Senior Administrative Assistant
Laura joined our office in August 2012. She supports Executive Director Stella Wixom and Senior Director Susan Shields. Laura also administers the Michigan Corporate Relations Network (M-CRN) grant.
Prior to working at the BEC, Laura worked part-time as a Sales Associate at Williams-Sonoma, Inc., and previously as a Master Scheduler for CGI, Inc., Montreal, Canada. Before moving to Ann Arbor, she lived in Nova Scotia, Canada and worked as a Senior Systems Analyst at Deloitte and Touche.
Laura earned her B.S. Honors Mathematics and Computer Science from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Nell works as a direct liaison between the business community and the University, identifying corporate partnership opportunities and matching University assets to industry needs.
Nell 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, and managed direct mail and online communications.
Nell earned her B.A. in history from the University of Michigan.
Adrienne joined the Business Engagement Center in May of 2012. In addition to providing support for the Business Engagement Center, Adrienne also assists the Office of Technology Transfer and the Venture Accelerator. Prior to her time with the BEC, Adrienne worked at UMS where she managed youth and community ticketing programs as well as ticketing for the Ann Arbor Summer Festival. Adrienne is an alumna of the University of Michigan, where she received a B.A. in English.
Amy Klinke is the Associate Director of Corporate Relations. Focusing on small business initiatives, she splits her time between the Business Engagement Center and the Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Engineering.
Amy joined the University in October of 2008 after serving 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. Prior to 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.
John works as a direct liaison between the business community and the University, identifying corporate partnership opportunities and matching University assets to industry needs.
John came to the University of Michigan from Boston, where he worked more recently in a business development and operations role at Elysium Digital, a consulting firm that assists law firms and technology companies around the world with technical analysis in patent, trade secret, and computer forensics litigation. Prior to his work at Elysium, John served as National Operations Manager at Jumpstart for Young Children, an early education non-profit, and as a project manager at Pitney Bowes.
John is an Ann Arbor native and received an M.B.A. from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College and a B.A. in political science from the University of Michigan.
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.
Nick is an Ann Arbor native and received a M.B.A from Michigan State University's Eli Broad College of Business and a B.A. in communications from the University of Michigan.
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, Umesh was a senior manager with Accenture where he managed business process and information technology change for a diverse group of global 500 clients. Prior to joining Accenture, he worked as a project engineer with Westinghouse Electric Corp.
Umesh received an M.B.A. from Carnegie-Mellon University and a B.S. in electrical engineering from The Ohio State University.
Katherine joined the BEC team in January of 2013 as an Administrative Assistant. In this role, she supports Senior Director Umesh Patel, Director Nell Dority, and Associate Directors Amy Klinke, John McLaughlin, and Nick Miller.
Katherine was previously the Office Manager of the Ann Arbor City Club, a private social club. She spent 4 & 1/2 years at the City Club, working as Receptionist and then Administrative Assistant prior to becoming the Office Manager. Before the City Club, Katherine worked in the restaurant industry as a server and hostess for five years.
She is currently in the process of completing her Associate's degree at Washtenaw Community College and plans to pursue her Bachelor's degree shortly thereafter.
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 an M.B.A. in marketing communications from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in social science and elementary education from Shimer College in Illinois.
Elizabeth assists BEC staff with database support, data mining, and the daily maintenance of the CRM system.
Prior to joing the university, Elizabeth worked at CFI Group, where she was an associate consultant. Previous to CFI Group, she worked as a business analyst and inventory analyst for Borders Group.
Elizabeth received her master's degree from the University of Michigan's School of Information and is a 2006 graduate of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.
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 bachelors in general studies with a focus on business and communications. She is originally from Ann Arbor but spent many years in Tennessee and North Carolina.