Kevin W. Boyd, M.B.A., M.S.
Kevin is a multi award-winning Education Specialist and published author of the books eBay Business at Your Fingertips, eBay Rescue Problem Solver, eBay Rescue Profit Maker and the technical editor for The Complete Idiot’s Guide to eBay. As a professional online marketing consultant, he has appeared on various TV and radio programs including eBay radio. Reporters have interviewed him for his insights to online entrepreneurship with published articles appearing in Bloomberg News, Inventor’s Digest, Antique Trader, The Seattle Times and several other newspapers and magazines. The primary objectives for his writing, teaching, and consulting is to educate online sellers at all levels and equip them with the skills necessary for online entrepreneurial success.
Valoree Boyer is a nationally certified sign language interpreter. She has worked in various roles in the interpreting profession and taught sign language courses for community groups and schools for the past twenty-one years. As a lifelong resident of Battle Creek, Valoree credits her passion for sign language to growing up surrounded by Deaf friends and caregivers. Currently, Valoree runs her own contract interpreting business and is summer camp director for Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBind youth. She enjoys teaching communication tools, like sign language, to build stronger families and communities.
Gary has been making artisan cheese for twelve years. He lives with his wife, Sylvia, in Charlotte, Michigan. He has training from Glengarry Cheese Company in Canada and has been guided by Ricki Carol of New England Cheese Making Company. He took a short cheese course from Michigan State University. His last training was from Peter Dixon in Pennsylvania on Farmstead Cheese Making. He has made many types of cheese, but most of his classes have been with the fresh cheeses which can be made easily in the home.
Thomas Crane, AAMS
Tom has been in the financial services industry for over 20 years. He received his Associates Degree from Kellogg Community College and a Business Degree from Central Michigan University. He recently relocated back to Battle Creek with his wife of 23 years and their four daughters.
Janean offers classes in Feng Shui, Chinese 4 Pillars of Destiny, Overview of Chinese metaphysical studies, Aikido, Practical Self Defense, Medical and Buddhist Qigong, as well as Job Skills classes such as interview skills and cover letter writing.
She has practiced Seidokan Aikido for 22 years and has been instructing for 20 years. She currently holds the rank of Godan (5th degree black belt) making her the highest ranked woman internationally in the Seidokan Aikido system. With the re-organization of the system in Spring 2009, the co-founder and current head of the Seidokan Aikido system bestowed upon her the honor of Director of Ki Development for the organization. Janean teaches Practical Self Defense seminars throughout Calhoun, Branch, Barry, and Kalamazoo counties and has co-authored a booklet used by the Seidokan organization for teaching Aikido instructors how to teach Practical Self Defense to participants who have no previous knowledge of Aikido.
She is certified to teach Qigong by Masters Liang, Shou-Yu and Wu, Wen-Ching and has been teaching qigong at the Aikido Institute of Michigan for 12 years. Janean began her Feng Shui and additional Chinese metaphysical studies in 2000 under Master Joseph Yu of the Feng Shui Research Center. She has been a professional Feng Shui practitioner since 2001 and in 2009, earned the title ‘Master of Feng Shui’ from Master Yu and the Feng Shui Research Center.
In 2005, Janean began teaching Life Skills and Job Skills classes in a community program for persons with documented homelessness; the goal being to teach them how to gain and keep employment. In 2006, after being asked to take over a Supported Employment Program for young adults with disabilities, she completed the Employment Training Specialist Certification Program, receiving certification as an Employment Specialist through Michigan State University, Department of Family and Child Ecology from their Projects for Community Inclusion program. In addition to working as a supported employment specialist, she has taught interview skills and cover letter writing to professional and non-professionals alike.
Ron is a full time English faculty member at Kellogg Community College. In addition to teaching in his academic field, he advises the KCC Golf Club and teaches the Spring and Fall Golf classes for the physical education department. Ron has completed training with the Golfworks Clubmaking Academy, U.S. Federation of Golf Teaches Level II golf instruction training, and currently volunteers with New Level Sports youth as a golf instructor/mentor for youth ages 10 – 16. Ron enjoys family, teaching, competitive golf, basketball, movies, non-fiction literature and travel.
