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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.

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  • 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.

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  • Photo of Justine Burdette

    Justine Burdette

    Vice President, Technical Services, The Right Place, Regional Director, The Center-West

    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.

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  • Photo of Brad Comment

    Brad Comment

    Vice President, Investor Relations

    616-771-0560 commentb@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.

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  • 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.

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  • Photo of Tim Mroz

    Tim Mroz

    Vice President, Strategic Initiatives

    616-301-6791 mrozt@rightplace.org

    Tim is responsible for leading long-term, regional economic growth initiatives in the 13-county area. His areas of focus include: infrastructure, regional collaboration, real estate/development, agribusiness, and special projects.

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  • Photo of Andria Romkema

    Andria Romkema

    Vice President, Marketing and Communications

    616-771-0563 romkemaa@rightplace.org

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

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  • 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.

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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.

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  • Photo of Jennifer Wangler

    Jennifer Wangler

    Senior 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. She also serves as the director for the West Michigan Technology Council.

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  • Photo of Ayesha Maxwell

    Ayesha Maxwell

    Senior Business Development Manager

    616-840-2640 maxwella@rightplace.org

    Ayesha provides retention and expansion assistance to clients of The Right Place in Kent County. This includes site location and expansion assistance to food, agribusiness, and furniture manufacturers. 

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  • 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.

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  • Photo of Jodi Nichols

    Jodi Nichols

    Business Development Coordinator - Lake and Oceana

    231-742-3328 nicholsj@rightplace.org

    Jodi serves as Business Development Coordinator for Lake and Oceana Counties. In this role, she provides business support services to prospective and existing companies.

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  • Photo of Rafael Martinez

    Rafael Martinez

    Business Research Analyst

    616-771-0325 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.

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Marketing & Communications

The Center-West

  • Photo of Jess Cruz

    Jess Cruz

    The Center-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.

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  • Photo of Ben Wood

    Ben Wood

    The Center-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.

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  • Photo of Terry Hossink

    Terry Hossink

    The Center-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.

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  • Photo of Amy Winkler

    Amy Winkler

    The Center-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.

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Hello West Michigan

  • Photo of Rachel Bartels

    Rachel Bartels

    Executive Director, Hello West Michigan

    616-771-0354 bartelsr@hellowestmichigan.com

    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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  • Photo of Jessica Kuster

    Jessica Kuster

    Program Manager, Hello West Michigan

    616-301-8210 kusterj@hellowestmichigan.com

    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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Administration

  • Photo of Maulin Pont-McClelland

    Maulin Pont-McClelland

    Executive Assistant to the President

    616-301-9393 pontm@rightplace.org

    Maulin provides administrative support to the office of the president, and supports all communication to Right Place board members and investors.

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  • Photo of Jackie Beering

    Jackie Beering

    Staff Accountant

    616-301-8700 beeringj@rightplace.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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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, The Center-West, and Hello West Michigan events. She is also responsible for coordinating communications with The Right Place's investors.

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  • Photo of Rosemary Kolderman

    Rosemary Kolderman

    Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer (COO)

    616-771-0325 koldermanr@rightplace.org

    Rosemary provides administrative support to the Chief Operating Officer (COO), while also assisting with various internal processes, including accounts receivable and payable, benefit enrollment and employee orientations.

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