup moving. SafeSense Technologies LLC recently was named one of the top eight finalists in a competition at the University of Michigan that drew ideas from 300 teams.

"Based on that (ranking), we believed we had a niche technology and that we should establish a company, so we did," says Dr. Massood Atashbar, professor of electrical and computer engineering and the team's faculty advisor.

There are competitors on the market, but none of those currently available can fully map the impact forces in precise locations as SafeSense does. 

The project requires additional research and development, however, before it is ready for the marketplace, which is why grant funding is being sought. After it is more fully developed, students hope a venture capitalist or angel investor will step forward.

The sensor has applications not only on the football field but also in the battlefield. It takes away the possibilities of inaccurate judgment calls made by coaches or players as they assess of the severity of a hit.

The way it works is that data from the sensor inside a football player's or soldier's helmet can be relayed over Bluetooth to a smartphone so a team leader would instantly know the severity of an impact. That data also could be stored on a cloud-based server kept as part of a complete history.

The shock sensor would be especially valuable in sports, where players tend to under-report symptoms, Atashbar says, and could be a valuable tool in other sports, like lacrosse or hockey.

"The players, because of the pressure, try to ignore the injury they have endured and continue playing," he says.

The WMU students on the design team--three doctoral students in electrical engineering and one master's student in chemical and printing engineering--have been working on the sensor for nearly two years, are excited about its potential and have found creating it also has been a learning experience in starting a business.

"We've learned a lot about the business side," says Binu Baby Narakathu, a doctoral students, who has assumed a leadership role in the project.

"It was very new for us, because we're from the engineering side," says Ali Eshkeiti, one of the doctoral students. "We didn't know anything about business, how to talk about the product or what kind of words we should use."

Source: Mark Schwerin, Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts names new director

For the past 15 years, Belinda Ann Tate has led the Diggs Gallery, one of the nation's top African American art galleries. Now she is coming to Kalamazoo as executive director of the Kalamazoo Art Institute beginning Sept. 8.

She was the top choice in a national search for a director after James Bridenstine announced he would retire in 2014 after 24 years at the helm of the local art institute.

During her tenure at the Diggs Gallery on the Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina the gallery increased its permanent collection by 20 percent. It now includes works by John Biggers, Elizabeth Catlett, Al Loving, Ed Clark, Howardena Pindell, Hank Willis Thomas, Sheila Pree Bright, and Willie Birch, along with traditional African art.

She has been recognized for engaging the community as an enthusiastic champion for the arts. During her tenure student participation at the Diggs Gallery increased from 20 percent in 1999 to a peak of 83 percent in 2010.

"Kalamazoo has a stellar reputation for supporting the arts and the KIA. I’m eager to build on that support, especially as KIA celebrates its 90th birthday," Tate says. "It’s a privilege to become part of this outstanding institute and the West Michigan arts community."  

Tate earned a master of arts degree in liberal studies from Wake Forest University. Her bachelor of arts degree in art history is from Yale University with a concentration in museum studies. Tate also studied conservation and connoisseurship at Yale Graduate School, and British art and architecture at the Paul Mellon Center in London, England. She is a regular lecturer and writer on the arts.

James Carter led the KIA board’s Selection Committee. He says Tate was the clear choice to lead the institute. "We reviewed many quality candidates from across the country, but Belinda demonstrated the right mix of talent, knowledge and energy," Carter says. "She’s a great fit for KIA and Kalamazoo."  

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is a nonprofit art museum and school. Since 1924, the institute has offered art classes, exhibitions, lectures, events, activities and a permanent collection that now includes more than 4,200 pieces.

Source: Rick Chambers, Chambers and Associates

GreenStreet Marketing adds to graphic design team

Cab Ringinger has joined GreenStreet Marketing Communications as a designers and project coordinator in the company's Kalamazoo office.

Ringinger has more than 15 years of agency and freelance design experience, she has worked with Stryker, Pfizer, and other companies, helping them strengthen their market position.

She learned content management and user interface design experience while working with Microsoft partner, BlueGranite, Inc. She manages the full scope of project development from concept to executive presentation, coordination, and oversight of final product.

Cab earned her BFA in Graphic Design from Arizona State University and is also currently serving on the board of InterCom, Kalamazoo's association of professional communicators.

