This year’s RUBY (Recognizing the Upward, Bright, and Young) Awards recognize 10 Great Lakes Bay Region men and women younger than 40 for their outstanding professional accomplishments. The RUBY Awards are sponsored by 1st State Bank, WNEM TV-5, and Great Lakes Bay Business magazine.
Title: Coordinator of Veteran Services, Delta College, University Center, and Chief Legal Petty Officer, United States Navy Reserve JAG Corps
Proudest professional moments: Hearing veterans thank me for helping to make their transition to college a positive experience and for encouraging them to reach their academic goals. Militarily, my promotion to chief petty officer, which has allowed me to positively impact more sailors.
Why I get up each morning: My husband who believes that I am unstoppable, and my fellow veterans who continue to better themselves by pursuing education.
Main changes I influenced: Bringing veterans issues and concerns to the forefront at Delta College. Some of my recommendations were implemented and contributed to Delta being recognized by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency as a gold level Veteran-Friendly School in 2015.
Title: Director of Product Sustainability Consulting, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland
Proudest professional moments: Publication of Applications of Toxicogenomics in Safety Evaluation and Risk Assessment (2011). Researching and compiling this book’s content expanded my knowledge and perspectives, which continue to shape my contributions to Dow and the broader toxicology community.
Why I get up each morning: To enjoy my family. Also, for the intellectual stimulation that comes from working with a great team of toxicologists and applying the best science to ensure Dow’s products are safe for humans and the environment.
Main change I influenced: Within Dow, working as part of a team to establish predictive toxicology capabilities that strive to use modern approaches to advance the science and practice of safety assessment while supporting the development of more sustainable products.
Title: Co-owner, Sandlot Sports, Bay City
Proudest professional moments: The opening of our first location on June 28, 2008, and then in February 2015, when we were able to move into our 18,000-square-foot production facility, which more than doubled our production capacity.
Why I get up each morning: Co-owning my own business and working daily to create a strong business for future generations. Also, I draw motivation from my parents, who I watched grow professionally, from humble beginnings, with hard work and determination. Their drive showed me that I could create my own dreams and goals.
Main change I influenced: Continual improvements in procedures and technology within our embroidery and screen printing processes. We have evolved from very elementary beginnings to now being considered a leader within the state.
Title: Beauty Care and Healthcare Application Engineering & Technical Service Manager, Dow Corning Corporation, Midland
Proudest professional moment: Partnering with one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies to successfully deliver the first global hair care product launch of its kind for a billion dollar brand.
Why I get up each morning: My husband and kids are my joy and motivation. They are followed by my team as I support them in their work with health care and beauty care companies to improve the quality and longevity of people’s lives around the world.
Main changes I influenced: Working with the key leaders in the markets and functions to shift from regional and functional separation to a global, cross-functional team structure and maximizing our capacity, speed, and collaboration for developing life-enhancing global products.
Title: Chief Physicist and Radiation Safety Officer, MidMichigan Health, Midland
Proudest professional moments: In 2008, when our radiation oncology team created our stereotactic ablative radiotherapy program at MidMichigan Health. That fall we treated our first patient, bringing a new technique to fight cancer in our community. Working with our strong, courageous team makes me proud every day.
Why I get up each morning: My incredible wife, amazing family, and strong faith. Each new day brings new challenges and opportunities. I believe that each challenge and obstacle prepares us for the next opportunity.
Main change I influenced: Providing our team with the clinical knowledge and confidence to continually evolve our therapeutic techniques, such as creating a radiosurgery treatment plan for an inoperable lung tumor, to deliver the highest level of radiation therapy quality to our community.
Title: Critical Care Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, St. Mary’s of Michigan, Saginaw
Proudest professional moment: Receiving the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience Preceptor of the Year award by Ferris State University College of Pharmacy after only two years of being a preceptor. I was even more honored because the award was selected based on routine student evaluations, not as part of a formal nomination.
Why I get up each morning: I enjoy taking on a challenge, especially working in a hospital where its mission includes serving the poor and vulnerable in the community.
Main change I influenced: Bringing a specialized critical care pharmacy practice to the region has allowed for additional educational opportunities for pharmacy students, pharmacists, and other health care professionals and has helped expand the direct clinical role of pharmacy within the hospital.
Title: Public Relations Manager, MidMichigan Health, Midland
Proudest professional moments: Some of my greatest professional achievements have been unplanned in the form of crisis communications. Whether it is a global concern such as Ebola, or a local incident such as flooding on our Medical Center campus, quick, correct, and concise communication with timeliness and sensitivity is critical.
Why I get up each morning: The support I receive from my husband and children, as well as my faith, friends, family, and coworkers. They challenge me to be the best version of myself every day.
Main changes I influenced: They say laughter is the best medicine. I believe this to be true and enjoy bringing smiles to others by offering a quick wit, remaining positive, and helping them see the glass as half full in any situation.
Title: Vice President of Economic Development, Bay Future, Inc., Bay City
Proudest professional moments: Every project is a great professional accomplishment due to the energy each one requires and the great benefit each produces for our community. Bay Future to date has helped secure more than $1 billion in investment in Bay County. That is a proud accomplishment.
Why I get up each morning: My passion for this community. I have had the fortunate opportunity to learn here, grow here, and succeed here. I want future generations to have those same types of experiences and opportunities.
Main changes I influenced: Growing Bay Future’s cash position during my interim presidency, building stronger relationships with our partners and investors, and securing projects and investments totaling more than $350 million in our community.
Title: Assistant Professor of Geography, Saginaw Valley State University, University Center
Proudest professional moments: The May 2015 presentation of a blight reduction study at the Reinventing Saginaw Symposium. This culmination of two years’ worth of crime-mapping research (in collaboration with the Saginaw County Crime Prevention Council, the SVSU Department of Criminal Justice, and five special students) positively affected the general public’s perception of Saginaw.
Why I get up each morning: To share my passion for understanding human-environment interactions with my students through class time, field work, and application of geospatial technology.
Main changes I influenced: In my time at SVSU, we have developed and earned a Bachelor of Arts program in geography, a GIS certificate program, and increased visibility and understanding of geographic study in the Great Lakes Bay Region and SVSU community.
Title: Global Engineering Manager, Nexteer Automotive, Saginaw
Proudest professional moment: When I was chosen as the Saginaw engineering team member to manage a strategic launch with a major customer. After the year-long assignment was complete, Nexteer was awarded by that customer for scoring their best-ever steering launch.
Why I get up each morning: Our technologies in crash energy management and crash avoidance help save motorists’ lives. Seeing our products being integrated into millions of common vehicles worldwide is very satisfying. I take great pride in the solutions that my team delivers.
Main changes I influenced: I’ve refined a global standardization of designs across our engineering organization that has improved Nexteer’s communication and efficiency of designs. It’s a shift that allows our designs to be consistently implemented across the world in our manufacturing facilities.