2015 Entrepreneurial Awards Judges
Bruce J. Dunn, CPA, Audit Principal, Director of Marketing, Maner Costerisan
Bruce J. Dunn is the audit principal (shareholder) and director of marketing for Maner Costerisan, a full-service public accounting and business advisory firm that has served the Lansing community since 1906. The firm received the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Legacy Award in 2012 in recognition of being a long-standing Chamber member, and was the recipient of long-term commitment to growth in the Greater Lansing region.
Dunn joined Maner Costerisan in 1979 and serves as director of Maner Costerisan’s Education Practice Group and CPA Firm Practice Group. Bruce has served many roles at the firm, including Director of Audit Services, Director of Quality Control, Vice President, Treasurer, and Immediate Past President.
With more than 30 years in the accounting and consulting field, Dunn works closely with a diverse group of clients, including school districts, colleges, government entities, trade associations, nonprofit organizations, CPA firms and businesses. He is considered the “go to” expert for matters regarding education entities, peer reviews and CPA advisory services.
Entrepreneurship has always been a passion for Dunn. Before his professional career began, Dunn was confident that accounting would be the ideal fit because of the opportunity to work closely with people and to potentially become a business owner. He attributes his professional success to his parents, who instilled in him a quality work ethic and a philosophy of personal responsibility and accountability.
“I enjoy owning a business, and I enjoy helping other people be successful owning a business,” said Dunn.
Dunn has been a member of the judges panel for more than a decade. Maner Costerisan is one of the original sponsors of the Entrepreneurial Awards.
Jeff Jackson, Senior Vice President of Business Lending & Operations, MSU Federal Credit Union
Jeff Jackson is the senior vice president of Business Lending and Operations for MSU Federal Credit Union. Based in East Lansing, MSUFCU is the world’s largest university — based credit union and offers a full range of personal — and business-related financial services to Michigan State University and Oakland University faculty, staff, students, alumni association members and their families worldwide, in addition to a variety of select employee groups.
Jackson’s primary role is to provide financial solutions for business members in order to meet their lending and cash management needs. He is also responsible for payments to help all members conveniently access and move money.
Jackson loves the Greater Lansing region and has spent most of his life here. He attended East Lansing Public Schools, as do his three children, Justin, 17, Josh, 16, and Logan, 14. Jackson met his wife, Lori, at Ernst and Young in public accounting, and she has taught accounting and auditing at Michigan State University for the last 15 years. Jackson has been with MSUFCU for 17 years and loves that he has been able to serve the community for that entire time. Jackson is excited to be a part of MSUFCU and the Greater Lansing region and intends to finish his career there.
MSUFCU has a core mission of supporting their members and communities. Supporting entrepreneurship is a simple extension of that core mission. MSUFCU has participated on the Entrepreneurial Awards judges panel for many years. This is Jackson’s first year on the panel.
“We love working with people who are passionate and helping them attain their dreams,” said Jackson. “The Entrepreneurial Awards judges panel is a great opportunity to support the community and to potentially help entrepreneurs realize their dreams.”
Carrie Hindmon, CPA, CSEP, Partner, Andrews Hooper Pavlik PLC
Carrie Hindmon has been a partner with Andrews Hooper Pavlik PLC (AHP) for 11 years. She works in tax practice, tax compliance and consulting. AHP was founded in 1993 and is a full service audit, tax and accounting firm with seven Michigan locations. Hindmon has 16 years of experience in public accounting. What she appreciates about AHP is that they place a high value on maintaining balance in three areas — professional, home and community service — and encourage their employees to do the same.
AHP prides itself on supporting entrepreneurship. It works with start-up businesses and has offered their support to local organizations such as Lansing Economic Area Partnership, The NEO Center and Spartan Innovations.
Hindmon says her firm believes that “if the community is thriving, then we are thriving. We feel that for businesses to continue to be successful, we need to continue to build up new businesses. Our role is to support them in their accounting needs.”
Besides being a member of the Judges panel for the 2015 Entrepreneurial Awards, Hindmon is also the president elect for the Haslett-Okemos Rotary Club. She’ll take over as president in July 2015.
Being on the Judges panel was a natural fit for Hindmon. She’s been quite active in the start-up area. She joined the panel because she wanted to see the companies out there and what they are doing. “People who have started a business are so motivated. They are fun to work with and very excited about their business. Our goal is to educate and help them to get off the ground floor.”
Chris Nugent, President, Horizon Bank — Lansing region
Chris Nugent is president of Horizon Bank — Lansing region. Horizon is a community bank serving Northern and Central Indiana and Southern Michigan. It offers banking, investment and trust services and provides mortgage banking services throughout the Midwest, including two Lansing area locations.
Nugent brings his 25 years of community banking in Lansing to the Entrepreneurial Awards judges panel. He believes that to have a thriving regional economy, mid-Michigan entrepreneurs need financial partners. This will be Nugent’s third year on the panel.
When asked why he continues to remain on the panel, Nugent says he desires “to continue our support of both those that have been successful in the Lansing area, and those that are in need of our support
Chris G. Thelen, Public Affairs Area Manager, Consumers Energy
Chris G. Thelen is the public affairs area manager at Consumers Energy. He manages community relations for Consumers Energy in five counties in the Lansing area (Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Ionia and Shiawassee County). Consumers Energy is one of the nation’s largest combination utilities, providing electric and natural gas service to nearly 6.6 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents, in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
Thelen joined Consumers Energy 22 years ago as a writer in Corporate Communications, supporting their marketing and employee communications. Prior to joining the company, Thelen worked as a copywriter for advertising agencies in Midland, Detroit and Cleveland. He graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Journalism and started his career writing advertisements for John Deere in Moline, Ill.