Cab will be primarily working in GreenStreet’s Kalamazoo office located in downtown at 244 E. Michigan Avenue. 

"I'm really excited to be working with the talented team at GreenStreet Marketing." Ringinger says. "It's a smart, hard working creative group that has a great depth of experience in every type of communication and advertising. I think what GreenStreet can offer companies is really unique…not just inspired print or compelling web, but a complete suite of vehicles to propel and promote their brand. Saturating the market is critical when putting together a successful campaign…and GreenStreet has it all covered."

GreenStreet expanded in 2012 with a new agency office in downtown Kalamazoo. This office provides the same full-service creative advertising and branding services that the Battle Creek location offers. It opened to better accommodate Kalamazoo area clients, as well as to provide diversity to GreenStreet's category and market mix.

GreenStreet has been in the south-central Michigan market since 1995. They provided marketing solutions for clients ranging from start-ups and not-for-profit organizations, to small and mid-size companies, to Fortune 500 firms.

Source: Kathy Samson, GreenStreet Marketing Communications

Kalamazoo Blues Fest has its own app thanks to WMU students

Music lovers attending the Kalamazoo Blues Fest, July 10-12 at the Arcadia Festival Site, have a new way to plan their festival experience thanks to an app created by two Western Michigan University students.

Adam Nolan of Kalamazoo and John Cook of St. Joseph worked for about two months developing the app at the request of the Kalamazoo Valley Blues Association

The app was created for the festival and though it is specifically designed with information for the 2014 festival it can be modified to be used in years to come. 

The app features full band bios, photos, lineup information such as date and time playing, as well as information on the artist workshops that will be available throughout the festival. Nolan says one of his favorite parts of the app is the Google maps. "It zooms into the festival site and has markers for each of the stages, the beer tent, main entrance, restrooms, and the exit. It even shows where you are in relation to the festival site," Nolan says.

Ticket information, including a link to the fest's Vendini page and a sponsors page with logos that are clickable and that will take users to the web page for each sponsor are all featured. Nolan is happy they were able to have the web browser embedded within the app making it easier for people to use than apps that call for a default browser.

As they began work on the app, they looked at apps from other festivals for inspiration. Nolan says once he found the attributes that made the best apps he had to figure out how to include them. He quickly learned there are many ways to complete a task and many opioninos about the best way to get it done. 

The duo used Eclipse, a free programming environment, to develop the app for the Android operating system. Because Android is open source development for it can be done free of charge.
Nolan, a computer information systems major, and Cook, an ebiz marketing major who graduated in December were students of Dr. Alan Rea, WMU professor of business information systems, and took Rea's classes in business mobile programming and mobile commerce. There were many lessons learned along the way to finishing the app, which has been in the Google Play store since mid-June.

Coding and programming can be tedious and Nolan found when problems arose it always helped to take a step back. Solutions "tend to come a the most random times, like when you are laying in bed after just waking up, or just doing something that has absolutely nothing to do with programming and coding," he says.  

Now that Cook and Nolan have created the framework for an app that can be adapted for other festivals they hope to add some features and market the app to firms that put on festivals each year.

"It's something we see an a need and an opportunity," Nolan says.  "It would be nice to see this be more than just a one-time thing."

"This is exactly what I want them to do, once they have the skills, is to either start their own business or build apps like this for others," says Rea.

The true test will come this weekend at the festival, but already the reviews of the app are positive. As one user put it: "Cool. Didn't expect such a high quality app for such a local event."

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Sources: Adam Nolan, Mark Schwerin, Western Michigan University

AVB hires three new employees, one intern

Commercial and residential builders AVB has hired three new employees and an intern.
Mohanad Al-najjar has joined the company as a Project Estimator. He has a background in civil engineering. His responsibilities with AVB are to make estimates on project costs and handle construction scheduling for commercial projects. 

He has worked as a Civil Engineer for multiple companies and is proficient in computer programs such as ETABS, Prokon, and AutoCAD. 

Al-najjar earned his Masters of Science in Construction Engineering and Management from Western Michigan University. There he also was a Teaching Assistant for the Civil and Construction Engineering Department.  

Larry Brownyard is the new Residential Project Manager for AVB. He will manage communication between trade contractors, suppliers and clients, as well as overseeing operational aspects of home building projects. 

