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Borgess adds inpatient services providers

Care for patients during their stays at Borgess will benefit from the hiring of three new providers of Inpatient Services. And Dr. Davi Sa Leitao, MD, has joined Borgess Rheumatology.

Anas Alsara, MD, comes to Borgess from the University of Illinois-Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., where he completed his residency in internal medicine. Dr. Alsara completed a research fellowship in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Division at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he also was a visiting clinician. He earned his medical degree from Damascus University in Damascus, Syria.  

Gurkaran S. Garcha, MD, completed his residency in internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and obtained his medical degree from Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He also earned his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Garcha recently worked on a quality improvement project for improving Hepatitis A and B vaccination rates in Houston.

Kimberly Morycz, AGACNP-BC, has joined the staff as an adult-gero acute care nurse practitioner (AGACNP). Morycz comes to Borgess from the Detroit Medical Center’s Harper University Hospital, where she was a registered nurse in the clinical decision unit in the emergency department. She received her AGACNP education from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Michigan State University in East Lansing. Morycz is board certified in Adult-Gero Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. She has received clinical experience in Cardiology, Rapid Assessment Team and Internal Medicine, and has also received training inAdvanced Cardiac Life Support, Neonatal Resuscitation Program and Trauma Nursing.

Davi Sa Leitao, MD, has joined Borgess Rheumatology, located at 2889 South 11th Street in Kalamazoo. Dr. Sa Leitao comes to Borgess from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, where he completed a fellowship in rheumatology and clinical immunology. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. He also has been a family physician and medical doctor for a family health program in Acarau, Brazil, and has served as a medical doctor for Padre Dioniso Hospital in Aratuba, Brazil. He earned his medical degree from Federal University of Ceara School of Medicine in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil, and is board certified in internal medicine.

Source: Michael Smith, Borgess

Perrigo hires director of consumer affairs

Anthony M. Faragasso, M.D., has been hired as Director of Pharmacovigilance and Consumer Affairs for Perrigo, Co.

Faragasso is now responsible for collecting, evaluating, and reporting consumer data to regulatory agencies worldwide as it relates to adverse events. He will be working in Allegan.

He has 25 of experiences in this field, including as lead pharmacovigilance physician at a consumer healthcare product manufacturer.

He was also the senior director of drug and safety risk management and executive director of global medical management and drug safety at a clinical research organization.

Dr. Faragasso earned his medical degree from Far Eastern University School of Medicine in Manila, Philippines. He earned his master’s certificate of epidemiology and biostatistics from Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia, Penn., and his bachelor’s degree in arts zoology from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.  

He is from Brooklyn, N.Y. and currently lives in Fennville.

Source: Perrigo Co.

Makers Mart winner to take home $5,000, plus $5,000 in services

Those who make something in Southwest Michigan have an opportunity to show off what they do at the upcoming Catalyst University. 

For the first time, Catalyst is sponsoring a Makers Mart competition. It's intended to encourage people to support small businesses. 

“We’ve added the Makers Mart competition to Catalyst University as a way to lift up the entrepreneurs of our region by encouraging people to support small business through buying products and services, not just by giving handouts," says Ron Kitchens, CEO of Southwest Michigan First.  "We want to inspire leaders to not only define their passions and beliefs, but to put words into action and grow our community.”

The way it works: The Catalyst University Team will review applications for the competition and select four finalists who will tell their company's stories on video. The videos will be voted upon by the public to determine the overall winner. 

The public will be able to vote through social media as will attendees at Catalyst University. There also will be feedback from a preselected judges panel of experts.

To be eligible companies must: 

• Sell an existing product or service for consumer purchase;

• Be owned and operated in Southwest Michigan;

• Have annual sales of $500,000 or less;

• Be able to attend Catalyst University in Kalamazoo on January 29, 2015;

• Display and sell products or services at Catalyst University.

The winning Southwest Michigan maker will receive $5,000 in cash plus $5,000 worth of legal, marketing and accounting consultations.

Applications for the Makers’ Mart can be submitted now through 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2  p.m. here.  Additional information about Catalyst University can be found here

Source: Heather Baker Southwest Michigan First

Seven new health care providers join Bronson team

Dr. Humeera Hina, Eric Yoder, DO; Dr. Dexter Fossitt, physician assistant Michael Voiles,  Dr. Tamayai Bwititi, Yanny Phillips, DO; and Elizabeth D’Angelo, NP, have all joined various health care offices or specialty areas of Bronson Healthcare.

