Photo of Kristina Bee
Database Analyst Intermediate

Biographical Info

Kristina joined the BEC with a background in data technology, fundraising and program management. For eight years, she worked at the U-M Center for the Education of Women in the finance, development and scholarship departments, and provided high level strategy and support for each.

At the BEC, Kristina specializes in data analysis working with the University’s development, research and financial data. She also oversees the BEC budget and Michigan Corporate Relations Network (MCRN) grant.

After earning her B.A. in psychology from the University of Miami (FL), Kristina was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana and a foster care worker in Southeast Michigan. Her unique experience and range of expertise is grounded in using data effectively to accomplish goals.

Photo of Nell Dority
Senior Director

Biographical Info

Nell works as a direct liaison between the business community and the University, identifying corporate partnership opportunities and matching University assets to industry needs.

She comes to the University from Senator Debbie Stabenow’s staff, where she acted as finance director. In that capacity, Nell was responsible for the development, management, and execution of the overall fundraising strategy in Michigan and nationwide. She also built coalitions of regional community leaders interested in strategic economic development, while also managing direct mail and online communications.

Nell earned her B.A. in history from the University of Michigan.

Photo of Amanda Holdsworth
Director of Communications

Biographical Info

Amanda has more than 15 years of experience in public relations and marketing, including 10 years of working in educational communications at various universities and private schools. Her last role in academia was as the executive director of communications and marketing for Cleary University.

As director of communications for the BEC, she is responsible for overseeing and implementing the BEC’s strategic communications plan including the website, social media, public relations, marketing, publications and presentations.

After earning a B.S.B.A. in communications management and honors international studies, Amanda received a master’s degree in strategic public relations from the University of Southern California. She has served on a number of industry boards and committees including the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s (CASE) Commission on Communications and Marketing.

Photo of Olga Kiely
Associate Director

Biographical Info

In her role as associate director at the BEC, Olga serves as a direct liaison between the business community and U-M, identifying corporate partnership opportunities in order to match University assets to industry needs.

Olga came to the BEC with 16 years of experience in sales and marketing, including her most recent position as an inside account manager at ForeSee, where she was responsible for generating new sales opportunities and maintaining client relationships.

She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Russian State Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Photo of Amy Klinke
Director

Biographical Info

Amy joined the University of Michigan in 2008, where she helped found the Center for Entrepreneurship, while working with the BEC to assist small companies and startups get connected to the University of Michigan. In 2015, she joined the BEC full-time to concentrate on expanding her role to more tech companies.

Prior to joining the University, Amy served as the director of community development for the City of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County. In addition to this role, Amy also worked directly for the Washtenaw County Administrator and Board of Commissioners, the Washtenaw Community Health Organization and the Mayor of Ann Arbor. Before moving to Ann Arbor in 2000, Amy conducted post-graduate research in economic development in Zimbabwe.

She received a B.A. in political economy from Hillsdale College and a master’s degree in social work with a concentration in economic and social development from Washington University in 1998.

Photo of Nick Miller
Director

Biographical Info

Nick works as a direct liaison between the business community and the University, identifying corporate partnership opportunities and matching University assets to industry needs.

Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Nick served as the communications director for the Ann Arbor Area Convention & Visitors Bureau for seven years where he supervised the creation of a diverse set of media relations, print, and interactive marketing campaigns.

An Ann Arbor native, Nick earned a B.A. in communications from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business.

Photo of Umesh Patel
Senior Director

Biographical Info

Umesh works as a direct liaison between the business community and the University. In this role, Umesh works closely with automotive, health care, and technology companies to match University assets to industry needs.

Prior to joining the University of Michigan, he was a senior manager with Accenture where he managed business process and information technology change for a diverse group of global 500 clients. He also worked as a project engineer with Westinghouse Electric Corp.

Umesh received a B.S. in electrical engineering from The Ohio State University and an M.B.A. from Carnegie Mellon University.

Photo of Susan Shields
Senior Director

Biographical Info

Susan manages the University’s relationships with approximately 30 key companies that have interactions with multiple units on campus. She works closely with staff and faculty in the schools, colleges, and research centers to match the interests and needs of external partners with the strengths of the University community.

Prior to moving to Michigan, Susan served as director of corporate relations for the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota for 11 years. She has also worked with student recruiting, admissions and advising, alumni relations, and annual giving programs at the University of Minnesota.

Susan received a B.A. in social science and elementary education from Shimer College in Illinois and an M.B.A. in marketing communications from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Photo of Christine Vladu
Administrative Specialist

Biographical Info

Playing an integral role at the Business Engagement Center, Christine assists Executive Director Stella Wixom, Senior Director Susan Shields, and other BEC staff with corporate visits, while overseeing a major corporate research program budget and coordinating special projects and events.

Christine comes to the BEC from the Office of the President, where she served as the assistant to the Special Counsel. Prior to that role, she was the executive secretary for the Office of Research & Sponsored Projects (ORSP) and previously served as the administrative assistant, senior at the BEC from 2009-2012.

She earned an associate’s degree in office administration and an advanced certificate in management supervision from Washtenaw Community College.

Photo of T. Charmayne Wiley
Administrative Assistant

Biographical Info

Charmayne Wiley joined the BEC in January of 2016, providing support to the BEC staff. She comes to BEC with over 12 years of progressive industrial and higher educational administrative experience. Prior to joining the BEC, Charmayne provided executive and student support in the College of Engineering.

She is currently in the process of earning her B.A. in Psychology and African American Studies from the University of Michigan. She is also a Certified Practitioner for Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

Photo of Stella Wixom
Executive Director

Biographical Info

As executive director of the Business Engagement Center, Stella oversees the campus-wide strategy for corporate interactions at the University of Michigan. Stella works as a direct liaison between the business community and the University, identifying corporate partnership opportunities and matching University assets to industry needs.

Before joining the Business Engagement Center, Stella was the national sales director for CFI Group, a customer and employee satisfaction research and consulting firm. Prior to CFI, Stella worked for Nortel Networks. During her tenure in a variety of senior management roles in marketing, sales, and customer satisfaction, she acted as a strategic university team leader and served as corporate liaison to the University of Michigan.

Stella is an alumna of the University of Michigan, where she received a bachelor’s in general studies with a focus on business and communications. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber and is the co-chair of SPARK’s Business Development Committee. Originally from Ann Arbor, Stella spent many years in Tennessee and North Carolina before returning to her roots.