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Planning and Economic Development

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eMacomb - Department News, Fall 2015

Staff Happenings

Please help us welcome Brent Geurink, new associate planner within the Land & Water Resources program area.  A native Michigander, Brent returns to the state after earning a master's degree in planning from the University of Southern California and a brief stint working on a California Department of Conservation Watershed Coordinator Grant.  Prior to that, he worked throughout Michigan for Cardno (formerly JF New), an infrastructure and environmental services company.  “I am especially interested in enhancing the ways that our natural systems interact with the built environment,” says Brent.  “I look forward to helping advance the goals and objectives of Macomb County’s Blue Economy Initiative.”  Brent holds a bachelor’s degree from Calvin College in environmental geology and biology.

Caitlin Gerds-Habermas was promoted from account clerk I to associate planner in the Communications and Outreach program area. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and has been with the department since December 2013. She will assist in public relations to promote the department’s initiatives, write and edit department publications and assist in coordinating special events.

Department Director Stephen Cassin will be recognized at the Michigan Association of Planning annual conference on Oct. 9 for 40 years of membership. At this meeting, Program Manager Michael Connors will speak on the topic, “Building Immigrant Friendly Communities: The Role of Planners on behalf of OneMacomb.” On Sept. 1, Michael was appointed to the Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board. He serves as a representative of local economic development, and his term lasts through Aug. 31, 2016.

Deputy Director Vicky Rad has been named co-chair of the Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative. The collaborative was recently awarded a $5.97 million Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment grant. Click here to read more.

Over the past few months, senior economic development specialist Jack Johns worked very closely with the city of Mount Clemens serving on the planning committee for the Mount Clemens Investment Tour; working on the Bikes, Burgers & Brews event that showcased downtown restaurants, Lake St. Clair and the Macomb trail system; and participating in the planning discussion of the future of Mount Clemens.

Project Coordinators Jim Ahee and Camille Silda as well as senior planner Nick Posavetz completed a six-week course with the University of Michigan Dearborn, earning Advancing Business Skills Certificates. The main topics of the course included leadership, corporate social responsibility, brand love, thinking entrepreneurially within the firm, project management and social media analytics. Nick also completed a four-day course in Chicago to receive EMSI Certification as well as a three-day course with the state of Michigan in Lansing where he successfully completed Labor Market Information for Local Users Training.

Sept. 15 – 17, associate planner Dan Rochon and Camille traveled to the International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition & Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. There, they met with suppliers with the goal of business attraction and also gained valuable insight on how to expand the marine industry in Macomb County.