Ann Arbor SPARK Announces New Board of Directors, Executive Committee

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Contact: Elizabeth Parkinson


At its annual meeting, Ann Arbor SPARK, the driving force of business expansion, attraction and retention in the region, recently elected its board of directors and executive committee for 2010-2011.  The annual meeting also served as a celebration of Ann Arbor SPARK’s fifth year assisting in the creation of economic opportunities throughout the region and state.
“Over the last five years, Ann Arbor SPARK has generated significant, positive results for our region through programs to attract, retain and grow businesses and talent,” said Michael A. Finney, CEO.  “As we continue to serve as a catalyst for economic opportunities in the region, Ann Arbor SPARK’s board of directors plays an important role in supporting our work through their ideas, connections and guidance.”
New members to the Ann Arbor SPARK board of directors are Dr. Susan W. Martin, president, Eastern Michigan University, and John Hieftje, mayor, City of Ann Arbor.  New to the Ann Arbor SPARK executive committee are Elliot Forsyth, senior vice president, human resources and operations, ProQuest, JanGarfinkle, managing director, Arboretum Ventures, Leigh R. Greden, executive director of government and community relations, Eastern Michigan University, Verna McDaniel, Washtenaw County administrator, Michael Staebler, attorney at law, Pepper Hamilton LLP, and Maria Thompson, local entrepreneur who was most recently president of A123’s Ann Arbor operations.  

Ann Arbor SPARK also announced the 2010 officers at its annual meeting. Stephen Forrest, vice president for research, University of Michigan is board chairman.  Tim Marshall, president and CEO, Bank of Ann Arbor, is vice chairman. David Parsigian, partner, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP will serve as the board of directors’ secretary.  Laurel Champion, executive vice president, was selected as treasurer of the board of directors.  

Additional members on the Ann Arbor SPARK board of directors are:
•   Albert M. Berriz, CEO, McKinley
•   Dr. Mary Sue Coleman, president, University of Michigan
•   Michael A. Finney, CEO, Ann Arbor SPARK
•   Robert E. Guenzel, retired Washtenaw County Administrator
•   Charles Gulash, vice president, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing
•   Jonathan S. Newpol, executive vice president, Thomson Reuters
•   Dr. Roger S. Newton, president and CEO, Esperion Therapeutics, Inc.
•   Richard B. Sheridan, president and CEO, Menlo Innovations LLC
•   Dr. Larry Whitworth, president, Washtenaw Community College
Additional members of the Ann Arbor SPARK executive committee are:
•   Paul Dimond, senior counsel, Miller Canfield
•   Gretchen Driskell, mayor, City of Saline
•   Michael A. Finney, CEO, Ann Arbor SPARK
•   Kenneth C. Fischer, president, University of Michigan’s University Musical Society
•   Roger Fraser, administrator, City of Ann Arbor
•   Michael Korybalski, SmartZone LDFA
•   Bhushan Kulkarni, chairman of the board, GDI Infotech, Inc.
•   Trevor F. Lauer, vice president of marketing, DTE Energy
•   Dr. David E. Mielke, dean, College of Business, Eastern Michigan University
•   Bill Milliken, president, Milliken Realty Company
•   Kenneth Nisbet, executive director, University of Michigan Tech Transfer
•   Mark Ouimet, Washtenaw County Commissioner
•   Dr. Edward D. Pagani, vice president and general manager, Beckman Coulter Molecular Diagnostics
•   Rick Snyder, CEO and co-founder, Ardesta, LLC

Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization, is the driving force in establishing the Ann Arbor region as a destination for business expansion, retention, and location by identifying and meeting the needs of business at every stage, from startups to large organizations. Ann Arbor SPARK represents all communities in the Washtenaw County. Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic, government, and community investor partners including the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, Michigan Works!/ETCS, Washtenaw County, the City of Ann Arbor, the Bank of Ann Arbor and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. For more information, please call (734) 761-9317 or visit

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