Humeera Hina, MD, has joined Bronson Family Medicine in Portage. She earned her medical degree  Deccan College of Medical Services in Hyderabad India. She completed her family medicine residency at Virtua West Jersey Memorial Hospital in Vorhees, N.J. Her special interests include preventive health care services and managing acute and chronic diseases.

Eric Yoder, DO, and Dexter Fossitt, MD, have joined Bronson's Internal Medicine Hospital Specialists, who provide around-the-clock prevention, diagnosis and treatment of non-surgical disease for hospitalized patients. Dr. Yoder earned his medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, Fla. Dr. Fossitt earned his medical degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in Lansing.

Michael Voiles, PA-C, has joined Bronson Internal Medicine & Rheumatology. Voiles earned his master’s degree in the physician assistant program from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. He has a special interest in diabetes management, dermatology and patient health education.

Dr. Tamayai Bwititi is now part of Bronson Lakeview Family Medicine Mattawan. Dr. Bwititi earned his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Ind. He completed his family medicine residency at Lancaster General Hospital, Lancaster, Penn. 

Bronson Neuroscience Center has added Yanny Phillips, DO, PhD, to its team. Dr. Phillips is board eligible in neurology with special interests in epilepsy, neuromonitoring, EMG, and general neurology. She earned her medical degree from Michigan State University in Lansing. She completed her neurophysiology fellowship and neurology residency at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.

Elizabeth D’Angelo, NP, has joined the team at Bronson Trauma Surgery Services. D’Angelo earned her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from Walden University, Minneapolis, Minn. and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, Ind.  

Carolyn Wyllie, Bronson

Dr. Michal Obrzut joins Premier Radiology

Premier Radiology has hired Michal Obrzut, MD to serve as a neurointerventional radiologist. He joins K. Derek Kreitel, MD.

Dr. Obrzut previously was a clinical instructor in neuroradiology and interventional neuroradiology at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He also has been a neuroradiologist at Park Avenue Radiology/Wilson Memorial Medical Center in Binghampton, N.Y., and was an assistant clinical professor in diagnostic radiology at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn.

He completed a residency in diagnostic radiology at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven. He  completed a his initial residency in medicine at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Obrzut is board certified with the American Board of Radiology, and with the American Board of Radiology Subspecialty in Neuroradiology. He is a member of the American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America, American Society of Neuroradiology, and the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery.

Source: Michael Smith, Borgess

Law firm Warner Norcross to help businesses deal with data

Now there is a way to analyze data using predictive coding, technology review and similar emerging technologies that can help companies manage their documents and be prepared in the event of a lawsuit.

To assist businesses in coming up with such solutions, Warner Norcross has made a significant investment to retrofit a portion of its new Kalamazoo office to house a state-of-the-art Data Solutions Project Management Center.

More than 30 experienced attorneys, records management specialists, data and information technology specialists and paralegals are part of the law firm's new Data Solutions team, led by B. Jay Yelton III, a partner who practices in the firm’s Kalamazoo office, and Dawn Garcia Ward, a senior counsel who practices in the firm’s Holland office.

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, which opened offices in Kalamazoo in May, recently launched a new Data Solutions Practice Group, which it says is unique in Michigan.

"While some firms specialize in records management or offer e-discovery services," Yelton says, "we are the first Michigan law firm to assemble an in-house team of experts with a proven track record of successfully advising Fortune 500 companies on records management, e-discovery, security breaches, and compliance issues."

Amway Corp., Stryker Corp., Spectrum Health, the state of Michigan and Holland Hospital have all worked with the firm for its data management expertise.

"Not only does Warner Norcross understand business, we understand data, which is an increasingly important but rare combination in today’s corporate environment," Yelton says.  "By creating the Data Solutions group, we are able to offer companies a single source of experienced professionals who can help them fully and cost effectively manage their data."

Warner Norcross also works with companies to help them understand what and when outdated and unnecessary data and documents may be disposed of and how to defend disposal of that data in the event of a lawsuit. If necessary, it can defend those decisions in court.  

The firm also offers services designed to reduce the risks and costs associated with litigation, compliance audits and risks assessments, to identify potential weak spots and areas of vulnerability upfront.

Saving data when it's not needed is not only expensive it can pose the risk of damaging revelations during the discovery phase of litigation. Warner Norcross has developed a proprietary database with requirements on when data should be saved that allows it to quickly and accurately create record retention schedules tailored specifically for a business.

"Data is the lifeblood of any business, but unmanaged data becomes clutter – or, worse still, a liability," Ward says.  "With more than 190 billion e-mails being sent globally every business day, companies are generating data at an ever-accelerating pace.  Without the proper controls in place, the exposure – and the expense – of poor data management can be a huge drain on a business."

