Robert L. Trezise, Jr.
President & CEO
Prior to joining Lansing Economic Area Partnership as President & CEO, Bob Trezise was President and CEO of the Lansing Economic Development Corporation (LEDC), as well as manager of both the Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA) and the Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (LBRA) for six years. Bob completely re-organized the LEDC into a dynamic organization, resulting in 50 historic achievements for the city in economic development and approximately 5,000 private sector jobs. He led the effort to rehabilitate scores of abandoned buildings including the long vacant Power Station plant in downtown on the riverfront into the new national corporate headquarters for Accident Fund, all totaling over $600 million in private investment. During this time, Bob also became the interim manager for the Principle Shopping District and re-organized that agency into a Main Street organization. Bob also oversaw the development of Mayor Bernero’s nationally recognized Linking Lansing and "U" program, linking Michigan State University and the knowledge class with the city as well as creating other innovative programming.
Bob was hired in 2001 Michigan Economic Development Corporation to create the state’s first downtown/community development department called the Community Assistance Team (CATeam). This team created strategic economic development plans for communities and also packaged urban tools and incentives, especially the brownfield program, for specific city projects. During his tenure at the state, Bob also created and operated the Michigan Main Street program and the BluePrints for Michigan’s Downtowns.
Prior to that, Bob spent two years as the Vice President for the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, running their privately funded economic development and marketing program called Capital Choice. This program represented the Ingham, Eaton and Clinton county region. During this tenure, Bob played a leadership role with the Retain GM Quick Response Team effort and created the Capital Area Response Team (CARTeam), designed to accommodate GM and future suppliers locating to the region.
Bob started his career with Delta Township, a major township to the immediate west of Lansing, starting and operating their economic development program, landing many industrial plants. During that time Bob was recognized by the Lansing Chamber as the "Small Business Advocate of the Year" and was President of the Regional Economic Development Team (REDTeam).
Bob is proud to say that he grew up in the city, graduating from the Lansing Public Schools before receiving his Bachelors degree from James Madison College (Michigan State University) and his graduate degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University. Bob has volunteered for many committees including the WKAR public radio and TV Board of Advisors, the James Madison College Board of Visitors and the Greater Lansing Arts Council. Bob also served a year on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Lansing State Journal. In 2000, Bob was recognized by the Lansing State Journal as one of the "100 People to Watch in the 21st Century".
To contact Bob:
Tedi Parsons, CCC, CEC, CPC
Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator
Tedi R. Parsons comes to LEAP bringing over 15-years of professional experiences with a strong background in human resources, operations and top level executive support, including holding positions as Vice-President of Operations & Human Resources, Sr. Executive Assistant, Facilities/Operations Manager, and Executive Administrator. He received his certification in Purchasing & Procurement after attending the University of Wisconsin – Madison, School of Business. Additionally, he holds designations as a Certified Career Coach (CCC), Certified Executive Coach (CEC) and Certified Professional Coach (CPC), including certifications in facilities management, ergonomics and human resources.
Currently, Tedi serves on the Education Committee and Race for the Cure team for the Susan G Komen – West Michigan Affiliate. He also provides his time and service at the Women’s Resource Center (Grand Rapids, MI), creating and providing specialized career service programs for their clients. Additionally, he provides assistance and direction for several community projects and nonprofits throughout the region.
To contact Tedi:
Steven L. Willobee, LEED AP
Director, Business Development
Steve is the Director of Business Development for the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP). Steve has over 13 years of experience in assisting governmental and private clients secure financial incentives and address federal, state and local requirements associated with redevelopment projects, including seven years with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). He has managed various brownfield and other community redevelopment projects for municipal, industrial, and developer clients throughout Michigan. Steve has assisted clients in obtaining brownfield tax increment financing (TIF) and business tax credits, historic tax credits, low income housing tax credits, industrial tax credits, property tax abatements, grants, and other federal, state, and local resources.
Prior to joining LEAP, Steve was the Manager of Community Development and Funding for Soil and Materials Engineers, Inc. (SME). Steve had a strong business and client development role for SME.
