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Skillman Corp. hires project engineer

Nate Preston has joined the Skillman Corp's Kalamazoo office as a project engineer.

He has most recently worked for Turner Construction Co. and Birchwood Construction Co.

The Michigan native says he is happy to be back after years of working in Arizona and California.

Preston is a graduate of Ferris State University in Big Rapids and has a Master of Science Design-Build from Auburn University in Alabama.

Skillman Corp. provides project administration and construction management services including construction management, design/build, facility studies, owner technical representative, project administration, and more.

Source: Skillman Corp.

United Federal Credit Union promotes two

United Federal Credit Union has moved two of its employees.

Carly McNeilus has been named Director of eCommerce Sales and Marketing and  Nithida Somsanith has been appointed to the position of Products Marketing Manager at United Federal Credit Union in St. Joseph.

McNeilus will lead the staff as it revamps ways members interact with the credit union digitally. She will lead them as they prioritizes, design, and develop new digital connections. She also will direct changes in existing interactions.

She will oversee selection, quality assurance, and implementation of new technology solutions and will be responsible for growing sales and improving service levels for web- and mobile channel-derived business and transactions.

McNeilus was previously eCommerce Technology Manager in the UFCU Information Technology Department. There she was responsible for day-to-day operations of digital electronic channels including web; mobile; apps, and other integrated systems, and directing the implementation of technology solutions to help enable the credit union's strategic goals.  

McNeilus’ previous experience includes marketing and consumer relations positions in Southwest Michigan and Northwest Indiana.

A Southwest Michigan native, McNeilus earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Arts and Sciences from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.  She lives with her family in Niles.

Somsanith will lead the pricing, promotion and life cycle management of UFCU products. Somsanith was previously a Business Products Specialist with UFCU. She designed, developed, implemented, and managed business products and services to meet the long-range strategic objectives and financial targets of the credit union.

Somsanith’s previous experience includes management, consulting, marketing and business development positions with The Pure Pantry, Kiran Analytics, Charter One Bank and Chase.

A St. Joseph native, Somsanith  earned a bachelor of arts degree in Organizational Studies from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and a Masters of Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from the University of California at San Diego. She lives in St. Joseph.

United Federal Credit Union has more than 130,000 members worldwide, and manages assets in excess of $1.83 billion. Its corporate offices and main branch are located in St. Joseph and it has other branches in Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, and Ohio.

United Federal Credit Union

Four new team members join Wightman & Associates

The team of service providers at Wightman & Associates has grown by four. A new CADD drafter, an engineer, and two engineer's in training are now working for the civil engineering, architectural, and survey firm.

Joining the survey department as a CADD drafter in the Benton Harbor office is Shawn Howell, of South Bend, Ind. He earned an associate degree in Industrial Technology from Lake Michigan College and brings 15 years of drafting and design experience to the company.

Anna Keehn of Gobles has joined the Benton Harbor office as an engineer in training. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University where she earned a bachelor of science degree in Civil Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. She has background in water system infrastructure and road design.

Veronica Maslanka of Fennville has also joined the Benton Harbor office as an engineer in training. She earned a bachelor of science degree in Civil Engineering with a minor in Mathematics from WMU and an associate in science degree from Lake Michigan College. She has background in road design and transportation planning.

The engineering team in the Portage office has expanded to include Paul Schram of Portage. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Western Michigan University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from the University of Michigan. He brings to his new role five years of design experience.  His engineering school focus was in structural and traffic design.

Wightman & Associates, Inc. is a civil engineering, architectural, and survey firm that has been serving Southwest Michigan and Northern Indiana since 1946 with offices in Benton Harbor, Portage, and Allegan.

Source: Jamie Balkin, Wightman & Associates, Inc.


Ice bucket results: Bronson uses new technology to treat ALS patients

Remember when everyone from celebrities to your next door neighbor was dumping ice buckets over their heads to support the ALS Association?

Those who were part of the ice bucket challenge helped make possible a new system that connects specialists at Bronson Methodist Hospital and ALS patients in remote and underserved communities in northern Michigan.