Sue started practicing Tai Chi in 2000. In 2005, she began teaching a class at the Aikido Institute of Michigan, and she has taught in the Lakeview Adult Continuing Education program and with KCC’s Lifelong Learning for over five years.
Randy gained his computer expertise through his wide and varied work history. He was a radioman in the U.S. Navy, where he was responsible for communication security, and retired from the U.S. Air Force as a civilian employee where he was a computer systems administrator. He holds Associate of Arts degrees in Business Administration and Accounting, and Certificate in Computer Information Systems from Kellogg Community College. His love of computers started in the 1970s where he remembers working on a Radio Shack TRS 80. He stays current in his industry by maintaining the computer systems of two area businesses and through his involvement in professional groups dedicated to computer technology.
A professional piano player since 1995, Marc is well versed in the fields of pop, rock, country, blues and jazz. He has a B.A. in Music from St. Francis Xavier in his native country, Nova Scotia. He is certified by the New School of American Music to teach their one day piano workshop method. Since 2008, Marc has helped many busy adults make piano playing an enjoyable part of ther lives. He currently works as a piano entertainer throughout the country, in recording studios, and as a keyboard player in touring bands. Marc has opened up for several national acts, including Sheryl Crow, Foreigner, Peter Frampton, Taylor Swift and more.
Kassie is a Librarian at Kellogg Community College and a graduate of the LISP program at Wayne State University. She has been knitting and crocheting for 22 years and is always looking for a new technique to learn. She hopes to one day complete the Master Knitters Course from the Knitting Guild of America.
Joan Ezinga, M.S.N., R.N.
Joan has over 42 years’ experience in developing, teaching, and presenting wellness programs. Specific interest is in prevention and women’s health. Past work experience includes Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department, Director of Wellness and Diabetes Center, and grant writer and trainer for Women’s Health.
William Fitzgerald, PhD
Bill has been practicing meditation for 20 years. He is a licensed psychologist who does counseling with individuals and couples in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. Much of his work as a counselor is based on ideas and concepts associated with mindfulness and the integration of meditation with counseling. He earned his doctoral degree from Western Michigan University along with a graduate certificate in holistic health, and over the years, has worked in many cities around the country, including rural Alaska. Throughout his lifetime, he has experienced the many benefits of meditation and enjoys encouraging others to do the same.
Michelle is a transplant from the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic states. She appreciates her Education degree from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA and the opportunity to serve our Michigan community as Board Chair for Kingman Museum and the Battle Creek Community Literacy Collaborative; Board Member of Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Fund; finding talent for Battle Creek Enquirer’s MOSAIC Storytelling Showcase and saga PRESENTS; artists and entrepreneurs for Changling Lab; and welcoming people to our area through Newcomers Hub. She spent years recruiting executives and professionals for nonprofits and small businesses, and currently helps organizations with marketing, facilitation, strategic planning, special events, and fundraising to increase their effectiveness and impact. She loves mermaids, imaginative people and things, and making a difference. She thinks life-long learning is vital and fun!
Wrifton Graham has been beekeeping since 2000 and became a Master Beekeeper in 2015. He owns a bee supply store and a small garden center where he combines his love and knowledge of pollinators with using local native flowers, plants and trees for maximum positive impact. He presents programs around the tri-state area about beekeeping as well as native plants. His bee store is the largest beekeeping educator in the State of Michigan; helping thousands of people become beekeepers. He strives to be sustainable in his habitat management and education while remaining pesticide/herbicide free.
John is an experience journalist and award-winning visual storyteller who is adept at promoting his work on Facebook and Twitter. He worked as a photojournalist and video desk editor for the Battle Creek Enquirer for 18 years, and as a free-lance photographer for multiple area organizations. John has also worked as an adjunct photography instructor for Kellogg Community College.
