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Board of Directors
Katie Hensley, Chairperson
Jon W. Allan, Vice-Chairperson
University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability
Jim Edmonson, Secretary
Muskegon Area First
Jonathan Wilson, Treasurer
Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
Community Foundation for Muskegon County
LaColombe Coffee Roasters
Muskegon Community College
The West Michigan Shoreline Food Processing Association was officially launched on October 30, 2017 with an initial team of expert consultants led by Marty Gerencer, Principal of Morse Marketing Connections and an expert in the food processing industry. Other consultants include experts in food processing education, site consulting, economic development, and international business development. The team of experts include:
Based in Muskegon, Michigan, Morse Marketing Connections, LLC (MMC) is a business consulting firm for food companies and organizations, owned and operated by Marty Gerencer since 2002. Prior to the launch of MMC, Marty spent over 20 years with Gerber Products Company and worked with cross-functional teams to implement collaborative approaches to business practices. While at Gerber, Marty received the Chairman’s Award for her role in a collaborative baby and toddler marketing program that engaged multiple internal departments and several outside agencies and companies. Read More >>
Vivek Gnanasekharan recently retired as Director of Global Innovation at Nestlé Nutrition North America (Gerber) after a 11 year career with the company with focus on providing leadership in Research and Development, as well as, strategic leadership for products, process and packaging development and brand maintenance. Vivek has extensive cross-functional experience with marketing, finance, operations, sales, consumer insights, product supply, procurement and contract manufacturing. Prior to joining Gerber Products Company, he had a thirteen year career with Frito Lay in Plano, Texas in a variety of roles including new business propositions, process development, and team leadership. His technology expertise includes baking, extrusion (low and high pressure), freeze drying, thermal processing (hot fill, retort, and asecptic), compression popping and pellet expansion, HPP, sheeting and molding, and frying. Vivek has a Ph.D, in Food Engineering from Purdue University, a Masters Degree from the University of Georgia in Food Science and Technology, and a Bachelors Degree in Chemical Engineering from Annamalai University.
Clarence is the Program Coordinator for the Michigan State University (MSU) Institute of Agriculture Technology partnership in Muskegon, overseeing the agriculture associate degree program at Muskegon Community College and the MSU certificate programs in Agriculture Operations, Fruit and Vegetable Management, and Landscape Management. He was instrumental in launching the mobile food lab concept at MSU along with the being the lead developer of the Food Science and Processing Certificate program.
Senior Consultant, Programs and Communications
Dennis recently retired from Consumers Energy after a 34 year career in Community Engagement, Economic Development, Public Affairs, and Media Relations. Prior to his retirement, Dennis led the community transition process for the closure of the BC Cobb and JR Whiting facilities. He spent over 12 years involved in international business and economic development programs for Consumers Energy and CMS Energy in Asia with focus in Japan, Korea, and China, as well as, Northern Africa, Australia, and Argentina. Dennis is currently Principal of Community Engagement Services, LLC.