People in the News: April 25, 2022

Here are the MiBiz People in the report of April 25, 2022


  • Grand Rapids-based health plan Health priority named Shannon Wilson as Senior Vice President of Population Health and Health Equity. After serving as Vice President of State Markets for Priority, East, Wilson will be responsible for quality improvement in the company’s Medicare, Medicaid, commercial and individual business segments. She will also oversee the health plan’s population health and health equity strategy while maintaining her position as chief executive of the Total Health Care Foundation, which formed in 2020 in partnership with the Children’s Foundation. Wilson previously served as executive director of the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute, vice president of the Alliance for Health and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.


  • Lakeshore Advantage Corp. President Jennifer Owen was named one of the top 50 economic developers in North America in a list compiled this month by national consulting firm Consultant Connect. The Top 50 Professionals were selected through peer nominations for their excellent practices, innovation and success in building the communities they serve. Owens will be featured on Consultant Connect’s social media for her success with the Zeeland-based economic development corporation, which serves Ottawa and Allegan counties.
  • the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce appointed Attah Obande as vice president of business and talent development. In this new role, Obande will oversee the leadership of business growth initiatives as well as the development, inclusion and business services teams and programs. Obande previously served as Director of Dream Fulfillment at SpringGR, where he oversaw the Entrepreneur Development Program which aims to develop the intellectual, social and financial capital of entrepreneurs with limited access to resources.


  • Food solutions company Spartan Nash Co. recently appointed two new vice presidents to oversee information technology and business strategy. Yu Ying Seah has been named vice president of global IT applications, where he will develop and lead the enterprise application roadmap and oversee the delivery of enterprise system initiatives, including its conceptualization, execution and maintenance. Prior to joining SpartanNash, Seah served as Senior Director of IT Applications at SC Johnson for five years. Seah holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the National University of Singapore. He has lived and worked all over the world, including the United States, Chile, Spain, the Netherlands, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia. The company also named this month Pierre Anjorin as Vice President of Strategy and Business Development to drive strategic planning and growth initiatives and play a key role in mergers and acquisitions. Anjorin previously spent 13 years in a similar role at Whirlpool Corp. and led product strategy for the company’s North American refrigeration business. Anjorin earned an MBA from Western Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Calvin University.


  • Native to western Michigan Erin Murphy was promoted from Marketing Manager to Marketing Director at West Michigan Tourism Association, effective in June. Murphy holds communications and business degrees from Hope College and has previously worked with the Alzheimer’s Association and Walk to End Alzheimer’s events throughout the region.
  • Grand Rapids Branding and Digital Marketing Agency The Image Shoppe Ltd. named Julius Rogers as Director of Business Development and Claire Bennett as a traffic coordinator as part of the company’s expansion. Rogers spent more than a decade of his career in banking and digital marketing driving growth for B2B and B2C businesses, while Bennett previously worked in marketing for a cannabis company.


  • United Federal Credit Union named Dave Satek as Commercial Lending Manager in Southwest Michigan. Satek will be responsible for providing business lending expertise through financial advice and product awareness to help credit union members. It will also generate investment-grade business loans by accepting loan applications in support of United’s loan growth objectives. Since 2015, Satek has focused on banking solutions for business owners in Southwest Michigan and has over 35 years of experience in commercial and mortgage lending. Satek holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Dominican University.


  • Daniel Schoonmaker is one of many new appointees to the Michigan Community Service Commission. A Grand Rapids political independent, Schoonmaker was appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to represent experts in the delivery of human, educational, environmental and public safety services to communities. He will serve the commission between March 18 and October 1. Schoonmaker is also executive director of the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Aquinas College.


  • Western Michigan University named Dr. Remzi Seker as the next Vice President for Research and Innovation effective July 1, pending Board approval. Seker is currently vice president of research and doctoral programs at Florida-based Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, which has seen 52% growth in externally funded research spending over the past three fiscal years. Seker is an expert in aviation and aerospace cybersecurity and has helped launch several related programs at Embry-Riddle. Seker has previously held faculty positions at the University of Arkansas, Texas Tech University, and the University of Alabama.


  • From Grand Rapids Todd Sytsma was promoted to director of Kawasaki engines‘ Original equipment manufacturing department. In this role, Sytsma will lead Kawasaki customers in commercial and residential landscaping equipment, light industrial and other US markets. He joined the team, which has a factory in Cascade Township near Grand Rapids, in 2016 as sales manager and was later promoted to head of the OEM department in 2020. Sytsma will continue to oversee the operations of the department and provide guidance to team sales managers, administrators and coordinators.


  • Affinity Mentoringwhich provides one-on-one mentoring to students at Grand Rapids Public Schools and Godfrey-Lee Public Schools, named Sharalle Ankrah as the new CEO. Ankrah has served as an educator at GRPS charter schools and director of after-school programs in addition to leading other mentoring organizations. Originally from Detroit, Ankrah graduated from Grand Valley State University in English for Secondary Education.

— Compiled by Hannah Brock and Andy Balaskovitz

Meijer exec Behler steps up to VP at GVSU

Lsince a long time Meijer Inc. Leader Stacie Behler is transitioning from public affairs and private sector communications to higher education.

Effective July 1, Behler will be Grand Valley State University‘s new Vice President and Director of Public Affairs and Communications as well as Secretary of the GVSU Board of Directors.

Behler will step down as group vice president of public affairs and communications at Meijer, where she spent more than 20 years. At Meijer, Behler also served as senior legal counsel. Behler also previously served as executive director of the Meijer Foundationwhere she advised the Meijer family in their philanthropic endeavours.

For Behler, her new role isn’t a drastic change, but rather a new way to connect with her community.

“These skills and the network I’ve created will translate and translate pretty well to my work at Grand Valley,” Behler said. “I can help tell the stories of faculty, students, families and (the) community impacted by Grand Valley – much like (how) I was able to participate in telling stories about clients, members of the team and the community for Meijer.”

Getting into higher education is a dream come true for Behler, who earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois and a bachelor’s degree from Oakland University. As a first-generation student who has been employed since the age of 14, Behler’s personal goal is to have a positive effect on GVSU students in the same way others have had. on his career.

“My goal would be to look back on the length of my career at Grand Valley and feel like I was able to impact students like I was a long time ago and getting into college feels possible, real and achievable,” Behler said. .

— Reported by Hannah Brock

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