Patricia is a single mom residing in Allegan, MI. She considers herself very blessed to be able to create her professional life and passion around raising her two sons, Sam (17) and Charlie (13). On a metaphysical level, Patti is a Teaching Reiki Master, Energy Radiance Practitioner, and a Psychic Channel Spiritual Guide. She is also a Reverend, Licensed Aesthetician, Professional Makeup Artist, Certified Color Specialist and Certified Image Consultant. She owned and operated a full service beauty salon in South Florida for more than 10 years and has been published in several trade magazines and journals. She was also called upon to address groups of her peers and to review many trade publications, including Milady’s Standard-Comprehensive Training for Aestheticians, which is used in most cosmetology schools today. Currently, Patti is the owner of Rainbow Shades, a custom natural makeup and image consulting business. She also can be found teaching metaphysical classes in energy, color and Reiki, as well as offering private sessions in her studio and at Choices Unlimited in Richland, MI.
Neil works with businesses on their social media marketing and has spoken on various aspects of social media to both civic and academic organizations. Neil has tremendous passion for social media and loves teaching people about new methods of communication. He teaches social media to the novice and to business professionals. He feels it’s crucial that businesses understand how to really use social media to their advantage. As an experienced instructor, he is able to work with users at all levels to help them achieve their social media objectives.
Jim has been involved with genealogical research since the mid 1970s and holds a master’s degree from Central Michigan University in Business Administration (IT). He created the Michigan Biographical Index, a database of Michigan persons with nearly two million entries.
Jim moved to the Battle Creek area from Troy (Oakland county), Michigan several years ago after he retired and discovered he had roots here in Battle Creek with ancestors buried in Battle Creek’s historic Oak Hill cemetery.
A social entrepreneur and field missiologist, LE impacts the lives of common people by promoting education, the power of the knowledge of self-worth, and hope of one’s future. Alongside the preaching of the gospel, LE employs the arts, social development, and humanitarianism to create positive change around the world.
As a graduate of the University of Michigan and Masters Degree Candidate at Harvard University set to graduate in May of 2017, L.E. seeks to use his education to improve the lives of suffering humanity. His humanitarian work extends from cities in Western Michigan, Northern Indiana and Illinois to countries in northern South America. Recently, he launched the Mildred Casenia Hayward Wells Campaign in the countries of Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Peru. The campaign will reach 10,000 children in rural and urban areas in 2017 teaching The Five Pathways to Success. In the Lake Michigan loop, L.E. combats illiteracy and innumeracy through Hip-Hop 4 Change. Through hip-hop pedagogy, Hip-Hop 4 Change increases literacy and numeracy among teens in urban centers.
Minnie Kansman and her business Eco~Balance Humanity in Harmony with Nature have been assisting others with Feng Shui, Space Clearing, and the Nature Spirit Connection since 1994. She is a certified Master Feng Shui Consultant and Educator, A Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide, and also the author of the beautiful Feng Shui garden book, Spirit Gardens: Rekindling our Nature Connection.
Sean is a Certified Chef de Cuisine and Executive Chef at Arcadia Brewing Company. His wit and charm in the kitchen will keep you on the edge of your seat while your senses become enveloped in the wonderful aromas and tastes he creates as part of our demonstration cooking classes.
Mark Lambert has been part of the Ebay community since he opened his buyer’s account in 1999. He has gone on to become an experienced seller, having run a successful used book business part-time using Ebay. He has taught others how to become buyers and sellers for more than five years. A 21-year resident of Battle Creek, he graduated from Spring Arbor University with a degree in Management and Organizational Development.
Cheryl has been a Group Fitness Instructor for over 27 years and has been certified through the American Council on Exercise for 15 years. She holds certifications in CPR, YogaFit, and Zumba and has taught exercise classes using Aerobic Dance, Step, YogaFit, Kickboxing, Slide, Circuit Training, and senior fitness using Sit and Be Fit. You may have seen her on Accessvision in the late 1980s as the host of “Luts Workout”! Cheryl is a current member of the Air National Guard and has served over 24 years in the military. She has been married for 36 years.
Susan Mae McCabe
Susan is the Paralegal Program coordinator at Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, Michigan. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin Law School. While a law student, she completed internships with the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. After graduation, she clerked for the Dane County Circuit Court. Susan practiced civil, family, and commercial law and was an adjunct instructor at the University of Wisconsin Law School and area colleges before relocating to Michigan in 2002.