Brownyard has more than 20 years of experience in the residential construction industry. He formerly was  Project Superintendent with Allen-Edwin homes. Projects he has supervised have won numerous Parade of Homes awards from the Kalamazoo Area Home Builders Association.  With AVB, he will manage overall continuity and safety of residential projects.  

Commercial Construction Engineering Intern Melvin Keli will be working with AVB. Keli is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Entrepreneurial Engineering from Western Michigan University. He expects to graduate  in the spring of 2015.  He has completed research on work flow, observation and data analysis, and is also Green Belt Certified in SIX SIGMA.  Keli is proficient in programs such as Matlab, AutoCAD and Visio.  He joins AVB as a Monroe-Brown scholar for 2014.

Dan Ruple has been hired by AVB as as an IT Support Technician. He joins AV to provide technology systems support and management. His responsibilities for AVB are to integrate computer networking and IT support, oversee technology vendors and solutions.  

Ruple has previously worked for W. Soule and Company, and MPI Research.

Ruple currently attends Kalamazoo Valley Community College. He plans to transfer to Davenport University to obtain a Bachelor’s in Technology Project Management. 

Sources: Krista Manley, AVB; Taylor Brown, AVB

Perrigo hires two new managers to work in Allegan

Two new managers have assumed leadership posts with Perrigo Co. in Allegan.

Brock Rodgers has been hired as as the Corporate Social Responsibility Manager for Perrigo Co.

Rodgers is responsible for improving environmental product stewardship practices; managing global energy, water and recycling programs; and ensuring those metrics are reported following widely recognized standards.  

He has 17 years of professional and engineering experience. Rodgers' past roles include sales engineer, environmental engineer, technical lead on environmental issues, and various engineering roles for manufacturing and office furniture design companies.

Rodgers is a member of the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and the Community Sustainability Partnership, which helps companies define how their actions in social and environmental responsibility make a positive impact on growth. He is also involved with the Grand River GreenUp effort and the Green Team of the Grand Haven Area’s Convention and Visitors Bureau – Salmon Festival.

Rodgers earned a bachelor’s degree in product design engineering from Ferris State University and a master’s degree in management with a sustainability concentration from Aquinas College. He is certified in sustainable event management.

Rodgers currently lives in Grand Haven.  

Toby Wendt has been hired a as Human Resources Manager. Wendt will provide HR support to Perrigo’s distribution, receiving, and liquid value teams in Allegan.

He has 12 years of leadership experience, including the opening of new distribution centers for one of the nation’s most recognizable brand retailers and five years of HR experience for that company.

Wendt earned his bachelor’s degree in integrated supply chain management from Western Michigan University. He is from Midland and now lives in Ceresco.

Source: Rebecca Herrington, Perrigo Co.

Startups in the spotlight at Startup Zoo

Any good ecosystem has a community. The tech ecosystem in Kalamazoo became a little more robust this week with the addition of a way to shine a light on local emerging startups.

The first Startup Zoo Spotlight, sponsored by a group of entrepreneurs working to make sure Kalamazoo is part of the burgeoning tech growth that's been happening in Michigan in recent years, took place June 17 in the headquarters of Southwest Michigan First.

Ryan Goins, one of the co-founders of Startup Zoo, told the group gathered that Startup Zoo Spotlight was a way to let the community know about the tech advancements that are happening locally.

Startup Zoo was formed to help entrepreneurs in the area connect with one another and learn from one another. As the tech community has grown through regular meetups and other events, the participants are learning from one another.

Now they want the larger community to find out what all the excitement is about.

The first Startup Zoo Spotlight featured four early-stage startups: Joe Armstrong of Sportech Labs, Andy Peninger of Chalq, Kori Jock of La Vie en Orange, and Dan Jeffries of HappyGraph.

Armstrong talked about growing TrakGear, a new way for athletic departments to keep track of the equipment they distribute, into a company recently acquired by  8to18 Inc. Armstrong says the company got its start when he realized the need to streamline the way athletic departments keep track of athletic gear. Many still use Excel spread sheets, he says.

The company launched at a national conference and Armstrong quickly found, "I suck at sales." He brought on Todd Owen and the company began signing up schools who wanted to use its software service.

