Region’s top young professionals recognized at 10 Over the Next Ten awards
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
The tenth annual 10 Over the Next Ten awards were held on September 27 at the University Club of Michigan State University. The annual event recognizes Greater Lansing’s top young professionals who are expected to contribute significantly to our community over the next ten years. The event was co-hosted by the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) and Grand River Connection (GRC).
Congratulations to the recipients of the 2016 10 Over the Next Ten awards:
Lauren Aitch is a designer-in-residence at The Runway and also the founder and CEO of the two companies Lady Aitch and Our Own, as well as her philanthropic organization, The Aitch Foundation. The start of Lauren’s career came after she left Michigan State University with both a bachelor’s degree in advertising and design as well as a master’s degree in public relations. A student athlete in college, Lauren played professional basketball in Copenhagen, Denmark for one year. It was there that Lauren learned more about her other interest of design and was able to spend free time sketching. Thus was the inception of her fashion design company, Lady Aitch. It was also around this time that Lauren began thinking of ideas for a foundation. Partnering with Dr. Jim Potchen and the Michigan State University Health Teams, The Aitch Foundation was created to raise money for early detection of hidden cancers. Along with this mission, the foundation also includes a youth-mentoring program, holds an annual fashion show at Spartan Stadium, the Hidden Key Fashion Show, and sponsors advocacy days to provide opportunities for guests to learn more about their overall health. In addition to these organizations, Lauren created a second clothing line, Our Own, which produces high-performance undershirts for people in public-service occupations.
Michael Bass had his first involvement with his family’s company, Friedland Industries, Inc. as a teenager, working in the summertime, sorting various scrap materials. After graduating from Purdue in 2005, he lived and taught English as a second language in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan (Lansing’s sister city) through the JET Program from 2006 - 2009. After coming home to Michigan, the director of the neurology department at Sparrow Hospital asked Michael if he could tutor a brilliant Chinese neurology physician resident at MSU who was having problems communicating with patients. Since returning to Friedland Industries on a full- time basis, Michael revamped Friedland’s website, updated its profiles on social media outlets, and created profiles for social media outlets it didn’t have yet. He was involved in operations for a period of time, including reorganizing the electronic scrap department. His positions have included: account representative, pricing, scale operator, sorter, PR/marketing/social media director, and legislative liaison. Each position has provided him with a unique education, but early on he became aware of a much larger issue that needed addressing; the level at which our industry is misunderstood. Michael made it his goal then to change how the scrap industry is perceived by the public.
Patrick Dean is proud to live, raise his family and work in Greater Lansing as the vice president of business development for Dean Transportation and Dean Trailways of Michigan: a position he has worked toward since 2007 with various operations and business development roles throughout the organization. Patrick is responsible for day-to-day business and operations management, working with his teams to ensure contract and quality compliance, new business development and oversight of his local management teams. Patrick has also served on various national and international industry committees over the last nine years. Today, Patrick serves on the Board of Directors of Trailways Inc., a company that consists of 70 independent affiliated companies and operates nearly 10,000 passenger transportation vehicles across North America. Additionally, Patrick is serving his second term as board president of the Information Technology Empowerment Center and serves as a representative for Dean Transportation on the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Beyond these roles, in 2014 Patrick was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to serve on the Michigan Board of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons, a nine-member board that oversees the licensure and practice of real estate brokers and salespersons in Michigan. Patrick is honored to represent the people of Michigan as a public member of the board, as well as the 1,974 Dean Transportation employees throughout Michigan.
Tyler Dyke is a native to the Lansing area. He grew up in the small town of Dansville and went to Michigan State. After MSU, he moved to Chicago and then Tampa to try out living in big cities. While he enjoyed everything they offered, Lansing has his heart. By day, Tyler is a securities examiner for the State of Michigan. He examines the solvency and business practices of state-registered investment advisors and broker-dealers. His most fulfilling professional accomplishment has been helping protect Michigan consumers from predatory financial institutions after work and in his free time, Tyler enjoys being actively involved in his community. He is currently on several boards of directors – The Firecracker Foundation, Michigan Pride, and Grand River Connection. Tyler enjoys long walks on the beach, Oxford commas, and whiskey.
Veronica Gracia-Wing is an associate strategist at Piper & Gold Public Relations, her professional path rather winding and non-traditional. Veronica spent a number of years with a variety of organizations including Citadel Broadcasting, University Club of MSU, L&S Associates, Jackson National Life and Christ Community Church. It then became clear to Veronica, who was a fisheries and wildlife major at Michigan State University, that she could marry her passion for natural resources with her ability to communicate and story-tell. Veronica did freelance work with a local growth publication, Capital Gains, as a feature writer. This role then led her to becoming the innovation editor: a role that Veronica feels connected her in a truly significant way with Greater Lansing. This opened several doors for Veronica, including the door that ultimately landed her as associate strategist at Piper & Gold Public Relations. Here, Veronica played a crucial role in the development, and continues to play a role in the success of a start-up company. As associate strategist, Veronica helps clients make an impact in their communities through strategic communications. After three years in public relations, Veronica is a member of the Central Michigan Public Relations Society of America, the Capital Area Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Michigan Society of Association Executives and the Michigan Nonprofit Association, as well as an agency-level member with Community Economic Development Association of Michigan. Veronica is also involved in the following community organizations: President, City of Lansing Park Board; Secretary, Fenner Conservancy; Board Member, Westside Neighborhood Association; Board Member, Over the Ledge Theatre Company. She is also enrolled in the 2016-2017 class of the Lansing Regional Chamber's Leadership Lansing program.
