December 12, 2016

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich., Dec. 8, 2016 —As Central Michigan University Research Corporation (CMURC) expands further into the Great Lakes Bay region, Daniel Dralle of Nexteer Automotive and Kimberly Norris of Glastender will become the two newest members of the business accelerator’s board of directors.

The appointments reflect CMURC’s interest in gaining perspectives of business leaders from across the region.

“As we move forward with our regional expansion, it is beneficial to have input from leaders across the Great Lakes Bay Region,” said Erin Strang, President of CMURC. “Each of these individuals’ deep professional backgrounds and passionate commitment to the area will bring insightful perspectives to our board, benefitting our entrepreneurs.”

Daniel Dralle is executive director at Nexteer Automotive. He is responsible for strategy and implementation of advanced manufacturing engineering, maintaining adherence to core technology, global automation strategy and products, in addition to implementation of a new MES software system globally. Dralle began his career with GM/Steering Gear in driveline manufacturing engineering in February 1984. He held multiple positions in engineering until being awarded the GM Fellowship to attend graduate school at Purdue University where he graduated as a Krannert Scholar. Dralle also serves on the board of directors of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance and Saginaw Future.

“From concept to development, entrepreneurs can benefit from individuals that have been in industry, Dralle and Norris provide just that.” said President Strang. “Not to mention the ever changing regulations, between the expertise in engineering and human resources, these individuals will be a great asset to the board.”

Kimberly Norris is vice president of administration at Glastender, located in Saginaw. Norris received her bachelor and master of science degrees in nursing from Saginaw Valley State University. She worked in both the hospital and home health care settings until joining her family’s manufacturing company as the human resource manager in 1996. She was responsible for developing the company’s policies and procedures. Her work earned her a comprehensive safety program that earned the MIOSHA MSHARP award in 2011 and 2014. Along with her brother and husband, they have implemented strong business practices allowing employees to become fully engaged and share in the success of the company through a profit sharing program. Norris’ passion for health and wellness also led her to implementing a comprehensive wellness program for the company in 2009.

Today the Central Michigan University Board of Trustees appointed the new members to the 15member CMURC board. The president of CMU, George Ross, chairs a leadership team comprised of industry leaders and CMU faculty and staff. The CMURC current facility is located within the growing Mount Pleasant SmartZone. The SmartZone was developed by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to create a partnership between cities, universities and business accelerators. Plans were approved in August 2016, by the CMURC Board, to expand facilities throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region.

CMURC is a nonprofit business incubator focused on advancing economic development in the community by leveraging the resources of Central Michigan University, the Mount Pleasant SmartZone, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s 21st Century Jobs Trust Fund. Local, regional, and statewide partners assist to accelerate the success of entrepreneurs, growing businesses and jobs. CMURC is a single source of contact providing physical space and essential business services. CMURC encourages interaction and partnerships, which accelerates emerging organizations to develop their ideas and bring them to market quickly.