Source: Warner Norcross & Judd

Lawbooks. Photo Copyright Lane Erickson
Paper work. Photo copyright Cathy Yeulet

Three new employees join Kellogg Community Federal Credit Union

Jerry T. Pawlowicz, Christopher Merrill, and Calvin Ernsberger have recently become the newest team members in Investment Services for Kellogg Community Federal Credit Union.

They will work with Anthony Colmeni of the KCFCU Investment Services Team.

Pawlowicz is now an Investment Services Financial Consultant for KCFCU and he has eight years financial advisory experience.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Miami University and his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago. Pawlowicz will work individually with KCFCU members, educating them on the best financial options available to them in the current marketplace.

He also enjoys coaching youth basketball and golf, engaging in various charities, and is active in outdoor activities with his wife and three children.

Christopher Merrill also joins the KCFCU team as an Investment Services Financial Consultant. He has previous experience in both the banking and financial industries. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Finance from Albion College.

Merrill says: "My position as a Financial Consultant will allow me to work in the field I love while making a positive impact on our member’s lives. It doesn’t get much better than that."

He is a big soccer fan, and is  married to his high school sweetheart.

Calvin R. Ernsberger, is now a KCFCU Investment Services Sales Assistant. He has five years of credit union financial experience in a variety of roles including Member Service Representative and Loan Processor.

Ernsberger is in the process of finalizing his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Finance from Robert B. Miller College.  

"I believe our members deserve the tools and knowledge to control their own financial destiny," says Ernsberger.  "With this in mind, it is my number one goal to open the eyes of our members to the benefits we (KCFCU) can provide to them."

Source: Kellogg Community Federal Credit Union

Three health care providers join Borgess

The Borgess health care staff is growing again regionally as Borgess Family & Internal Medicine in Battle Creek, Borgess ProMed Physicians Pediatrics in Richland have added doctors, and Borgess Internal Medicine has added a physician assistant.

Rumana Yunus, MD, is now part of Borgess Family & Internal Medicine at its new location in Borgess Health Park. She specializes in primary care, diagnosis and internal medicine. 

She comes to Battle Creek from Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. There she was a family medicine resident and a former house physician in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Yunus completed her medical residency in family practice at Lutheran Medical Center. She is also a graduate of Dhaka Medical College in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She is board certified with the American Heart Association.

"Borgess has a strong primary care physician base in the region," says Dr. Yunus. "I look forward to continuing its solid reputation as a holistic, high-performance regional care health system that connects and partners with patients in health for their life’s journey."

Ashley E. Diehl, MD, has joined Borgess ProMed Physicians Pediatrics in Richland. Dr. Diehl is a clinical instructor of pediatrics in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University. She is also a clinical instructor of pediatrics and human development in MSU’s College of Human Medicine. 

Dr. Diehl got her medical education at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine in Saint Maarten, Netherlands Antilles. She completed her pediatrics residency in The Children’s Hospital at Bronson Healthcare in Kalamazoo.

Dr. Diehl is board certified in Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and is a neonatal resuscitation provider.

Certified physician assistant Shawn Bahleda is now working with Borgess Internal Medicine in Kalamazoo.

Bahleda most recently served as a hospitalist physician assistant with Borgess Inpatient Services at Borgess Medical Center. He also was a gynecological physician assistant with Planned Parenthood: Kalamazoo Health Center.

Bahleda graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences, and a Master of Science in Medicine-Physician Assistant Program.

He is certified by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants, and is a fellow member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

All three are accepting new patients.

Source: Michael Smith, Borgess

Wightman & Associates, Inc. adds three to professional staff

The civil engineering, architectural, and survey firm Wightman & Associates Inc. has grown is staff of professionals by three. The new employees are:

Brian Barber of South Bend, Ind., has joined the survey department. Barber earned an Associate Degree in Science in Surveying Technology from Vincennes University in Vincennes, Ind. He comes to Wightman with two years of past survey experience. Barber also works out of Wightman’s Benton Harbor office, where he serves as drafting and project manager.

Jeff Landers of Jenison has joined Wightman’s Portage office. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. He has 14 years of engineering experience. Landers specializes in water and wastewater treatment systems.

Jamie Balkin of Coloma is serving the new director of marketing for the company’s three offices in Benton Harbor, Allegan and Portage. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She brings 18 years of past experience to her new role.

Wightman & Associates Inc. has been serving Southwest Michigan and Northern Indiana since 1946 with offices in Benton Harbor, Portage, and Allegan.

Source: Jamie Balkin, Wightman & Associates Inc.

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
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