Angela Minicuci is the communications director for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in Lansing, Michigan. Minicuci joined the former Michigan Department of Community Health in August of 2011 as public information officer, and served in that role through September of 2014 working as the spokesperson to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of Michigan. The Department merged into the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in April of 2015. Prior to working for the State, Minicuci worked as the communications coordinator for the Michigan Association of Counties. A graduate of Michigan State University in December 2009, Minicuci received her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a specialization in public relations. Minicuci is active in the community, currently serving on the Central Michigan Public Relations Society of America board as president and sponsorship chair of the annual PACE Awards. She also volunteers on the Capital Area United Way PR & Branding Committee and as the Basic Needs Grant Review Team co-chair, and the Peppermint Creek Theatre Company board as marketing chair.
Michael Nordmann entered the Mid-Michigan workforce in May of 2011, and has dedicated himself to providing world class service in the field of wealth management. In January of 2014 he joined the firm of Morrison, Nordmann and Associates to align himself with a practice whose values, goals, and objectives matched his own and one that could provide the right environment to help him grow his practice and serve the greater Lansing community. Michael manages millions of dollars for people all across the country. Michael has lived in the Mid-Michigan area his entire life and has been working here since graduating from college in May of 2011. He attended Haslett High School and along with his wife bought their first house in Williamston a little over three years ago. Michael and his family have come to love everything that the Greater Lansing area has to offer. They are committed to living here, raising their family here, and making this a better place for everyone. Community service work is great passion of Michael’s. He was raised to help others in need whenever possible.
Ben Rathbun became an independent insurance agent for his family’s insurance agency, The Rathbun Agency, after his graduation from Michigan State University in May 2014. Since joining the agency, Ben has immersed himself in the local community in a multitude of ways. Once a month, Ben delivers Meals on Wheels in partnership with the Tri-County Office on Aging and serves lunch at the Lansing City Rescue Mission with other staff members of The Rathbun Agency. Ben also sits on the Michigan Association of Insurance Agents Young Agents Council, which aims to work with new agents to build relationships, instill a commitment to his industry and develop future leaders. Within the last year, Ben has worked diligently toward making children in Lansing aware of his industry by hosting over 10 job shadows for local high school students. Additionally, Ben formed and chairs the Capital Region Habitat Young Professionals chapter, working with his local habitat affiliate to influence young professionals to be active in the mission. Along with his other charitable efforts, Ben teaches monthly classes at the Center for Financial Health to help first-time homebuyers obtain the knowledge necessary to insure their homes. With this dedication his community, Ben was awarded the Passion for Excellence Award in Home Buyer Education by the Center for Financial Health, and the Citizens Hero award by Citizens Insurance Company.
Christopher Sell is a career educator, project manager, fundraiser and business developer. With over six years of work experience in higher education, Christopher is committed to leveraging relationships with industry, alumni and college students to retain and attract talent in the state and support the advancement of students and initiatives in higher education. In his current role at Michigan State University, Christopher serves as the director of alumni and entrepreneur engagement, where he leads efforts to build advocacy and support for the entrepreneurship ecosystem and student entrepreneurs at the university. Christopher is also very involved in the local community as a #lovelansing enthusiast, serving on the Board of Directors for the Impression 5 Science Center, the premier science center for children and families in the region, and as a member of the Friends of the Lansing River Trail non-profit organization. Additionally, Christopher is founder and lead architect of Lansing 5:01, a new non-profit initiative aimed at creating summer programming to illustrate the emerging quality of life aspects of greater Lansing to college interns and young professionals in the region. Christopher graduated with his bachelor’s from Western Michigan University, his master’s from Michigan State University, the 2012 WMU Academic Leadership Academy and, recently, the inaugural 2015-2016 Leadership Lansing program.
Jose Yanez, owner, Full Circle Financial Planning. Full Circle is a full service financial service firm providing investment, retirement, and insurance planning to individuals and employee benefits to small businesses. Jose currently holds positions as President for the Greater Lansing Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Vice Chair for The Lansing Community College Foundation, and Council Member of the WKAR Development Council. In 2012, Jose was selected as the Michigan Hispanic Entrepreneur of the Year by the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan. Jose currently resides in Lansing and in his free time he enjoys playing basketball and spending time with his wife Sarah, and children Hailey, Isaac, and Noah.