Xenia has been working in the field of interpreting for over 15 years. She shares: “Signing has always been intriguing and beautiful to me. I was drawn to it at a young age. Using ASL, one can express the most complex, multifaceted concepts through effective nonverbal means with grace and precision. I love what I do, and it shows in my passion for Sign Language in my classes. I have been certified by the state of Michigan as a QAIII interpreter for the past 10 years. My career in Interpreting began at the age of 19, and since then, I have worked in a variety of settings, including educational, medical, theatrical, technical, and religious.
“I worked as a language consultant on the children’s book “Ella’s Joy…Signs of Joy” by Marjorie Dykema. I successfully passed my E.I.P.A. (Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment) and am currently studying for my national credentials from R.I.D. (Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf).
“I have taught sign classes for beginner and intermediate levels, as well as workshops. I have had the privilege and honor of serving others as a mentor and tutor in my field. I am a Kalamazoo Regional Educational Services Agency (K.R.E.S.A.) employee working in the K-12 setting. In my free time, I enjoy photography and scrapbooking.”
Dawn has been decorating cakes since 1996 and worked at Murphy’s Cake, Candy and Flowers, and Family Fare. She became a Wilton Cake Decorating teacher in 2000, and has taught over 175 students to date. She shares, “I have decorated more than 600 wedding cakes and a few thousand occasion cakes. In 2008, I was chosen to participate at the Spartan Decorating Challenge. I didn’t place, but it was a great experience for me. I am hoping to get picked again this year. My sister and I have made fancy candies for over 20 years, and in the processes of learning about that, we also started baking cookies. It has been a long tradition of ours to make the candy, cookies and cakes for the family get together for Thanksgiving and Christmas, with a little bit leftover for the New Year.”
Carole embarked on her second career in 2007 after retiring from Meijer, Inc. as an Operations Vice President in 2003. Carole was trained by Barb Schwarz, the creator of the home staging industry, and certified by StagedHomes of Chicago. Her company, StageRight Home Staging, has staged, redesigned or remodeled nearly 100 properties including, vacant, occupied, commercial and residential sites.
Carole’s background and education in business management, as well as art and design, makes her well-suited for the home staging and design business. She recently expanded the business by adding two more home stagers and secured a contract with a national relocation service and provides exclusive service to all of southwest Michigan.
Carole’s favorite aspects of her job include re-purposing existing pieces, defining space, and giving that space purpose and color. Carole has lived in or near Battle Creek and attended Battle Creek Public Schools, Kellogg Community College, and Argubright Business College (now Davenport University).
She is married to Howard Morgan and they have three adult children. Carole serves on the Board of Trustees for the Humane Society of Southwest Michigan and has three rescue cats at home. She shares the most exciting thing she has done recently is parasailing — up, up and away!
Sandy’s passions revolve around horses and cats with many years raising and training horses and caring for cats. Her day job to support those passions has covered the gamut of business and information technology, including web development, business process improvement, project management, and programming. She’s currently doing Java development for the Defense Logistics Agency.
Julie Moore, owner of Sheldon Fine Books since 1974, has bought and sold antiquarian and scarce books from two bookshop locations in Michigan and now currently on the internet and at Michigan book fairs. Specialties include American Civil War, A.C. Doyle and Gruelle illustrated works. She has worked closely with many librarians and collectors in the State doing appraisals. Julie is an author, lecturer, and performs appraisal services. Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Liz is a retired teacher and Professor Emeritus at Kellogg Community College, where she taught history and psychology for 40 years. She is a graduate of Delta Community College, Central Michigan University (Master of Arts degree in History), and Western Michigan University (Master of Arts degrees in Counseling Psychology and Communication). She helped develop Heritage Battle Creek magazine and other works of local history. She is currently working on a project with the Historical Society, helping second grade teachers develop resources for teaching local history under a grant obtained from the Binda Foundation and Battle Creek Community Foundation. Her hobbies include researching local history, reading, bird watching and gardening.
