Board & Committees
Board of Directors
Tammy Karas, Co-Chair | United Bank of Michigan
Christine Lindeman, Co-Chair | Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation
Gary Glass | Silver Lining Computer Services
Kyama Kitavi | Fair Food Network
Seth Getz | Business Mastery
Alex Page | Miller Johnson
Samuel Sedlecky | Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Jason Wheeler | Wheeler Development Group / PURE Real Estate Management
Milinda Ysasi | GROW
Local First Program Committee
The Local First Program Committee serves to extend the reach of the People First Economy’s Local First program and provide meaningful opportunities to its members. Committee members do this through outreach, events, and advocacy.
Members include (left to right):
- Daniel Chase (re.dwell)
- Ryan Huizenga (Grand Rapids Children’s Museum)
- Scott Urbanowski (Humanoid Digital)
Interested in participating in the Local First Program Committee? Apply here (Please Note: Applications are reviewed annually in the Fall).
B Local Committee
Good For Michigan is Michigan’s designated B Local! B Locals are place-based communities of people using business as a force for good. B Locals exist to create connections, increase the positive impact of their B Corp community, and raise awareness of the B Economy.
- Assist with the growth of and retention of Michigan’s B Corp community and stakeholder/ advocates for using business as a force for good.
- Work collaboratively with PFE team, B Lab and the U.S/Canada B Local community to effectively resource, engage, educate and celebrate Michigan’s B Corp community.
Learn more about B Local communities in the United States and Canada here.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
Katherine (she/her) comes to West Michigan from the East Coast and brings over a decade of experience in local food systems and sustainability. Prior to joining Local First, Katherine was the co-founder, program director of Food Connects in Vermont, a nonprofit that works to increase access to healthy, local foods within Vermont’s schools. Jandernoa earned her master’s of arts in sustainable development from the SIT Graduate Institute and her bachelor of arts in international affairs from The George Washington University. Having lived in large urban centers, (Boston, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.), and small rural communities in Massachusetts and Vermont, Katherine loves all that West Michigan has to offer and is thrilled to call Grand Rapids home.
When not at the office, you might find Katherine at the Fulton Street Farmers Market, one of our many local restaurants, or exploring Blandford Nature Center and Wilcox Park with her sons.
Mieke (Mee-ka, she/her) is a storyteller, community builder, and daughter to self-employed parents. She has a background in nonprofit marketing and visual communications. In 2014, she started volunteering with the Local First program and fell in love with the mission, the people, and the work culture. Two years later, when the opportunity to tell the People First story full-time arose, she had to take it. Mieke is inspired by the ways Michigan businesses collaborate and loves to brag about the rad things they’re up to. She also loves hiking, backpacking, cooking, mountain biking, moto riding, laughing, dancing, and almost anything if it’s outdoors. If you’re unsure of how to say her name, she also answers to Meeks, Red Dawn, Biker Babe, and Dutch Strong Arm. Give her a trail recommendation or a new recipe next time you see her!
When not at the office, you might find Mieke at: The Cheese Lady, Fulton Street Farmers Market, Rebel, Rock Paper Scissors, in the woods, or on the road.