NEF Members

This page is a partial listing of NEF members. Our members are industry leaders with extensive experience across numerous fields. Want to have your listing shown among those already here - become a member!

Bob Ranger
Bob Ranger Consulting
Areas of Expertise: Management, Marketing, Sales, Strategy, Technology
Industry Experience: Automotive, Cleantech / Energy, Manufacturing / Materials

Bob Ranger left Dow Chemical in Midland after 35 years in new business development and relocated to Ann Arbor. He offers full-service consulting with start-ups and small businesses or can work in an EIR role. He can help you at what ever stage your company is at. Below are some examples:

1. Business Services: He can assist with your business model canvas (all 9 elements), ecosystem mapping, market research, customer discovery interviews, etc.
2. Due Diligence: Industry/market expert for market segment screening and assessment, product/market fit (interviewing), and business revenue forecasting in a new market, etc.
3. Entrepreneur in residence: EIR working short-term for a company as CEO, Business Development Manager, etc.

His industry knowledge, business expertise, and large Dow, Dow Corning, DuPont network would be very beneficial to SPARK or NEF clients. He just finished a NSF National I-Corps Coatings project and made a huge impact to the project. He would be happy to meet with anyone looking to assess, launch, or grow their business.

Market and network expertise… All Dow, Dow Corning, DuPont markets including: Advanced materials, Coatings, Packaging (food & industrial), Health & personal care, Water solutions, Bio-derived chemicals, Auto, Electronics, Clean tech (solar, wind, battery), etc.

He also guest lectures and mentors student project teams in the UM Chemical Engineering 488/89 Product Design and Commercialization course. He has a BSChE & MBA from UM and judges business model competitions.

David Rish
Global Trade Management
Areas of Expertise: Management, Operations, Sales, Strategy, Technology

David Rish is a strategic global operations executive with extensive global trade and supply chain leadership experience in service and manufacturing markets.

Most recently David served as President of a global trade management firm and was responsible for three lines of business; Global Trade Consulting, Managed Services and Trade Management Software. As an Executive Leadership Team member he was a party to the successful sale of the company to private equity. David’s experience has included ownership of a $300 Million net revenue P&L for several global supply chain companies with a focus on driving high productivity and profitability increases while improving customer service metrics.

David lives in Ann Arbor, MI and holds an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management. He has also completed additional graduate studies at Seattle University and received an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from Duke University. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. David holds a Customs Broker’s license issued by the Bureau of Customs and Border Security, Department of Homeland Security. David enjoys nonprofit volunteer activities focusing on homeless youth, student rights and international development. He is married with two children and the proud owner of a black Labrador Retriever named Johnny Cash.

Gerry Roston
Pair of Docs Consulting
Areas of Expertise: Management, Operations, Strategy, Technology
Industry Experience: Biomed/Biotech/Pharma, Cleantech / Energy, Manufacturing / Materials

Gerry is an experienced, small-business executive who has led companies and multimillion dollar projects. During the course of his career, he has successfully managed start-up businesses and teams within publicly-traded companies; pursued investment opportunities; and brought new products to the market.

Gerry's typical clients are the founders of technology-focused startups. The services he offers them include: providing executive management services, creating business development plans, formulating product development strategies, and identifying funding sources/partnerships. His experience ranges from the development of microscopic biological sensors to the redesign of diesel-electric locomotives.

Gerry also supports the local entrepreneurial business community through volunteer service, such as judging business plan competitions and mentoring university students and startups. He has served on the New Enterprise Forum Board of Directors the since 2006 and served as its president from 2010-2013. He also chaired the planning committee for the Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship from 2008-2011.

Jay Shah
Leelayan, Inc.
Areas of Expertise: Finance, Management, Marketing, Strategy, Technology
Industry Experience: Automotive, Cleantech / Energy, Manufacturing / Materials

<p>Jay Shah is an engineering management consultant. He is the founder President of Leelayan, Inc. whose core mission is to create Technology for Healthy Living. Leelayan&#39;s patented prime product is No Bend (Shoes bend so you don&#39;t have to!) Hands Free shoes. The shoes are engineered to operate with a remote or an App helping people with arthritis, diabetes, back surgery, etc. to wear them without bending. Leelayan is a start-up and soon will be seeking Stage-1 funding.</p>

Stefan Sysko
Sysko Thinking LLC
Areas of Expertise: Management, Marketing, Sales, Strategy
Industry Experience: Medicine / Healthcare, Nonprofit

Stefan Sysko is an entrepreneur with a diverse background and 20+ years of experience, much of which has been spent advising small business owners on developing strategy and on executing at a high level. His career includes broad experience in strategic marketing planning, market development, new product and business development, and training.

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.

Sysko is a board member and coach at New Enterprise Forum, and will be coordinating the organization’s pitch pit. He is a mentor at Detroit Creative Corridor Center, and helped develop and currently runs the highly successful Retail Boot Camp for TechTown Detroit. He serves on the Marketing & Development Committee for Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit.

Sysko holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wayne State University and an MBA from Eastern Michigan University.

Bill Taylor
Areas of Expertise: Management, Marketing, Sales, Strategy, Technology
Industry Experience: Information Technology, Medicine / Healthcare

I am an experienced Marketing, Sales, and Strategy executive with over 35 years in innovative marketing, product management, sales, and strategic operations for technology companies in telecom, information technology, life science, and healthcare. With engineering providing a solid technical background, I’ve achieved a consistent track record of developing strategies that drive consistent and managed growth for high technology companies. I’ve been successful in companies ranging from a 30 person start up, through mid-sized public companies, all the way to a two year assignment as an IBM strategist. I’m a seasoned team builder, who has attracted, developed and retained high-performing marketing, sales and BD talent. My passion is helping technology companies achieve profitable, sustainable growth

Scott Trossen
Michigan HR Group
Areas of Expertise: Management
Industry Experience: Automotive, Biomed/Biotech/Pharma, Cleantech / Energy, Financial Services, Information Technology, Manufacturing / Materials, Medicine / Healthcare, Nonprofit

I founded the Michigan HR Group in 2007. We are an “HR department for small business” and HR consultancy for mid-size organizations with solutions to strengthen people, improve processes and manage risk. We tailor our services to teach you how to do effective and compliant HR, or become your ongoing, outsourced HR partner.

Kristin Welch
Ford X
Areas of Expertise: Management, Operations, Strategy, Technology
Industry Experience: Automotive, Information Technology
Duane Williams
Mythic Consulting Group
Areas of Expertise: Management, Marketing, Operations, Sales, Strategy
Industry Experience: Financial Services

Duane Williams is a creative and dynamic business owner dedicated to developing, managing, and leading his organization into becoming a leading resource for business to business services. With over three decades of professional and service experience, Duane possesses a unique blend of strategic thinking, problem-solving, analytical, communication and presentation skills. Along with collaborative team building proficiency, Duane has extensive experience collaborating with personnel in multiple states, and from all employment backgrounds.