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 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, Investor Relations

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, as well as organizational events and the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center-West (The Center-West).

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Tim Mroz

Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives

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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Cindy Brown

Vice President, Talent Initiatives

Cindy provides strategic direction and overall leadership to the talent initiatives and collaborations at The Right Place.

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Justine Burdette

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

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 and Supply Chain Management Councils

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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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Andria Romkema

Vice President, Marketing and Communications

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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Staff

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Travis Alden

Director of Business Development

As Director of Business Development, Travis assists The Right Place with its rural economic development efforts by overseeing its business development team members in Montcalm, Newaygo, Oceana and Lake counties. Travis also coordinates business development activities in Ionia County.

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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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Rene Booker

Executive Assistant, The Center-West

René Booker provides administrative support for the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center-West (The Center-West) 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

Business Development Manager - Newaygo County

Julie serves as Newaygo County’s Business Development Manager. In this role, she provides business support services to companies in Newaygo County.

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Jess Cruz

Senior Business Development Manager, The Center-West

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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Jillian Elliott

Events and Investor Relations Manager

Jillian leads the planning and management of events for The Right Place and The Center-West. She also serves as a key contact for The Right Place investors.


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Kelly Farran

Executive Assistant/Office Administrator

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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Donna Ford

Donna Ford

Assistant to the Executive Office

As Assistant to the Executive Office, Donna supports both the President & CEO and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of The Right Place, Inc. She also provides administrative support for The Right Place Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Finance 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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Terry Hossink

Business Development Specialist, The Center-West

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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Eric Icard

Senior Business Development Manager

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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Rosemary Kolderman

Assistant to the Executive Office

Rosemary is Assistant to the Executive Office at The Right Place. In her role, she provides executive assistance to the President & CEO and the Chief Operating Officer of The Right Place. Also provides administrative support for the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Finance Committee.


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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

Steven Lopez

Business Development Specialist, The Center-West

Steven Lopez is a Business Development Specialist for The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center-West (The Center-West), primarily serving small and mid-size manufacturers located in Kent County. In his role, Steven works with manufacturers to provide benchmarking and assessment services, helping them to better understand their current state and potential improvement paths.

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Lina Lintemuth

Marketing and Communications Manager

Lina leads the organization's social media, web, and email marketing efforts and supports internal and external communications, public relations, and strategic marketing initiatives.

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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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Jodi Nichols

Business Development Coordinator - Lake & Oceana

Jodi serves as Business Development Coordinator for Lake and Oceana Counties. In this role, she provides business support services to prospective and existing companies. She works to improve the overall economic state of Lake and Oceana Counties through business retention, expansion, and attraction.

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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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Jennifer Wangler

Senior Business Development Manager

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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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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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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