To contact Steve:
517.702.3387 x 207
Director, Economic Development
With over 20 years of experience in economic development at both the regional and local level Karl brings a wide variety of skills and practical knowledge to the LEAP team. He is an expert in Brownfield Redevelopment, Intergovernmental Development, Development Finance and Business Expansion, Retention and Attraction. He has been directly involved in hundreds of economic projects from small micro-enterprise start-ups to major redevelopment projects including the GM Grand River and Lansing Delta assembly plants and the Accident Fund’s new world headquarters.
Mr. Dorshimer was born in Lansing and attended Lansing Public Schools. He graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Resource Development with an emphasis in Economic Development. After MSU he was a General Contractor working in the construction business in Alaska. During the long winters he earned a Master’s of Science in Economic Development and graduated from the University of Alaska. His Master’s thesis was an evaluation of using tax incentives to encourage development.
He returned to Lansing and started his career in economic development at the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission. While at Tri-County he was in charge of the Regional Economic Development program including developing an Overall Economic Development Plan for the Lansing region. Mr. Dorshimer left Tri-County Planning to go to work for the Capital Area Michigan Works! Agency. While at Michigan Works! he restructured their contractor evaluation system to improve the delivery of workforce training and education services to the region’s employers and workers.
Karl leaves the Lansing Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) to come to LEAP. While at the LEDC he advanced from Project Coordinator to Vice President and then President and CEO. He also started their Business Retention and Brownfield Redevelopment Programs. The Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (LBRA) was one of the first in the state and has been a huge success with over 50 projects totaling a billion dollars in private investment and created thousands of jobs. The success of the LBRA has been recognized nationally by the International Economic Development Council and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Mr. Dorshimer has earned many honors and professional certifications including: Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), Economic Development Finance Professional, American Institute of Certified Planners, Graduate of the Economic Development Institute, Outstanding Academic Achievement from MSU and the Most Outstanding Thesis Award from the International Economic Development Council. He is a past president of the Lansing Regional Economic Development Team and is a 20 year member of the Michigan Economic Developers Association. He has also published articles in the Economic Development Journal the premier publication of the Economic Development profession.
Mr. Dorshimer is proud to have continued to learn and grow with the Lansing area during the last few truly transformational years. He has learned that with foresight, innovation and leadership, the Lansing region can continue to thrive by meeting the challenges head-on and persevering until success is achieved. As a new member of the LEAP team, Karl looks forward to keeping the Lansing region and Michigan the best place to be.
To contact Karl:
517.702.3387 x 210
Tri-County Development Manager
Keith Lambert is the Tri-County Development Manager for the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP). As part of the Business Development group, Keith works to augment LEAP’s support system outside the immediate Lansing area by engaging communities across the greater region and expanding their capabilities in general economic development and in specific development projects. He works closely with LEAP’s Agriculture and Food Business work group and the area’s corridor improvement authorities, while also representing LEAP on a variety of other boards and committees throughout the region.
Keith Lambert was previously the Coordinator of the Microenterprise Network of Michigan (MNM) at CEDAM, where he worked to grow the capacity of entrepreneur-supporting organizations across the state and advocated on behalf of those organizations and entrepreneurship more generally. Keith earned his BA in International Relations from James Madison College at Michigan State University, with an additional major in Economics and a specialization in Political Economy. He is thrilled with the prospect of continuing to live in the Lansing area while working to make the region more vibrant and attractive, filled with great businesses both big and small.
To contact Keith:
517.702.3387 x 211
Director, New Economy Division
Jeff Smith serves as Co-Director of the New Economy Division for the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP). In this role, Jeff establishes and extends programming for entrepreneurship and innovation. Prior to joining LEAP, Jeff Smith spent the last 4 years as Project Manager for New Economy Initiatives for the City of East Lansing, as well as staff of the Lansing Regional Smartzone. In these roles, Jeff helped develop the operations and management programs for the Technology Innovation Center and the Hatch Student Business Incubator.
Prior to working with the City of East Lansing, Jeff spent 4 years as a Senior Analyst with Anderson Economic Group, conducting real estate market studies and feasibility studies for developers and communities across the state and nation. Jeff is a proud graduate of Michigan State University, earning both a Bachelors in Telecommunications and a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning.
