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Planning and Economic Development

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eMacomb - Department News, Fall 2016

Staff Updates

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We welcome Jessica Worley as our new GIS (Geographic Information Systems) technician. She is a recent graduate from Miami University in Ohio with a double major in geography and sustainability and a certificate in GIS. She previously interned with the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission as well as the Three Valley Conservation Trust. She has been doing an outstanding job creating interactive maps for multiple department projects. In her spare time, Worley likes hiking, kayaking and visiting museums and parks.



Matt Pierscinski joins our Business Outreach and Communications Group as a graphics technician. He comes to us from C&G Newspapers, where he specialized in website design and coordination. He has a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and minor in advertising from Central Michigan University. Pierscinski has been designing brochures, creating website templates and photographing important happenings around the county. A family man, Matt enjoys spending time with his wife and two children and has another one on the way!


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We congratulate James Ahee on his promotion to program manager of the Economic Development Services Group! Previously, he has served our department as a senior economic development specialist and project coordinator. In his new capacity, Ahee will spearhead the department’s strategy to attract and retain businesses in the county.


Department Happenings

Director John Paul Rea, Deputy Director Vicky Rad and Program Manager James Ahee were joined by County Executive Mark A. Hackel and Chief Deputy County Executive Mark Deldin at the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition Oct. 3-5 in Washington, D.C. Over the course of the three-day event, they promoted Macomb’s defense assets and explained to companies why they should choose to locate here. They also hosted the Arsenal of Innovation Reception which was well attended by representatives from companies all over the world.

Program Manager Maria Zardis organized a massive Manufacturing Day event on Oct. 7. More than 1,600 students from across the county toured 56 local manufacturing sites to learn about careers in modern manufacturing.

Ahee and Senior Economic Development Specialist Jack Johns attended the North American International Cyber Summit on Oct. 17 in Detroit which featured experts discussing today’s most prominent cybersecurity concerns.  As threats like ransomware are on the rise, so is the importance of protecting your business’ data through cybersecurity best practices.

Rea, Program Manager Jeff Schroeder, Program Manager Gerard Santoro, Senior Planner Amanda Minaudo and Associate Planner Brent Geurink attended the Michigan Association of Planning’s annual conference Oct. 26-28 in Kalamazoo. Highlights of this year's conference included sessions focused on community placemaking, state and federal legislative updates, transportation and infrastructure and capital improvements planning.   

Our Land and Water Resources Group worked with partners to coordinate demonstration plantings on Oct. 25 and Nov. 14 as part of the Green Macomb Urban Forest Partnership. Trees, shrubs and plants were installed at bus stops near Macomb Community College in Warren and along the Clinton River in Utica.

Rea, Rad and all of our program managers are attending leadership training through Ulliance, the county’s life advisor employee assistance program. This eight-week course will cover strategies for managing people, promoting inclusion, dealing with difficult situations and more.