The ALS Association Michigan Chapter and the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Family Foundation also made possible the use of the JEMS Technology Telehealth System.

Medical professionals can send live streaming video to a specialty physician via an iPhone, iPad or Android-based phone or tablet using the JEMS Telehealth System. The specialist will be able to review the video on their smart device in real time and respond with medical advice.

Kevin Lasser, president of JEMS Technology, based in Orion, Mich., says the system is "the conduit that enables physicians and specialists to deliver expert care in a way that's convenient for patients and their caregivers."

Dustin Nowacek, MD, Bronson Methodist Hospital's medical director for neuromuscular services and neurodiagnostics, explains the impact of the technology: "Telemedicine will give ALS patients in northern Michigan -- and several other rural areas across the country -- access to the multidisciplinary clinic approach to ALS care, which in itself has been shown to improve ALS care."

ALS patients and their caregivers have to travel to several specialists to receive all of the care that is required to combat the full-body, degenerative nature of the disease, says  Paula Morning,  executive director of the ALS Association Michigan Chapter.

"Telemedicine allows the ALS patient a unique opportunity to become educated about their disease and receive uncompromised care through face-to-face interaction with experts across all domains of care," says Morning. "Recent donations to the ALS Association made it possible for Bronson to use the JEMS Telehealth System; those who participated in the ice bucket challenge this summer made this patient care possible."

Source: JEMS Technology

Angela Crawford is new retail training coach for KCFCU

Angie Crawford has been hired as the new retail training coach for Kellogg Community Federal Credit Union (KCFCU).

Crawford has more than 10 years experience in training and development in the communications industry.  At KCFCU she will train staff to find innovative ways to provide service to credit union members.

“I believe that serving our members is about the experience,” says Crawford. “How we do what we do for our members is what matters. I want our members to have an exceptional service experience at KCFCU, at every touch point, every time.”

Kellogg Community Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan is a full service financial institution serving people Southwest Michigan. With more than $436 million in assets, KCFCU serves more than 36,000 members and has 10 branches in Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Portage, and Galesburg.

Source: ?Kellogg Community Federal Credit Union

CSM Group hires three new employees

CSM Group recently welcomed these new employees: Jacob Boyd, project engineer; Maloree Brugel, project engineer; and Chris Watts, project manager.

Boyd comes to CSM Group with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Construction Management from Lawrence Technological University, and previously worked for CSM as an intern on the Gift of Life project in Ann Arbor. As a project engineer, he will continue to provide management support on this project and will receive, review, and distribute submittals, shop drawings, and keep accurate and updated construction documents.

Brugel, who has a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Ferris State University, will be working in CSM’s Healthcare market segment. She will work on the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Health Focused Campus in downtown Kalamazoo, where she will provide assistance and support to the project managers and project coordinators.

Watts comes to CSM with 12 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, and will assist in supporting and strengthening CSM’s Advanced Technologies market segment. Recently, he worked as a project/manufacturing engineer at JB Laboratories/Perrigo Company in Holland.

Source: Sarah Lettow, CMS

Armune BioScience closes on $2.5 million round of financing

Armune BioScience, Inc. has completed its first round of financing, bringing in $2.5 million.

Financing will go toward the launch of the new test for prostate cancer developed by the company. Apifiny is a non-PSA blood test to aid in the early detection of prostate cancer.

Outgoing President and CEO Eli L. Thomssen says the test is already getting attention from urologists and the company is pleased with the financial support it has received.

Thomssen will now become the Chief Business Officer for the company. In his new role, he will focus on key business development initiatives and raising additional funding to support Armune BioScience.

The company says Thomssen will work to speed up progress on key milestones with existing tech partners and continue to work with strategic partners to support the company’s long-term growth. Thomssen has more than 40 years of business development experience in the life sciences field.

Stepping into the President and CEO spot for the company is David A. Esposito. He joined the Armune BioScience in June 2014 to create a  commercial strategy for Apifiny and expand the company’s sales and marketing efforts.

Board Chairman Donald R. Parfet says, “We are excited to have David assume the CEO role at the Company. His extensive experience in the industry will serve our commercialization efforts very well.”