To contact Jeff:
517.702.3387 x 203
Quin D. Stinchfield
Manager of Business Incubation
Quin D. Stinchfield serves as Business Incubation Manager under the New Economy Division for the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP). In this role, Quin works with entrepreneurs and business incubators throughout the Greater Lansing region to help foster and create a Regional Incubation Network, an entrepreneurial ecosystem, and help with the development of the Lansing Regional Smartzone. Prior to joining LEAP, Quin spent 8+ years in Charleston, South Carolina. Most recently, Quin served as the Business Advancement Director for the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. In this role, Quin worked primarily with business retention/expansion requests and established several programs geared toward educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses grow.
Prior to working at the Charleston Metro Chamber, Quin spent over 7 years with the Town of Mount Pleasant, working in various roles from the finance department including Grants and Special Funds and Asset and Audit accounting, to business and economic development. Quin helped launch the Town’s business retention/expansion program and Business Development Initiative as well as the town’s first business incubator program, BIZ INC. Quin earned a BA in Communications and Public Speaking from the University of Akron and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the College of Charleston, SC.
To contact Quin:
517.702.2287 x 206
Manager of Business Acceleration
Tony is the Business Acceleration Manager for LEAP where he assists business owners and entrepreneurs get their ideas from concept to market as soon as possible. He helps businesses tap into the vast amount of resources Greater Lansing has to offer whether it be the Business Accelerator Fund, business pitch competitions, local incubators, and many more.
Prior to joining LEAP, Tony spent the past three years as a Business Services Specialist at MSU Federal Credit Union. In this role, Tony specialized in business development, account management, and commercial lending with a focus on startups. Tony is a proud Spartan, having earned a BA in Communications with specialization in PR from Michigan State University. Tony prides himself with being connected and involved, so he maintains active involvement with many organizations including the Lansing Regional Chamber, Delta Side Business Association, Grand River Connections, to name a few.
To contact Tony:
517.702.3387 x 208
Marchelle Smith is multi-talented bringing almost 12 years of downtown revitalization expertise and over 22 years of high-level business management experience. Marchelle keeps everything running seamlessly at the Lansing Economic Development Corporation, whether it is managing the organization’s complicated financial reporting and operations or pioneering and spearheading a Downtown Design Committee targeted towards revitalization efforts.
Marchelle has been responsible for implementing and administering several programs including Revolving Business Loan Programs, Arts and Culture Sense of Place Grant programming, Downtown Façade Improvement Grant program, a Business Sign Grant Pilot program and an Arts & Culture Matching Loan Fund program to name a few. She has led the way in the utilization of the Neighborhood Enterprise Zone program for the construction and rehabilitation of several housing developments throughout the city. Marchelle excels at every project at hand and takes the necessary steps to launch projects successfully. She has been active on several committees and is constantly involved in volunteer work. Outside of the office, Marchelle loves watching sunsets, enjoys visiting harbor towns, golfing and spending time with her husband, Michael.
To contact Marchelle:
517.702.3387 x 201
Director, Communications & Talent
Sara Graham serves as the Director of Communications and Talent leading the Talent & Placemaking department for LEAP. In this role, Sara works closely with state and regional partners to make our region a welcoming community for the talented workforce we currently have and are striving to attract. This consists of managing the Public Art for Communities program, and the City of Lansing Sense of Place in the arts program. Additionally, Sara manages the Global Lansing initiative and the youth entrepreneurship program.
Sara also serves as the sole marketing and communications representative for LEAP, working to tell our region’s story first, to ourselves, then beyond, to the state, nation and globe. Sara manages all social media channels and the website, www.purelansing.com on behalf of the organization.
Sara joined LEAP in 2010 as the MultiMedia Marketing Specialist for LEAP working to develop a brand for LEAP through the web, social media and print materials. Prior to this, Sara worked as a Social Media Manager for Gammet Interactive, a startup marketing agency centered around the tourism industry where she gained extensive knowledge of digital marketing and social media. She received her BA from The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University as well as completed graphic design courses at Lansing Community College. Sara resides in Leslie with her fiance, Chad and their golden retriever, Jarvis.
To contact Sara:
517.702.3387 x 209