Debbie has been consistently working toward educating herself to make healthier life choices for more than a decade. She has studied the effects of commonly used household and personal care products, as well as more natural and chemical free alternative. Debbie feels that while we cannot eliminate all of the harmful effects of our fast past, convince based way of life, it is important to be able to make educated choices
Joanna Stelloh Phelps
Joanna is a culinary Instructor for the Michigan Youth Challenge Academy program through the Calhoun Area Career Center, and is a monthly food columnist for Senior Times and Scene Magazine. She has over 25 years in food service, preparation, training, education, marketing, and hospitality with Bill Knapp’s Restaurants, the Mawby Center, Clara’s On The River, and is the owner/operator of a personal chef/on-site catering business. As the former chef at the Mawby Conference Center, she has served groups of five to 400. She serves as an advisor to the Calhoun Area Career Center culinary arts program, and has conducted culinary presentations and workshops at Burnham Brook, Mawby Center, Calhoun Area Career Center, and local adult education programs. She is also the owner of Norse Country Consulting, a firm specializing in event planning, marketing and public relations, and fund and program development.
Carli has spent 15 years as a professional psychic medium and worked with the properties of stones and gems. She was born gifted as a psychic medium and loves to teach others how they can develop their own psychic abilities. She is an ordained minister and holds Reiki 1 and 2 certifications and degrees in Clairvoyance, Cartomancy, Remedial Massage, Herbal Medicine and Eating Disorders Counseling and Chi Kung. Her metaphysical classes include dream interpretation, Tarot interpretation, Theban alphabet and traditional ink writing, herbal medicine, chakra and aura reading, astral travel, guided meditation, the history of gods and goddesses, and a wide variety of psychic communication methods and tools. She is the owner of Bewitching Wares.
Kathy is the President of Energy Pathways, Inc. and is a Certified Craniosacral Specialist, Reiki Master Teacher, Workshop Facilitator and Speaker/Coach. Since 2008, Kathy has lead individuals into a higher vibration lifestyle. She uses coaching strategies and energy balancing techniques to help her clients transform their perspectives and remove blocks, both physically and non-physically. By doing this, each client opens up to the vibration of the success they desire.
Rachel Roelof, who has been practicing yoga for more than 10 years, earned her Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) 200 certification in 2010. Rachel’s goal is to teach yoga in a way that is practical for modern lives and accessible for every body. She also strives to dispel the misconception that one must be fit and flexible in order to practice yoga.
“Over and over, I hear from people, ‘Oh, I’d love to try yoga, but I can barely touch my toes.’ No matter your age or gender or whether you’re an athlete or it has been 10 years since you’ve exercised, absolutely everyone can benefit from a regular yoga practice,” Rachel said. “I aim to make my classes safe and supportive for all abilities.”
As a working mother of two energetic young boys, Rachel uses yoga to find balance in her everyday life.
“It’s true that yoga helps me deal with many common physical issues, but it also helps me reduce stress and tension,” she said. “Above all, it allows me to cultivate mindfulness, which is useful in my career and my personal relationships.”
Tom’s teaching experience started when he was a police officer for the city of Coldwater, MI. He taught Legg Middle School 6th graders a program on “Drugs and the Law” and Coldwater senior citizens computer classes through the Institute for Learning in Retirement at Kellogg Community College. Since then, he has retired from the police department, completed his associate degree at KCC in 2003, and has the distinction of being the very first graduate of Miller College where he completed his Bachelor of Applied Science in Career Technology in 2006. He’s currently working on his Master of Arts in Leadership with an emphasis on Homeland Security through Siena Heights University.
Tom is an Open Entry Instructor at Kellogg Community College. In this role, he works with KCC students to help them better use technology to improve their performance and enhance learning.
Author and lecturer Jewel Shelden has made a life-long study of palmistry and dermatoglyphics, reading thousands of hands at corporate and university events, and for private groups. She works as a professional psychic consultant on a daily basis. She is a certified hypnotherapist, ordained minister and Reiki master. She has been a guest psychic on a radio show in Ann Arbor, and has often been a presenter at the annual Great Lakes Retreat. Jewel teaches classes on various occult subjects and supports the sharing of ancient and secret information.
David C. Sink, R.N., B.S.N., B.S.
