About Us

Our Team

Leadership & Management

Randy-Thelen-Headshot

Randy Thelen

President & CEO

As President & CEO of The Right Place, Randy leads economic development strategy through collaboration with local, State, and national organizations and stakeholders. His role is central to the organization’s core work of business retention, expansion, and attraction within the community, while aligning with The Right Place’s mission of driving sustainable economic growth and shared prosperity for all in the Greater Grand Rapids Region.

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Twayne 2022

Twayne Howard

Chief Operating Officer/Assistant Treasurer

Twayne directs all activities related to accounting, finance, human resources, information technology, infrastructure, operations, contracts, and third party consultants. He also leads events and operations staff as well as the Leadership Team and professional staff.

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Brad Comment

Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives

As Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Brad is responsible for The Right Place's strategic projects and initiatives, business intelligence, fundraising and public policy. He engages with various partner organizations to lead projects that closely align with The Right Place's 2020-2022 Strategic Plan.

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TaRita D. Johnson

Senior Vice President, Talent & Diversity

TaRita is the Senior Vice President of Talent and Diversity at The Right Place Inc. She works to collaborate with workforce development organizations, employers, and investors to lead strategies to ensure West Michigan attracts, develops, and retains diverse talent.

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Rob Llanes

Rob Llanes

Senior Vice President, Business Development

Rob leads The Right Place’s Prosperity team, which focuses on business retention, expansion, and attraction in the Greater Grand Rapids region. In this role he will lead the business development and Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center-West teams.

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Tim Mroz

Senior Vice President, Community Development

As Senior Vice President of Community Development for The Right Place, Tim is responsible for leading The Right Place’s place-based strategy and work. His focus areas include community development pillars such as smart growth planning, infrastructure & transportation, community leadership & engagement, placemaking, transformational site redevelopment and more.

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Andria 2022

Andria Romkema

Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Andria leads the strategic marketing and communications initiatives for The Right Place to promote West Michigan’s business capabilities across the country and the globe.

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Brent 2022

Brent Case

Vice President, Business Attraction

Brent works to recruit new business investment and jobs to the region. He also assists West Michigan companies during the decision-making portion of the expansion process to outline the benefits of growing locally as opposed to out-of-state.

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Terry Hossink

Vice President, Manufacturing Services

Terry is responsible for The Right Place’s Manufacturing Services team. He is also the Regional Director for the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center - Grand Rapids office team. This team works with West Michigan’s small and mid-sized manufacturers assisting them with their opportunities for continuous improvement, development, growth, and transition with advanced manufacturing technologies.

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Jane Tierney

Controller

Jane provides accurate and timely financial information to The Right Place’s leadership team while ensuring effective internal controls and financial safeguards.

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Staff

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Travis Alden

Senior Director, Community Development

As Senior Director of Community Development, Travis is focused on transformational place-based development projects and initiatives throughout the West Michigan region.

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Bader Basoudan

Bader Basoudan

Candidate & Member Experience Intern

Bader is an international student studying at Western Michigan University. He is majoring in Human Resources and minoring in Accounting. As a Member and Candidate Experience Intern at Hello West Michigan, Bader supports candidates who reach out, seeking guidance while job searching in West Michigan. He also sends candidates a weekly resume pack, promotes job opportunities at member companies, and conducts candidate searches for member companies.

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Jackie Beering

Staff Accountant

Jackie provides accounting support as well as oversight of all project tracking, collections and records management. She is responsible for processing accounts payable and accounts receivable transactions. Jackie also manages grant reporting for The Center-West, and is responsible for investor billing and record maintenance.


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Jakob Bigard

Jakob Bigard

Business Development Intern

Jakob Bigard is the Business Development Intern for summer 2022 for the Right Place. His primary role is building the fall retention “blitz” campaign lists for each county RPI has a presence. Additionally, he supports the Business Development team and their area partners in creating incentive packages and attracting new and expanding businesses to West Michigan.

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René Booker

Program Manager, The Center-West

René Booker is program manager for the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center-West (The Center-West), providing support for events, marketing, and internal continuous improvement efforts. She also supports The Right Place/The Center-West Manufacturers and Supply Chain Management Councils.


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Julie Burrell

Economic Development Director - Newaygo County | Regional Partner Lead

Julie serves as the Economic Development Director for the Newaygo County Economic Development Partnership. In this role, she provides business support services to companies in Newaygo County.

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Karwyn Bursma

Assistant to the Executive Team

Karwyn serves as the Assistant to the Executive Team. She provides administrative support, as well as project management and content creation for marketing initiatives.

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Jillian Elliott

Manager of Conferences and Events

Jillian is the Manager of Conferences and Events. In her role, she leads the planning and management of events for The Right Place and The Center-West.

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Donna Ford

Donna Ford

Assistant to the President and CEO

Donna provides executive assistance to the President & CEO of The Right Place and provides administrative support to The Right Place Board of Directors and the Executive Committee.

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Rachel Gray

Executive Director, Hello West Michigan

As the Executive Director for Hello West Michigan, Rachel leads the organization’s strategy, operations, and membership. She helps educate employers and prospective candidates about the region.