Purchasing by large universities can be a fairly long process, but the two persisted and got their first sale from Colorado State. "It really took a lot of talking with them and finding a person who wanted to try something new because they were unhappy with what they had used the previous year."

The two began to look at the possibility of getting seed investment money for the company when they received their first acquisition offer. Further investigation showed them that the timing was not right to start a round of seed investment. Then 8to18 came back with a different offer.

Ultimately, the decision was made to join 8to18 and a strategic partnership formed in February 2014, two years after the company launched. It is poised to help manage the inventory of athletic departments from high school through professional teams.

Armstrong says two of the lessons he learned is that "timing matters" and "don't try to do it alone." He's also learned "acquisition is stressful."  The back and forth between lawyers and the time consumed by the process were part of the stress of the deal.

Now Armstrong is moving to Chicago to work with 8to18, but says when he is ready to start his next company he will come back to Kalamazoo to do it.

Peninger described Chalq, the app he is developing that people will be able to use to see what is trending locally. Current social media are good at dealing with a global audience, but not the local scene. Another social network problem is that small businesses don't know what to post or who to post to. Chalq will help in both areas, Peninger says.

The first build of the app has just come together and Beta testing is now under way. For more about Chalq, please check out this story in Second Wave.

For Kori Jock, making your own underwear is a family tradition. She's been making her own since 2005. Now her company that turns old T-shirts into handmade underwear is growing. It's growing here because she and her husband decided to move to Kalamazoo from Seattle to take advantage of the less expensive lifestyle the area offers.

Jock's high energy and story of her underwear business fascinated the crowd. Read more about her business in Second Wave in July.

Dan Jeffries has been studying the research on what it takes to be happy and work. Now he's taking that information and turning it into an app that will help people keep track of what makes them happy and encourage them to do more of those things.

The app, HappyGraph, is focused on happiness at work. People have found that working harder does not lead to happiness. The expected happiness doesn't come with money or success either. Jeffries explained that as soon as success is within one's reach, the mind resets the goal, so that it is once again beyond us. "We never get there," Jeffries says. "As we go toward the horizon we set a new goal without even realizing it."

Those who have learned to be happy have learned to be happy where they are (rather than anticipating happiness at some future point).

The goal is to make a product that is as easy to use as it is to like something on Facebook. So the app is connected to a your calendar and you rate activities with one of three faces: happy, neither happy or unhappy (a meh face), or unhappy. The ratings for activity are compiled and used to plan future weeks so that if possible you can schedule more of those activities that make you happy.

Jeffries says the HappyGraph is in the early stages of development. As development proceeds he hopes to build in happiness triggers that will encourage acts of gratitude and kindness, meditation, exercise and sleep--activities happy people engage in, research shows.

Building happiness and therefore productivity at work is the goal.

"Happiness at work is what I understand," Jeffries says.

Each of the presenters answered questions from those in attendance and afterward snacked on crackers and cheese and sipped beverages with other entrepreneurs.

Kathy Jennings is the managing editor of Southwest Michigan's Second Wave. She is a freelance writer and editor.

More Startup Zoo events can be found here.  


David Espositio joins Armune BioScience

The medical diagnostics company Armune BioScience, Inc., is moving to commercialize technology exclusively licensed from the University of Michigan for diagnostic and prognostic tests for prostate, lung and breast cancers.

Specifically, the company is developing a strategy for Apifiny, a test for prostate cancer. It has hired David Esposito as its Chief Operating, a new position for the company.

He previously served President and General Manager  of Phadia U.S. Inc, a specialty diagnostics company. Armune BioScience says Esposito helped drive significant growth in the U.S. market and played a vital leadership role in the sale of Phadia to ThermoFisher Scientific for $3.5 billion in 2011.

Esposito graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He is a combat veteran, having served as an infantry platoon leader with the 101st Airborne Division and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal during the Persian Gulf War. David also earned a Master of Business Administration from Syracuse University.

“The proprietary technologies of Armune BioScience have significant potential to meet areas of crucial need in prostate, lung and breast cancer diagnostic and prognostic testing." Esposito says. "I look forward to helping the team prepare and execute on the commercial opportunities.”