David currently practices nursing in Critical Care. He holds a Fourth Degree Black belt in To Shin Do and is a 30 year student of Japanese martial arts and eastern mind sciences. David served eight years as a Combat Medic. He has served as a personal security agent for the Royal family of the Dalai Lama. David has led seminars in self-protection and personal development for healthcare professionals, teachers, military and public safety officials.
Delma has been the owner of Organizing For You since 2002, and is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). She brings her experience from her business and home organizing services to teach classes to others who struggle with clutter. Delma has her own line of wood organizing products that she sells on her web site. Her past experience has been from her structured life and 20 years of skills from employment with accounting and space management at Michigan State University. In her spare time, Delma enjoys traveling, reading, spending time with grandchildren, and playing her Banjo at different neighborhood jam sessions.
Kristy is a pianist, humorist and realist, not necessarily in that order. She holds a B.S. in Human Resources Development from Oakland University and M.A.’s in Career & Technical Education and Community Agency Counseling from Western Michigan University, where she has served as an adjunct instructor. Kristy has developed and implemented multiple human services programs under the credo, “You can have fun doing serious work.” As a certified family life educator, credentialed Toastmaster and author of the weekly “Different Drum” humor column, Kristy delights in sharing relatable information in entertaining ways. She’s the kind of person you’d love to get stuck in an elevator with. Kristy operates as an agent of change, providing tools and training for creating more authentic, fully-engaged and sustainable living. You can learn more about Kristy’s re-writing of life’s possibilities at www.beyondokay.net.
Janey is a certified health and fitness professional who specializes in Personal Training, Pilates, Nutrition and Energy Balancing. She refers to the work she does as The Art of Balance. She believes in quality versus quantity and helping people from a holistic approach. With 20 plus years of energy balancing techniques, working in fitness and a passion for helping others, Janey can help you to feel and look your best and strongest through The Art of Balance no matter what your age, gender or condition. She can be reached at 269-579-JANE (5263) or email@example.com.
Dennis Starbuck, CFP®
Dennis has instructed retirement planning courses for 18 years in school systems, corporations, and community education programs. These courses have helped students realize their life, financial and retirement goals. Dennis specializes in wealth management for retirees and pre-retirees nearing retirement. He is knowledgeable in helping clients invest for income and growth in their portfolio with an overriding emphasis on risk management. He advises clients on IRA strategies to help maximize distributions and avoid the pitfalls and mistakes made by many retirees. In the past 25 years, Dennis has assisted over a thousand clients to help plan to pursue their investment and income goals.
Diana holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing/Drama from Western Michigan University and is currently working on her PhD in English with an emphasis on education. She is a self-taught writer and has been writing for 30 years and sharing her love of language with others for over 15 years as a teacher. Diana has a substantial writing/publication portfolio in screenwriting, playwriting, both long and short fiction, and non-fiction for newspapers and magazines. Currently, she serves as the English Department coordinator and professor at Davenport University and works at both the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo campuses.
Simon A. Thalmann
Simon A. Thalmann is a writer and photographer from Kalamazoo, Michigan. A former journalist, Thalmann currently works as Digital Marketer/Writer in the Public Information and Marketing Department of Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, where he has managed the college’s official social media presence and monitored the college’s presence online since 2012. He graduated from Western Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in English with a Creative Writing emphasis in 2008 and earned a graduate certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications from Eastern Michigan University in 2015. Thalmann currently lives with his wife and their 6-year-old daughter in Kalamazoo, and can be reached with questions, comments and other inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kimberly has been practicing yoga for over nine years and has been dedicated to fitness for 15 years. Yoga is her passion. It helps align and balance the mind, body and breath connection. Anyone can enjoy a gentle yoga practice. She believes a faithful yoga practice will bring about strength, focus and endurance. Practicing yoga will create a better range of motion and lubrication in the joints. It strengthens the muscle to bone structure and promotes a well-balanced body. Everyone is welcome to make yoga their own individual practice and take it at a comfortable pace. The advantages of yoga really do last a lifetime!