Armune BioScience, Inc., was founded by the Apjohn Group, LLC, a business accelerator built by experienced health-care executives that brings together management talent and angel and seed financing, and a group of experienced life science professionals. Armune, incorporated as a Delaware Corporation, has its corporate headquarters in Kalamazoo, and a research and commercial laboratory facility in Ann Arbor. It is a medical diagnostics company formed to develop and commercialize unique proprietary technology exclusively licensed from the University of Michigan for diagnostic and prognostic tests for prostate, lung and breast cancers.

Source: Armune BioScience, Inc.


TowerPinkster adds employee and promotes another

TowerPinkster, a local architecture and engineering firm has announced a new hire, the promotion of an employee and a Revit architectural certification.

Kelsey Pitschel has recently been hired to support TowerPinkster’s continued growth in West Michigan.

Pitschel has joined TowerPinkster’s mechanical engineering team as an intern. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Western Michigan University.

Bjorn Green has been appointed senior principal of the firm and has been with TowerPinkster for eight years. He was also recently nominated to serve on TowerPinkster’s board of directors. Green provides an expertise in master planning and also leads TowerPinkster’s business development efforts. He is an Associate of the American Institute of Architects.

Jennifer Swan, a project coordinator at TowerPinkster for 15 years, has completed the Autodesk Certification Program and became a Certified Revit Professional; a certification proving proficiency with the architect industry’s most widely used software programs. Swan is also certified by the American Association of Independent Architects.

TowerPinkster has offices in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. Recent work includes projects for Spectrum Health, Western Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Kalamazoo Public Schools, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Kent County, Kalamazoo County and the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

Source: TowerPinkster

Yeo & Yeo names David T. Jewell as principal

David T. Jewell, CPA, has been promoted to the position of principal at Yeo & Yeo.

Jewell has more than 12 years of tax, accounting and business consulting experience. He started with the firm in 2008.

He co-leads of the firm’s Tax Services Group and is a member of Yeo & Yeo’s Health Care Reform, State and Local Tax, and Agribusiness teams.

Jewell’s areas of expertise include federal taxation of businesses, individual tax planning and preparation, small business start-ups and business succession planning. He presents tax seminars and writes tax articles for publication.

He is based in the firm’s Kalamazoo office.

Source: Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants

Perrigo hires Kelley Brassard

Kelley Brassard has been hired as Store Brand Marketing Manager for Perrigo in Allegan.

She will be responsible for managing diabetes products, especially meter and strip products.

Brassard has nine years of experience with diabetes care products. Much of her experience came while working as a national account manager for global health care drug and product manufacturers.   

Brassard earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Western Michigan University.  She is from Mattawan and currently lives in Paw Paw.

Source: Perrigo

Where to find an internship for summer 2015

There may be snow on the ground but for those hoping to obtain summer internships now is the time to act. This week the companies participating in the Monroe-Brown Internship Program were announced.

In 2015, there will be 26 participating companies offering a total of 33 internships.

Currently enrolled college students who wish to obtain real work world experience in engineering, health sciences, information technology, production planning, merchandising, architecture, interior design, human resources, marketing, sales and financial management are welcome to apply.

Once the intern is hired, he or she will work for the company for a minimum of 400 hours between May and September. This is typically full-time for ten weeks, but can be customized to suit the needs of the individual companies and interns.

Throughout the internship, the student will receive hourly wages, valuable networking opportunities and applied career experience, according to Southwest Michigan First.

Some interns have gone on to be hired by participating companies into full-time positions upon graduation. The internship program provides $3,000 in scholarship funding for college and an hourly wage paid by the employer.

Applications can be found hereThe full list of companies offering Monroe-Brown internships for 2015 can be found here.

The program is open to incoming juniors, seniors and graduate students at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, Davenport University (Kalamazoo Campus only), Michigan State University, University of Michigan and second-year students at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Students attending Michigan State University and University of Michigan must have graduated from a high school in the greater Kalamazoo area.  