Consumers Energy has been a long-time supporter of economic development and is the reason why Thelen actively participates in economic development in the Lansing area.
“Entrepreneurship is the life blood of our economy and a critical component of economic development,” said Thelen. “Having a business climate where new ideas flourish and grow helps both new and mature businesses to succeed and prosper.”
This is Thelen’s first year on the Entrepreneurial Awards judges panel. He knows how important it is to recognize the people who have the courage to start a business and grow it from the ground up.
“This is one way to play a role in encouraging the entrepreneurs in the Lansing area. It is my hope that the stories behind these awards will inspire others to take that first step to bring their idea to the marketplace,” said Thelen.
John Shaski, Government Relations Officer, Sparrow Health System
John Shaski is the government relations officer at Sparrow Health System. He oversees the federal, state and local government affairs and community relations for the Health System. Sparrow has grown to become the Lansing region’s largest health system, and its diverse range of facilities offer residents some of the most advanced medical technology available in the world.
Prior to joining Sparrow, Shaski was a legislative advisor and chief of staff in the Michigan Senate and Michigan House of Representatives for nearly eight years.
Coming from the Upper Peninsula, supporting local businesses has always been important to Shaski. He believes successful entrepreneurs and businesses add to creating a strong economy, which is important to any region. This is Shaski’s first year on the Entrepreneurial Award judges panel.
“I’m looking forward to learning about how local entrepreneurs continue to evolve with the times and adjust their businesses accordingly,” said Shaski. “Investment and philanthropy in the community is something that is of great interest to me, so I am also looking forward to learning how our local entrepreneurs contribute to the community.”
Debbie Petersmark, General Sales Manager, WILX Media & Local X Marketing
Debbie Petersmark is the general sales manager for WILX Media and Local X Marketing. WILX Media Sales helps local businesses grow their market share through the use of effective advertising. Petersmark works with local companies to identify their niches, develop creative strategies, write and produce compelling advertising and deliver their message to the right audience. WILX is a full-service broadcast and digital media company.
Petersmark grew up in East Lansing and worked in her family business, Holden-Reid Clothiers, through grade school and high school. After graduating from Indiana University, she returned home and spent the next 10 years at the Sparrow Foundation. She started in special event planning, and then as the manager of the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN), raising funds to support the Sparrow Children’s Center. Through the CMN partnership with WILX, Petersmark grew to like the broadcasting and advertising business, and transitioned to WILX in 2000 as an account executive.
Petersmark learned the value of entrepreneurship through working in her family’s business.
“When people ask where I grew up, sometimes I say “Frandor,” because even as a kid, our whole family worked for the family business!” said Petersmark. “I learned that it takes risk, hard work, big dreams and great customer service to grow your business and make it successful enough to hand down to the next generation.”
Petersmark has many close friends who are entrepreneurs, and through WILX, she has come to know and respect so many local business owners. “I think the most important thing we do at WILX is helping them as they grow their dreams into successful profitable businesses.”
This is Petersmark’s first year on the Entrepreneurial Awards Judges panel.
“I know so many of the past recipients of this prestigious award, and I’m honored to be part of the process of recognizing the contributions these businesses and their owners make to our community.”
2015 Entrepreneurial Awards Guest Speaker
Tom Anastos, Head Coach of Michigan State Hockey Program & Entrepreneur
Tom Anastos, a Michigan State alumnus who has excelled in the sport of hockey as a player, coach, administrator and visionary, was appointed to the position of head coach of the Michigan State Hockey program on March 23, 2011. Anastos, who previously served as the commissioner of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association for 13 seasons, became just the sixth Michigan State hockey coach in program history and the fourth in the modern era. 2014-15 will mark Anastos’ fourth season behind the Spartan bench.
Despite his move from commissioner to head coach of a collegiate program, Anastos has continued his leadership within the sport as he was appointed as the Big Ten’s representative to the NCAA Hockey Rules committee during his first season at the helm. In June 2012, he was selected as the group’s chair.
Prior to his appointment at MSU, Anastos was very active in amateur hockey, both as a coach in the Detroit-based Honeybaked Hockey program and as an administrator. He had been one of two NCAA representatives on USA Hockey’s board of directors and was a long-time member of its International Council and Junior Council, which oversaw the activities of the organization’s international programs and US junior hockey.
Recognized by The Hockey News in five of the past eight years on the list of the 100 most influential and powerful people in the sport (most recently No. 46 in 2011), Anastos has an unrivaled passion for the game and savvy blend of administrative, business and communication skills, a Who’s Who list of connections and has provided a progressive vision and dynamic leadership for college hockey.
Anastos, who was honored as MSU’s “Distinguished Spartan” by the hockey program in 2004, both played and coached at his alma mater before stepping into an administrative role. He was a four-year letter winner at Michigan State (1981-85) for former coach Ron Mason, and received his bachelor’s degree in construction management in 1987.
In the fall of 1990, Anastos returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach under Ron Mason for two years. Those two teams went a combined 43-28-13, and in 1991-92, advanced to the Frozen Four.
Anastos’ commitment to growing the sport has resulted in an annual statewide celebration known as “Hockey Day in Michigan.” The grassroots initiative, which includes the live broadcast of two CCHA games on FOX Sports Detroit, has been successfully imitated by USA Hockey to encourage fans, players, coaches and officials to unite in their passion for their sport and help introduce others to the game.