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Eric Heys

Marketing Coordinator

Eric provides graphic and layout support for all printed communication needs of The Right Place, and he works with local printers to see production through to the final printed materials.


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Josie Hoffman

Josie Hoffman

Marketing & Web Intern, Hello West Michigan

As the Marketing and Web Intern at Hello West Michigan, Josie manages their social media channels, writes blogs, and produces their Candidate and Intern Inform newsletters, along with other marketing tasks.

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Eric Icard

Senior Director of Business Development

Eric provides retention and expansion assistance to Right Place clients. He provides site location assistance to national and international life sciences firms. He also serves as the facilitator for the MiDevice group.


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Victor Joaquin

Talent Program Manager

As Talent Program Manager for The Right Place, Victor works on establishing collaborative relationships between businesses, colleges, universities, and organizations dedicated to the flourishing of communities in West Michigan.

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Rosemary Kolderman

Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer

Rosemary provides executive assistance to the Chief Operating Officer of The Right Place and provides administrative support to The Right Place Finance Committee. In addition, she supports activities related to human resources, information technology, infrastructure, operations and accounting.


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Jessica 2022

Jessica Kuster

Program Manager, Hello West Michigan

Jessica serves as the Program Manager for Hello West Michigan, where she oversees the internship and candidate connection programs, marketing and communication needs, and facilitates member orientation and training programs.

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Olivia Lanctot

Business Development Coordinator

Olivia Lanctot is a Business Development Coordinator at The Right Place. She provides retention and expansion services to companies in Kent County.

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Steven Lopez

Business Development Specialist, The Center-West

As a Business Development Specialist for the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center – West (The Center-West), Steven covers Barry County and parts of Kent County. Steven assists manufacturers with lean process improvement evaluations/implementations as well as a variety of leadership development programs, particularly for line supervisors. Steven is West Michigan’s lead industry 4.0 assessor where he identifies technologies that help improve operational performance.

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Kristi Lucas Zimmerman

Kristi Lucas-Zimmerman

Economic Development Director, Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce

Kristi serves as the Economic Development Director of the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce. In this role, she provides business support services to prospective and existing companies. She works to improve the overall economic state of Mason County through business retention, expansion, and attraction.

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Emily Mace

Emily Mace

Fund Development Specialist

As a Fund Development Specialist, Emily works to build and implement a comprehensive fundraising strategy for The Right Place. This includes managing the necessary administrative infrastructure and building relationships with current and future investors.

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Rafael Martinez

Business Intelligence & Research Manager

Rafael works as a Business Intelligence & Research Manager for The Right Place. In this role, he provides business intelligence and economic research for the organization, and to investors and other stakeholders.


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Ron Maynard

Executive Director, Oceana County Economic Alliance

Ron serves as the Economic Development Director for the Oceana County Economic Alliance. In this role, he provides business support services to companies in Oceana County.

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Sadie McKinstry

Business Development Specialist, The Center-West

Sadie McKinstry is a Business Development Specialist for the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center-West, primarily serving small and mid-sized manufacturers located in Ottawa and Allegan counties.

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Allyssa 2022

Allyssa Murphy

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

As the Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Allyssa manages the website, social media channels, blog, email and digital marketing campaigns for The Right Place and The Center-West team.

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Jodi Nichols

Executive Director, Lake County Economic Development Alliance | Program Manager

Jodi serves as the Executive Director of the Lake County Economic Development Alliance. In this role, she provides business support services to prospective and existing companies. She works to improve the overall economic state of Lake County through business retention, expansion, and attraction.

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Darline Radamaker

Darline Radamaker

Marketing & Communications Intern

Darline works to play an active role in the organization's marketing and communication's department. Here she assists in video editing, maintenance of the organization's website, and prepares social media posts, along with other marketing support duties as assigned.

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Jennifer Wangler

Vice President, Technology

Jennifer provides retention and expansion assistance to Right Place clients in Kent County and site location assistance to national and international IT and tech companies. She also serves as the Director for the Technology Council of West Michigan.

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Kelly Wawsczyk

Executive Director, Mecosta County Development Corporation

Kelly serves as the Executive Director for the Mecosta County Development Corporation. In this role, she leads the promotion of economic development in Mecosta County through the attraction, retention and expansion of business and industry.

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John Wiegand

John Wiegand

Business Intelligence & Research Manager

As Business Research & Intelligence Manager for The Right Place, John provides business intelligence and economic research for the organization, investors and other stakeholders.

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Ryan Wilson

Executive Director, Ionia County Economic Alliance

Ryan provides leadership in the development and implementation of economic development initiatives focused on People, Place, and Prosperity and in alignment with both local needs and regional strategies.

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Amy Winkler

Client Coordinator, The Center-West

Amy Winkler is the Client Coordinator for the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center-West Regional Office at The Right Place, Inc. Amy coordinates customer consulting and training projects, user groups and workshops, and monitors these activities’ compliance with contractual reporting requirements.

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Ben Wood

Business Development Specialist, The Center-West

Ben is responsible for working with small to medium sized manufacturers in West Michigan, focusing on Mason, Lake, Osceola, Oceana, Newaygo, Mecosta, Muskegon, Montcalm, Ionia, and Northern Kent Counties. He helps them assess their opportunities for continuous improvement and growth.

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