Ron Kitchens, chief executive officer of Southwest Michigan First, says  finding and keeping talent is the priority of the region’s top companies. They know that internships are one of the best ways to locate and develop it.

“Our hope is that this year’s interns, like many of our past ones, use this opportunity to find a path to their future employment,” says Robert M. Brown, president of the Monroe-Brown Foundation.

Source: Petey Stephanak, Southwest Michigan First

Bronson Healthcare adds doctor and nurse practitioner

Bronson Healthcare welcomes the following new providers:

Madala Chandramouli, M.D., has joined the team at Bronson Cardiology Specialists – Battle Creek. Chandramouli is board certified in cardiovascular disease and internal medicine. He has been in private practice in Battle Creek since 1995.

Chandramouli completed his residency in internal medicine at Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago and his internship at Government General Hospital in Baltimore, Md. He received his medical degree from Guntur Medical College in Guntur, India. 

Bronson Neuroscience Center – Kalamazoo has welcomed Allison Teagan, NP, to its team. Teagan previously worked as an RN in the neurovascular unit at Bronson Methodist Hospital. She is now a nurse practitioner with the Bronson Neuroscience Center neurosurgery team.

Teagan received her Master of Science in Nursing from Michigan State University, East Lansing. and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids.

Source: Carolyn Wyllie, Bronson Healthcare

Wightman & Associates, Inc. team grows by four

The civil engineering, architectural, and survey firm, Wightman & Associates Inc., has added four members to its professional team. They are:

Joseph Mehrtens, S.I.T. of Zeeland has joined Wightman’s Allegan office. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Surveying Engineering from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. He brings four years of experience to the position and is serving as Survey Crew Chief.

Brian Goodrich of Buchanan has joined Wightman’s Benton Harbor office as a drafter in the survey department. He brings 16 years of past experience to his new role.

Kevan Newman of Lake Leelanau has joined Wightman’s Portage office as a Survey Crew Chief in the survey department. He brings 25 years of past experience to his new role.

Colleen Root of Kalamazoo is serving as the office manager for the firm’s Portage location. She brings 10 years of customer service and administrative 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: Wightman & Associates, Inc.

Ian Kennedy is new partner at Warner Norcross & Judd

Warner Norcross & Judd, a corporate law firm with 230 attorneys practicing in eight offices throughout Michigan, has a new partner in its Kalamazoo office. Ian R. Kennedy has joined the firm. He specializes in general corporate law, employment and real estate law, and estate planning.

He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and is president-elect of the Kalamazoo County Bar Association. He serves on the board of Community Advocates Pooled Trust Committee and is a past board member of Friends of Parks and Recreation, Michigan Works! Kalamazoo/St. Joseph, and the Kalamazoo Public Library. He has been named a Rising Star by Michigan Super Lawyers Magazine.

Kennedy received his bachelor’s degree from Alma College and earned his law degree from the University of Notre Dame cum laude.

A native of Traverse City, Kennedy now lives in Kalamazoo with his wife, Sarah, and their four children.

Warner Norcross & Judd

Borgess Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine adds two doctors

Two doctors -- Mamoun Abdoh, MD, and Elizabeth Kluka, DO -- have joined the team at Borgess Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine that treats conditions of the lungs and respiratory system and those suffering from sleep disorders.

Dr. Abdoh comes to Borgess from John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County in Chicago, where he was a pulmonary and critical care fellow in the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine.

He completed his residency in internal medicine from the Michigan State University/Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies, and received his medical degree from Damascus University in Damascus, Syria.

Dr. Abdoh is a member of professional and society organizations, including the American Thoracic Society, American College of Chest Physicians, and the American College of Physician.

Dr. Kluka comes to Borgess from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where she was a pulmonary and critical care medicine fellow.

She completed her residency in internal medicine from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Dr. Kluka received her medical degree from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Midwestern University, where she also served as a physiology, immunology and microbiology instructor.

She also conducted clinical research on interstitial lung disease, as well as on pulmonary physiology, at the National Jewish Research and Medical Center in Denver.

Drs. Abdoh and Kluka are both accepting new patients.

Source: Borgess
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