Armune BioScience, Inc., was founded by the Apjohn Group, LLC, a business accelerator built by experienced health-care executives that brings together valuable resources of management talent and angel/seed financing, and a group of experienced life science professionals. Armune was incorporated as a Delaware Corporation, has its corporate headquarters in Kalamazoo, and a research and commercial laboratory facility in Ann Arbor.

Sources: Eli Thomssen, Armune BioScience, Inc. and Rick Chambers, Rick Chambers & Associates

Perrigo hires two new managers

Perrigo Company of Allegan has hired two new managers to serve various roles with the pharmaceutical supplier.

Ned Jarvis is the new Tax Manager. He will be responsible for tax compliance in the United States.

Jarvis has 25 years experience, including nine years at Big Four public accounting firms and for 16 years at public corporations in various accounting roles.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting and master’s degree in tax accounting from Brigham Young University. He is from Alexandria, Va.,  and is currently in the process of moving to Allegan from Greensboro, N.C.

Ryan Bradtke has been hired as Executive Compensation Manager for the Human Resources team based in Allegan. He will develop executive compensation plans, preparie public disclosures, and manage equity compensation for the organization.

Ryan previously working as an executive compensation consultant in the U.S., U.K., and Europe and has six years experience.

Ryan earned two bachelor’s degrees, one in political science and one in economics, from Purdue University. He is from Chicago and now lives in Grand Rapids.  

Source: Rebecca Herrington, Perrigo

Work in progress: Chalq a new app that will show you what's trending locally

Right now World Cup and Eric Cantor are trending on Twitter. That's fine for the global community. But what if there were an app that showed you the hottest topics in your own town?

Andy Peninger is working on an app that would show you what's new in Kalamazoo (and Grand Rapids).

Chalq (a name derived from the mashing together of chat, local talk, a local chalk board, and the typical unavailability of a name with the traditional spelling of chalk) is a mobile app that focuses on the local.

The app finds your location--locations in West Michigan in the beginning--and will show users messages sent within a chosen geographic area. If you add a message with a hashtag it becomes part of a hashtag list. The hashtags that are used the most go to the top of the list.

Because Chalq is about what's happening right now, messages are wiped away 24 hours after they are posted. Everyone using the app can see the messages of others using the app (no friending or following necessary).

It could be used to find out what events are going on--think, hashtag Art Hop or hashtag Placemaking Conference. Or down the road you could look for a topic like "lunchtime specials."

Hashtags generate a topic category and a list will filtering the topics will show what's trending.

Peninger has been working on the app for about two months, with the help of two developers. The idea got traction when it was a weekly winner of a Start Garden competition. Peninger received $5,000, the initial level of dollars available through the funder that invests in ideas, anticipating that some eventually grow into full-fledged businesses.

Peninger says working on Chalq is a great opportunity and he felt he needed to devote more effort to it if it was going to succeed. This helped ease his decision to leave his job of two-plus years at Maestro to try something new. “There’s a lot of opportunity in this space and I really just want to explore it more and see where it takes me,” Peninger says.

He's already been contacted by those in Kalamazoo eager to work with him on a  freelance basis, so the nest egg he built up while employed at Maestro may last awhile.

It's too early to tell how people will use Chalq once it is available to them. Peninger says the way the free app is used it will largely dictate what kind of revenue the app can generate.

"We have to see how it goes, see how people use it, and if they come back to it once they've used it," Peninger says.  

In coming week's he will be showing people how the work in progressing in several upcoming events including Grand App Night and Start Up Zoo's Start Up Spotlight.

On June 26 he returns to Start Garden for a progress update and at that time they will decide whether to further fund the project, reject it, or tell him to come back at a later date.

He's also working to let people know about Chalq's progress through its website, Facebook page, and Twitter.

"We want people to know it's coming so there is some anticipation rather than releasing it and no one knows it's available."

Source: Andy Peninger, Chalq

AVB offers full-time jobs to its former interns

David Innes has been hired as Project Engineer at AVB. He is responsible for analyzing project drawings and determining the materials required to accomplish the design. He also handles requests for information and updating project site drawings, documentation and submissions. 

Innes recently completed his senior year at Western Michigan University and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Engineering. Innes previously worked with AVB as a Construction Intern and now is making the transition transitions into the role of Project Engineer coordinating drawings, project communications and estimates.

