Join us at the beautiful Performing Arts Center at Hastings High School for an informative and inspiring afternoon focusing on all things Economic Development in Barry County! The topic of 'Culture As A Competitive Advantage' will be the keynote focus of the event.
A keynote presentation by DISHER Founder and President Jeff Disher titled "Building A Thriving Culture By Design" will be followed by a discussion focusing on first-hand experiences and best practices from a diverse panel of leaders in the 'culture space' regionally and locally:
- Jeff Disher, Founder & President at DISHER in Zeeland, Ann Arbor, and Indianapolis
- Chad Lundquist, Lean/CI Manager and Foundations Champion at Flexfab, HQ in Hastings
- Michael McKeown, Partner and Ashley Lantinga, Director of Culture at McKeown & Kraai Professional CPAs in Middleville
- Jeff Shingler, Vice President of Employee Experience at CMS Energy Corp/Consumers Energy
- Rachel Bartels, Executive Director of Hello West Michigan in Grand Rapids
The 2020 Economic Forecast will be presented by Jim Robey, the Director of Regional Development at the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
Barry County Economic Development Alliance staff will present brief snapshots of current and upcoming activities of the EDA, including business retention & expansion, capacity-building throughout the county and workforce development.
Signature Sponsor: Consumer's Energy Gold Sponsor: West Michigan Works! Silver Sponsors: Hastings Mutual Insurance Company, Highpoint Community Bank, Spectrum Health Pennock Bronze Sponsors: Edward Jones-Andrew Cove, Greenridge Realty Hastings, Miller Real Estate, Thornapple Credit Union Economic Development Partners: Bradford White Corporation, Commercial Bank, Chemical Bank, TnR Machine, Highpoint Community Bank
About Our Speakers: Jim Robey, PH.D.: Jim's research and technical assistance on economic issues and in economic and workforce development has assisted corporate, nonprofit, and economic and workforce development entities in problem resolution and strategic decision making, from the local to the national levels. Spanning more than three decades, his expertise includes industry studies, applied occupational analysis economic impact modeling and analysis, economic and workforce development research and analysis, and site selection assistance. Prior to joining Upjohn, Jim was an Associate Vice-President with Southwest Michigan First in Kalamazoo, where he directed local economic development efforts in Marshall.
Jeff Disher:Jeff founded DISHER with extensive product development and leadership experience in program management, product design, manufacturing, quality, training, and organizational development. As a business owner for almost 20 years, Jeff is a humble leader who has been intentional about building a healthy culture that creates positive Ripples of Influence. He is passionate about providing an exceptional customer experience with every touch point in the process. Jeff believes that in addition to great talent, a great attitude is the most important characteristic a team member can have. In fact, since day one, Jeff has been committed to living out the company mission which is to Make a Positive Difference in the world around us. Jeff and his 140-member team work hard every day to accomplish this with customers, coworkers, and communities. He often shares with others that building a culture of high-performance inspires innovative solutions for customers and a high-level of engagement with team members.
Michael McKeown: Michael was born into the accounting industry. He is the youngest son of Scott & Deb McKeown, who founded the MKPCPA in 1985. Michael has been with the firm since 2013 and a partner since 2016. Though he enjoys working with clients in all aspects of the accounting world, building relationships and helping entrepreneurs develop a better understanding of their business is where he finds most fulfillment. His passion for helping our clients achieve their dreams grew from a lifetime of working on the family farm
Ashley Lantinga:Ashley joined the MKP team in 2012 and serves as the firm's Director of Culture and Relations. In her role, she enjoys her daily interaction with clients, as well as supporting and building up the MKP team. Ashley is also their biggest champion of firm culture. She truly believes that the culture of your company can shape the determination of the team. She most enjoys organizing MKP social events and sharing her love of MKP with the community.
Chad Lundquist: Chad was born and currently resides in Hastings, Michigan. A 2004 graduate of Western Michigan University with a degree in Human Resource Management, he's had the great pleasure of working at Flexfab for the past 23 years in multiple roles including shop floor builder, production assistant, supervisor, production manager, materials manager and now Continuous Improvement Manager. Chad received my lean manufacturing and office certificates this year from the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center. Chad is a core member and developer of the Flexfab Foundations classes and is DiSC behavioral assessment certified which he uses to teach the company's leadership class and lead their continuous improvement efforts using the Toyota Kata methodology.
Jeffrey Shingler: Jeff is Vice President of Employee Experience for CMS Energy Corporation and its principal subsidiary, Consumers Energy. He was named to this position in 2019. Shingler is responsible for delivering an exceptional employee experience in “people” processes, progressive salaried and union workforce relations, and talent acquisition and training. Shingler previously served as Executive Director, Low Voltage Distribution East and Electric Meter Operations. His leadership yielded performance improvements in storm restoration and customer-committed projects. Working alongside Utility Workers Union of America representatives, he led electric field employee performance improvements. He also established leadership and safety training programs and enhanced processes, procedures and standards. Previously, Shingler was Consumers Energy’s Executive Director of Business Services. In this role, he oversaw fleet, facilities, real estate and corporate security functions. During his tenure, the company established a 15-year strategic facilities plan and constructed several facilities, including the John G. Russell Leadership Center in Grand Rapids, Mich., the Consumers Energy Innovation Center in Jackson, Mich. and several field service centers. Shingler joined Consumers Energy in 2001 as Fleet Supervisor. His leadership in fostering union partnerships enhanced the company’s safety culture program and helped drive top-decile safety performance. Shingler holds a bachelor’s degree in construction management from Eastern Michigan University and is a Certified Utility Safety Professional (CUSP).
Rachel Bartels: Rachel is the Executive Director of Hello West Michigan - a talent attraction and retention organization promoting West Michigan as a great place to live and work. The organization, which helps member companies increase their rate of success in recruiting top talent, was the first organization of its kind in the country. In her role, Rachel leads the organization’s strategy, operations, and membership. She helps educate employers and prospective candidates about the region. Rachel started with Hello West Michigan as Program Manager in 2013, handling the marketing, communication, and internship program. Besides teaching the basics of digital marketing and integrated communications to interns, she enjoyed the process of preparing her interns for the transition from student to young professional. Rachel was named one of Corp! Magazine’s Most Valuable Millennials in 2015, Grand Rapids Business Journal 40 Under 40 in 2018, and a finalist for the EPIC Emerging Leader of the Year in 2018. Outside the office, Rachel’s work with students includes guest lecturing for resume workshops and teaching dining etiquette. She is a member of the Association of Corporate Growth ACG Cup Planning Committee, a business case competition for students giving them real world pitch experience and connecting them with companies.
*** Additional information about the program and speakers will be posted as it is available***
Economic Development Pathfinder Partner
Economic Development Emerging Leader Partner
Date and Time
Wednesday Nov 6, 2019 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM EST
Hastings High School Performing Arts Center
520 W. South St.
Hastings, MI 49058
$20 for Barry County Chamber of Commerce members
$30 for non-Chamber members
includes light refreshments