Photo of Kristina Bee
Database Analyst Intermediate Work Phone: 734.615.8394

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 Work Phone: 734.615.8998

Biographical Info

Nell has served as a relationship manager at the Business Engagement Center (BEC) since 2010. In this capacity, she partners with strategic contacts in corporations to find mutually beneficial collaborations between industry and the University of Michigan.

She previously acted as Finance Director for Senator Debbie Stabenow. In that capacity, Nell developed fundraising strategies and built coalitions of state based community leaders interested in strategic economic development.
That experience provided her a strong background to work with the financial services industry, in addition to many other key national companies at the BEC. She serves as the internal liaison and knowledge manager for the Ford School of Public Policy, the Center for the Education of Women, School of Kinesiology, in addition to university priorities such as the Poverty Solutions initiative and Wolverine Pathways program.
She’s been part of the U-M family for years, having earned her B.A. in history from the University of Michigan. Her professional and personal passion for economic development, political engagement, and diversity inspire her to serve on the board of the A2Y Chamber’s Public Policy Committee, as well as active participation with the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Photo of Chris Fick
Senior Director Work Phone: 734.764.0861

Biographical Info

Chris joined the BEC after working for 3 years at the U-M Office of Technology Transfer.  In his role at the BEC, Chris works as a direct liaison between the business community and the University, with an emphasis on health sciences.
Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Chris was the Vice President of Operations for a privately held medical device company commercializing orthopedic implants.  He also has extensive intellectual property, business development, and licensing experience through his previous work in technology transfer at the University of Louisville.
Chris holds a B.S. from the University of Illinois, along with a Ph.D. in Bioenergetics and an M.B.A. from East Carolina University.
Photo of Jon Grice
Director Work Phone: 734.615.3533

Biographical Info

Jon supports the management of key partner companies that have interactions with multiple units on campus.  He works closely with staff and faculty in the schools, colleges, and research centers to identify partnership opportunities between the university and industry.
He comes to the Business Engagement Center from the University of Michigan’s Tauber Institute for Global Operations where he served as Associate Director responsible for External Relations for five years. Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Jonathan worked for eleven years at Intel Corporation in the areas of Industrial Engineering, Process Engineering, Technology Development Transfer, and Capital Planning.
Jonathan received his B.S. in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2000 and his M.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Southern California in 2006. Jonathan is originally from West Point, New York.
Photo of Olga Kiely
Associate Director Work Phone: 734.763.4952

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 Work Phone: 734.647.7071

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 Work Phone: 734.936.1580

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 Work Phone: 734.647.6097

Biographical Info

Umesh Patel is Senior Director, Business Engagement, at the University of Michigan and works closely with companies to build partnerships around the University’s research, education, and service missions.

Umesh came to the University from consulting firm Accenture, where he was a Senior Manager managing business process and technology change for a diverse group of private sector and government clients. Prior to joining Accenture, Umesh was a Project Engineer with Westinghouse Electric Corporation where he designed and developed electrical control equipment.

Umesh holds an MBA from Carnegie-Mellon University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from The Ohio State University.  Despite his Buckeye roots, Umesh is married to a U-M alumna and the proud parent of twin daughters both attending U-M.  Umesh is also student organization advisor to the University of Michigan Solar Car team (

Photo of Tess Postema
Administrative Assistant Intermediate Work Phone: 734.615.3976

Biographical Info

Tess provides administrative support to Communications Director Sheila Waterhouse, Senior Director Chris Fick, other BEC staff, and the Exercise and Sport Science Initiative (ESSI).  Prior to joining the BEC in April 2017, she worked as development assistant in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at the Ross School of Business.

Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Tess attended Kenyon College in Ohio, where she received a B.A. in political science and Spanish literature.

Photo of Christine Vladu
Administrative Specialist Work Phone: 734.615.0032

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 Sheila Waterhouse
Communications Director Work Phone: 734.763.0492

Biographical Info

Sheila joined the BEC in 2017 to tell compelling stories of partnerships between industry and academia at UM. To do so, she forges connections across campus to make sure key partnerships are highlighted and manages the BEC website, social media channels, marketing materials and publications.

She brings an industry background to the Business Engagement Center, having worked in marketing and communications roles in the transportation and consulting industries before joining the University of Michigan in 2011. Before starting at the BEC, she served in development and alumni relations roles in the Office of University Development and the Rackham Graduate School, fostering strong relationships and fundraising initiatives for alumni and parents.

Sheila holds an undergraduate degree from U-M and an M.B.A. from Indiana University.

Photo of T. Charmayne Wiley
Administrative Assistant Work Phone: 734.936.2108

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 Work Phone: 734.615.6915

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.