The TechTown Detroit business center announced this week that eight new members have been appointed to its Board of Directors.
The new board members started in December, and they hold positions in the community as business executives, educational leaders and small business owners. The new members will work on the organization’s three-year strategic plan, which was introduced in the fall.
“We’re going to implement this plan, which includes strengthening the impact,” said Ned Staebler, president and CEO of TechTown Detroit. “It involves making more people aware of what we do.” He stated that there is also an internal goal to continue improving the work culture.
Here are the new board members:
- Ali Abolmaali, dean of the Wayne State University College of Engineering.
- Ben Bernstein, director of Beringea.
- Matt Bower, partner at Varnum Law.
- Michael Cole, president of Bank of Ann Arbor’s Technology Industry Group.
- Gwen Jimmere, CEO of Naturalicious Beauty Products and Good Hair Bar Salon & Spa.
- Virginia Kleist, dean of Wayne State University’s Mike Ilitch School of Business.
- Michael Sappington, vice president of Care Delivery and president and CEO of TRIARQ Health.
- Valencia Stoudamire, vice president of provider diversity at Henry Ford Health.
Jamila Thompson, Business Consulting Partner at EY, has been appointed as the Chair of the TechTown Executive Committee for a second term.
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Staebler said the new board members were chosen for several reasons.
“First of all, we have a common goal to make sure that our board, and our executive committee, and our staff, and the customers that we serve and our vendors are all representative of the city and the community,” he said.
He said TechTown looked at the skills. This group, he says, comes to the table with legal knowledge, banking experience, access to venture capital, early stage investors and entrepreneurship.
Staebler said the program has turned into a proactive approach during the pandemic. The organization plans to expand its geographic impact and host a variety of programs over the next few years.
TechTown supports small businesses and startups with resources, workshops and education. It was founded in 2000 by Wayne State University, Henry Ford Health System and General Motors and became a nonprofit in 2004, according to its website.
TechTown also recently sent out applications for its annual Retail Boot Camp, a 12-week program that helps business owners prepare to open a brick-and-mortar location. The application deadline is February 3rd.