He has previous construction experience with CND Construction, and also enjoys building and restoring homes in his free time.
Shelbie Boschman is the new Selections Coordinator for AVB. Boschman’s role at AVB includes assisting in finish selections for some newly built homes. She facilitates documentation for change orders and selection sheets, among others. She also participates in the Parade of Homes.

Boschman started out with AVB as a Monroe Brown Scholar during the summer of 2013. She graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design. Boschman is proficient in programs such as Autodesk Cad and Google Sketchup, and trained in digital photography. Boschman will be able to use her skill in the selections of materials and products for AVB homes and participate in events that showcase her experience.

Source: Taylor Brown, AVB

Bronson hires four health care providers

Four health care providers in various positions have been hired by Bronson Healthcare.

Natasha Koren, MD, has joined the Family Medicine Practice at The Groves. She has specialized in chronic disease management and skin care. She recieved her medical degree from Petrozavodsk State University  in Russia.

Edward Sternaman, MD, has joined Bronson Internal Medicine Hospital Specialists. The team of internal medicine hospital specialists provide around-the-clock prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases that are not treated by surgery for hospitalized patients. Sternaman received his medical degree from Iberoamerican University School of Medicine in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  

Meg Irish-Pearson, DNP, APRN-CNP,  received her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from The University of Alabama, Birmingham, Ala. and her Master of Science in Nursing from University of South Alabama, Mobile, Ala. and is now a member of the Bronson Internal Medicine team on Fremont Street. Her specialities are dermatology, preventive care and care for acute problems.

Jennifer Freeman, CNM, has joined the Bronson Women’s Service team. Freeman has a Master’s degree in nurse midwifery from University of Cincinnati, Ohio, and a Bachelor’s degree in nursing University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, Ind.  Freeman previously worked at Muskegon Family Care in Muskegon.  

All are accepting new patients.

Source: Erin F. Smith, Bronson

Scorecard shows what's needed to grow culture of education

The goal is for the greater Kalamazoo area to be a community where there is a culture of education.

A scorecard recently released by the Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo shows what has been accomplished and what needs to be done to foster the kind of community that promotes educational success from cradle-to-career.

The scorecard, which can be found here, makes milestones in education easy for parents, educators, evaluators, and others to identify and understand.

The scorecard took six months to develop and it uses a number of graphics to present educational stages, the importance of that stage, and data on where the community is in reaching its goals.

For example: In the kindergarten through third grade educational stage the scorecard says students who perform at or above grade level by third grade are more likely to do so throughout school than students who don't. The goal is for every Kalamazoo County third grader to perform at or above grade level in reading and math. The scorecard shows that third grade reading proficiency went from 66 percent to 65 percent from 2011 to 2012 and rose to 69 percent in 2013. Math proficiency was at 37 percent in 2011 and 2012 and rose to 41 percent in 2013.

"The scorecard provides an at-a-glance snapshot of how we’re doing collectively, as a community, in creating a culture of education," says Amy Slancik, community investment officer for The Learning Network at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. "Meeting the needs of all Kalamazoo County learners – from infants to older adults – is the cornerstone of a vibrant and prosperous community."

Data for the scorecard is compiled by staff from the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, which leads The Learning Network’s Data Team.

"The scorecard provides a rallying point for our collective community to work toward," says Bridget Timmeney, special projects coordinator for The Institute and a member of The Learning Network Data Team.

Using the scorecard, the work that needs to be done to achieve a specific outcome also can be identified and acted upon to bring about positive changes.

As another example, one goal of The Learning Network is to increase the rate of countywide students who pursue a college degree or training certificate. A specific objective was then set to support this goal: by 2017, achieve a rate of 82 percent of high school graduates who pursue a college degree or training certificate. To accomplish that goal, academic, financial and social barriers are identified so they can be removed or lessened, making students more likely to attend and complete college.

"The work of the College and Career Action Network of The Learning Network helps students overcome these obstacles," says Timmeney.

Each milestone shown on the scorecard has a group working in the community to support learners in reaching that goal.

The Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo is funded by the Kalamazoo Community Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Its mission is to create and sustain a culture of learning at home, in school, at work and throughout the community, with a vision to ensure that all children in Kalamazoo County will be ready for school, ready for post-secondary education, ready for a career and ready for the world.

Source: Tom Vance, Kalamazoo Community Foundation
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