Matt has been practicing Tibetan Buddhism since 1990. He is a student of Bardor Tulku Rinpoche, a distinguished Tibetan lama who is the head of Kunzang Palchen Ling in Red Hook, New York. Matt previously worked at Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery and retreat center in Woodstock, New York. He has attended many Buddhist seminars and retreats over the years and is the facilitator of Palchen Study Group Battle Creek (http://palchenbattlecreek.org).
Matt earned a B.A. in History with a minor in religion from Eastern Michigan University and a Master’s degree in library science from Wayne State University. He is a reference librarian at Willard Library.
Mike holds a M.S. degree from Grand Valley State University in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Organizational Leadership and a B.A. in Public Service Administration. Mike’s academic accomplishments include Outstanding Criminal Justice Student of the Year 2007, Graduate Dean’s Citation for Academic Excellence, and he is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi and Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Societies. In addition, Mike has taught at Grand Rapids Community College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and was a three time guest lecturer at Lansing Community College where he talked about overcoming critical issues.
Mike has been a police officer for 24 years and has worked for the Lansing City Police Department and Kalamazoo Township Police Department, where he is currently employed as a Patrol Sgt. Mike has been assigned to community policing, undercover narcotics, field training, firearms/tactical instructor, court security officer, part-time recruiter, and served the KTPOA as Union President and an executive board member. Mike designed a patrol resource guide and a comprehensive training manual (Crime Free Multi Housing) and trained local landlords in how to eliminate/control criminal activity. In addition, Mike has received several investigative commendations and professional letters crediting his work as a police officer. Mike was responsible for enacting legislation making it a felony to disarm a police officer. Mike’s area of concentration centers on verbal and non-verbal communication, customer service, professionalism and a variety of training concepts.
Linda is the Consumer Horticulture & Master Gardener Program Coordinator at the Kalamazoo County MSU Extension. She works extensively in Integrated Pest Management and Plant Diagnostics, food crops, aquatic invasive species and volunteer management. Linda is a Certified Green Industry Professional through MNLA, and a Certified MSU Extension Advanced Master Gardener volunteer with specializations in Landscape Design and Smart Gardening. Linda has an Associate of Science degree from GRCC, a Bachelor’s from Hope College and a Master’s Degree from the University of Michigan, as well as a Certification from MSU’s Agricultural Technology Institute in Landscape Management.
Forest “Rick’ Wilson (CPCU, AIU, AIM, AIS,) is a graduate of Indiana University. He has been a district manager for a large property casualty insurance company for over 20 years. Rick has been responsible for managing a department consisting of 125 people, and a budget that ranges annually from 3-5M$.
Rick helps individuals and families regain control of their financial future through his seminars and personal consultations. He shows families some of the same simple concepts that most successful businesses use to manage their budget. He also outlines some of the key ‘success characteristics” of those who are truly financially independent. He has been conducting classes at schools and for corporations for over 14 years.
Rick is an avid biker (no motor), and has two Old English Sheepdogs.
George has had an intense interest in 3-D art for decades and produced his first bronze bust 20 years ago. Frustrated with the cost of bronze after 10 years, Wise switched to welding steel. He’s taken courses at the Smart Shop, the Kalamazoo Institute of Art and the RMTC.
George has sold his work thru the East End Gallery, the KIA museum, commercial shows and directly to clients. Marshall United Methodist Church, Myers Chiropractic Clinic, the Salon Spa Academy and private citizens have commissioned pieces for their homes and gardens.
Don has been crafting with stained glass for approximately 10 years. A craft introduced to him by his father, Don has spent thousands of hours perfecting his hobby. While his Dad taught him the basics, he received further training from the owner of Peeper’s Stained Glass in Kalamazoo. Don has been instructing students from KCC since 2013 and members from his church at Chapel Hill United Methodist since 2011. The members of the church, who call themselves the “Stained Glass Reunion”, meet weekly during the school year to work on individual and group projects. Don graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1988. He has lived in Battle Creek since 1996 and works full time for the Defense Logistics Agency at the HDI Federal Center. He has one daughter – Marlena. Don’s number one rule for stained glass is patience, something that helps him not only with glass, but with parenting and with the federal government.