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Reflecting a years-long commitment to supporting the region’s efforts in talent attraction and retention, the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce has announced the hiring of Sarah Bakken to the newly created position of Talent Development Manager. In her position, Bakken will responsible for coordination and communication between ATHENA WIN board, ATHENA Powerlink board, ATHENA Leadership Award, Leadership Lansing, Diversity Equity and Inclusion strategies and the Lansing Chamber events, membership and marketing teams, while interfacing with the Lansing business community. Sarah began her position on February 6, 2023.

“Our members have told us time and time again that talent is one of their main issues they want the Chamber to work on,” said Steve Japinga, LRCC, senior vice president public affairs. “We have listened and made sure our budget priorities continued to match the need of our members and we are bringing on a talent development manager to our team to specifically work on this issue for our members.”

Sarah Bakken has over fifteen years of experience working in technology, hospitality, and non-profit organizations. Sarah has developed an expertise on how to create a better flow of communication, collaboration and organization across different groups of internal and external customers, partners and colleagues. She has a passion for growing a culture of excellent customer service, making sure the internal and external customer voice is always heard. She earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast and cinematic arts, journalism from Central Michigan University.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the team at the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce,” said Bakken. “I look forward to helping support and expand their successful talent initiatives, which is especially important with our growing economy and the need for attracting and retaining great talent in our region. I’m also very excited to be working with ATHENA WIN Lansing, coordinating support and events to fully integrate this local organization into the LRCC.

Among Sarah’s responsibilities will be to spearhead a new partnership LRCC has entered with ATHENA WIN under which LRCC will provide leadership, staff and business support services for ATHENA WIN.

“We are really excited to more closely align with the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce,” said Leslie Batchelor, Chair, ATHENA WIN. “This position will give us administrative and event support which will allow our board to be impactful in executing strategies and growing membership. Not only does this speak to the Chamber’s dedication to developing women leaders, it also allows ATHENA WIN to elevate our offerings and create more value for our members.”

As Talent Development Manager, Bakken will also provide overall departmental support to specific talent programs through board collaboration, internal and external communication, coordination with facilitators and speakers, project management and with internal teams including events and marketing.