[Skip to Content]

The Right Place

Staff of The Right Place, Inc.

Leadership

  • Photo of Birgit Klohs

    Birgit Klohs

    President & CEO

    616-771-0324 klohsb@rightplace.org

    Birgit provides strategic direction for The Right Place. She also provides location and expansion assistance to Kent County and international clients. She is responsible for marketing Greater Grand Rapids to an international audience.

    Read full bio here
  • Photo of Twayne Howard

    Twayne Howard

    Chief Operating Officer/Assistant Treasurer

    616-771-0312 howardt@rightplace.org

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

    Read full bio here
  • Photo of Cindy Brown

    Cindy Brown

    Vice President, Talent Initiatives & Executive Director, Hello West Michigan

    616.818.9080 brownc@hellowestmichigan.com

    Cindy leads Hello West Michigan and its efforts to attract top talent to the region. Along with overseeing the strategic direction and collaborations of the organization, she handles the Hello West Michigan weekly resume pack program, personally helping hundreds of candidates find employment in West Michigan.

    Read full bio here
  • Photo of Justine Burdette

    Justine Burdette

    Vice President, Technical Services, MMTC-West Regional Director

    616-771-0304 burdettej@rightplace.org

    Justine leads the economic development strategy to retain and expand smart manufacturing companies for the West Michigan region. She aligns regional activities that promote solutions for common manufacturing problems and leads the Manufacturers, Supply Chain Management, and Food Processors Councils.

    Read full bio here
  • Photo of Rick Chapla

    Rick Chapla

    Vice President, Strategic Initiatives

    616-771-0328 chaplar@rightplace.org

    Rick's responsibilities include assisting local units of government and private development interests with economic development policies and programs throughout the 13-county West Michigan region.

    Read full bio here
  • Photo of Brad Comment

    Brad Comment

    Vice President, Investor Relations

    616-771-0560 bcomment@rightplace.org

    Brad develops the fundraising strategy to sustain The Right Place and provide assets for future investment. He oversees all fundraising activities with our grantors, investors, customers, and the West Michigan business community.

    Read full bio here
  • Photo of Natalia Kovicak

    Natalia Kovicak

    Vice President, Conferences and Events

    616-771-0327 kovicakn@rightplace.org

    Natalia creates event structure and promotion plans to meet objectives for awareness and revenue generation. In addition, she determines event needs in the region and offers events to enhance interest and networking capabilities for West Michigan companies.

    Read full bio here
  • Photo of Tim Mroz

    Tim Mroz

    Vice President, Marketing and Communications

    616-301-6791 mrozt@rightplace.org

    Tim provides overall leadership and direction for all Right Place communication strategies and plans, including public relations, marketing, and advertising.

    Read full bio here
  • Photo of Therese Thill

    Therese Thill

    Vice President, Business Development

    616-771-0571 thillt@rightplace.org

    Therese provides retention and expansion assistance to Right Place clients. She also works with site selection consultants. Therese provides site location assistance to national and international firms across all industries.

    Read full bio here

Business Development

  • Photo of Eric Icard

    Eric Icard

    Senior Business Development Manager

    616-771-0556 icarde@rightplace.org

    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 West Michigan Medical Device Consortium.

    Read full bio here
  • Photo of Jennifer Wangler

    Jennifer Wangler

    Business Development Manager

    616-901-9343 wanglerj@rightplace.org

    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.

    Read full bio here
  • Photo of Dave Riley

    Dave Riley

    Director of Business Intelligence & Research

    616-771-0343 rileyd@rightplace.org

    Dave provides custom research services and community economic statistics to Right Place clients. He also works closely with The Right Place’s marketing team to develop authoritative, compelling, and informative data for all of their marketing materials and online data center.

    Read full bio here
  • Photo of Rafael Martinez

    Rafael Martinez

    616-771-0343 martinezr@rightplace.org

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

    Read full bio here

Marketing & Communications

MMTC-West

  • Photo of Jess Cruz

    Jess Cruz

    MMTC-West Senior Business Development Manager

    269-832-2564 cruzj@rightplace.org

    Jess informs, assesses, advises, and develops relationships with key decision makers within West Michigan to support their efforts to retain sales, gain new sales, and achieve cost savings for their respective businesses. He is responsible for working with manufacturers in Kent and Barry Counties.

    Read full bio here
  • Photo of Ben Wood

    Ben Wood

    MMTC-West Business Development Specialist

    616-771-0557 woodb@rightplace.org

    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.

    Read full bio here
  • Photo of Terry Hossink

    Terry Hossink

    MMTC-West Business Development Specialist

    616-610-1007 hossinkt@rightplace.org

    Terry is responsible for working with small to medium size manufacturers in West Michigan, focusing on Allegan and Ottawa Counties, to help them assess their opportunities for continuous improvement and growth.

    Read full bio here
  • Photo of Amy Winkler

    Amy Winkler

    MMTC-West Client Coordinator

    616-771-0561 winklera@rightplace.org

    Amy coordinates customer consulting and training projects, user groups and workshops, and monitors these activities’ compliance with contractual reporting requirements.

    Read full bio here

Hello West Michigan

Administration

  • Photo of Jackie Beering

    Jackie Beering

    Staff Accountant

    616-301-8700 beeringj@rigthplace.org

    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.

    Read full bio here
  • Photo of Lorraine Brügger

    Lorraine Brügger

    Office Administrator

    616-771-0325 bruggerl@rightplace.org

    Lorraine provides general office management and support services to the entire organization, including accounting, fundraising, and human resources administrative support.

    Read full bio here
  • Photo of Kelly Farran

    Kelly Farran

    Office Administrator/ Executive Assistant

    616-771-0325 farrank@rightplace.org

    Kelly provides general office management and support services to the entire organization such as customer service, organization, inventory, deposits, and invoices.

    Read full bio here
  • Photo of Jillian Elliott

    Jillian Elliott

    Events and Investor Relations Coordinator

    616-301-7063 elliottj@rightplace.org

    Jillian assists with planning and management of The Right Place, MMTC-West, and Hello West Michigan events. She is also responsible for coordinating communications with The Right Place's investors. 

    Read full bio here