He is a graduate of the University of Michigan holding both BBA and MBA degrees. He is a member of the Michigan Business Brokers Association, the National Association of Equipment Lease Brokers and an associate member of the Michigan Commercial Board of Realtors. He is President and a director of the New Enterprise Forum, and actively participates on its coaching teams.
Joseph (Joe) Morrison
Joseph Morrison is an attorney at Bodman Law. Morrison represents high-growth companies in an outside general counsel capacity. He focuses on emerging companies that leverage technology to build their business and brand. He also represents venture capital firms and high net worth individuals that invest in high-growth companies. His business and technology background gives him the ability to deftly advise ambitious entrepreneurs facing legal and business challenges.
Before joining Bodman, Joe worked for Accenture as an information technology consultant in Washington, D.C. He also served as corporate counsel and consulting manager for a Michigan-based IT startup, where he helped scale the company to 50+ employees and $3 million in revenue.
Director of Entrepreneurial Services – SPARK East
Anne is the Commercialization Director for the Michigan Translational Research & Commercialization (MTRAC Innovation Hub for Advanced Transportation) Program. A veteran of the automotive industry, Anne comes to U-M Innovation Partnerships with more than twenty years of global leadership experience at FCA (Stellantis) and General Motors across purchasing, program management, and product development engineering as well as a deep bench in corporate training experience in purchasing strategy, culture building, and transformational leadership.
Most recently, Anne was a director of Entrepreneurial Services, managing director of the SPARK East innovation center and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion lead for the regional economic development organization Ann Arbor SPARK. Anne worked with public/private sector partners and companies to promote inclusive economic opportunity while mentoring high tech companies to scale and commercialize in her role as an entrepreneurial services and DEI leader.
Anne earned her BS in Mechanical Engineering from U-M, followed by an MS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Anne is also trained in diversity and inclusion and is a certified professional innovator.
Charlie has been the Regional Director of the Michigan Small Business Development Center – Greater Washtenaw Region since 2002. In that capacity he has directly counseled, or overseen the counseling of, thousands of local small businesses. He has developed and presented numerous small business training sessions and participated in many varied entrepreneurship support activities. Charlie has also taught a variety of small business and entrepreneurship classes at EMU, WCC and U-M.
Charlie currently serves on the Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Regional Chamber of Commerce Board, and he previously served on Boards for Washtenaw County Workforce Development, the Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship (ACE) and Think Local First of Washtenaw County. Prior to joining the MI-SBDC, Charlie was the Director of Consulting Services at Nonprofit Enterprise at Work. In addition, he was a Senior Consultant with Plante Moran and held several management positions with the Gartner Group. Charlie holds an MPPM from the Yale School of Management and a BA from Hampshire College.
Mr. Piette is the MI-SBTDC Technology Team manager. In his most recent assignment, Alain was president of an advanced manufacturing company. The company was a technology spinout from a large automotive supplier. Alain has also worked in Europe, Southern Africa, Central and South America for international corporations such as DuPont, Sherwin Williams and Kongsberg Automotive. He has also been involved with turn-around, startup and M&A activities. Alain brings his extensive experience in organizational development, manufacturing, R&D, market development, technology transfer and international expansion to the team.
Mr. Piette is also an avid farmer. He is passionate about agronomy and entrepreneurship in the agricultural field. He has taken a very visible position at the Michigan State University Agricultural Incubators and evaluates agricultural translational research projects which can be supported by MTRAC which is funded by the State of Michigan. He is also involved with AcreAGTech, an emerging independent business accelerator in the State of Michigan by providing strategic reflection and leadership guidance.
Alain earned and BSBA and MBA from Wayne State University.
values that drive successful business development. He writes a frivolous blog, publishes a weekly newsletter, has numerous articles published in trade journals including SIA - The Staffing Stream, and has authored and published “Managing The MSP” - a book centered on the proposition of building successful relationships with Managed Service Providers in the contingent labor space. In addition to his extensive business development acumen, Dan is an accomplished public speaker. Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northwood University in Midland, MI.
Chao’s financial expertise will be counted on to support CapStone Holdings, Inc. and its affiliates and subsidiaries with setting strategic goals, directing operational activities for continued growth, evaluating investment opportunities and risk analysis, as well as portfolio management. Chao will also have responsibilities for entrepreneurial initiatives in Southeast Michigan, including developing strategic partnerships and alliances with local innovation hubs, universities, and venture groups.
Prior to joining CapStone, Chao was an organizational development consultant at Sensei Change Associates and the co-founder and chief financial officer of The Back Office Studio, a co-working space in Ypsilanti. As a first-generation immigrant, he came to the United States from China for his master’s degree in Human Resources Management and Organizational Development in 2010. A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Chao is a part-time lecturer at the College of Business and gives back to the community through being the board member of the Neighborhood Theater Group and other efforts.
Sysko has been a consultant, advisor and mentor to dozens of start-ups and hundreds of small businesses. He advises startups, emerging, and turnaround companies with launch, growth, and rebuilding strategies. He helps founders discover and effectively tell their story, develop their value proposition, identify and avoid – or tear down – roadblocks, and turn their ideas into focused, viable business plans. Through a strategic partnership with metro Detroit-based Poco Labs, Sysko helps companies with concept development, consumer research and product design. He is a board member, past-president, and coach at New Enterprise Forum.
Sysko holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wayne State University and an MBA from Eastern Michigan University.
Wendy Thomas is the Southeast Region Director for the Michigan Small Business Development Center which services Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties. Her extensive and rewarding career, spanning over 20 years, has led her to incredible professional growth opportunities.
Wendy has received recognition for Outstanding Volunteer for the CEED Detroit Loan Program, Michigan Small Business Center of Excellence and Innovation Award, and SBA Small Business Consultant of the Year. Wendy is also certified as a Small Business Consultant and a Small Business Administration Export Trade Specialist.
Wendy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Michigan State University, Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Entrepreneurship, and a Master of Science in Integrated
Marketing Communications from Eastern Michigan University. Wendy is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Societies. She also complimented her academic achievements with studying business practices abroad in Asia and Europe including China, England and France.