Ann Arbor SPARK reconfigures Board of Directors
(Editor's Note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Susan Martin, Eastern Michigan University's president, is still on the Board of Directors. Also, it has been corrected to reflect that Ypsilanti does not contribute tax dollars through the LDFA to SPARK.)
Economic development group Ann Arbor SPARK, which is already in the midst of a leadership transition, is reshaping its Board of Directors, too.
SPARK announced today that it added five new members to its board, which meets annually and provides broad direction for the organization. The group also is has an executive committee, which meets every other month and provides regular guidance and oversight.
University of Michigan Vice President for Research Stephen Forrest will continue to serve as board chairman, Bank of Ann Arbor CEO Tim Marshall will continue to serve as vice chairman and Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn attorney David Parsigian will continue to serve as secretary.
AnnArbor.com Executive Vice President Laurel Champion will no longer serve as treasurer of the board. She will continue to serve on SPARK's Executive Committee.
New members of SPARK's board of directors are: InfoReady Corp. CEO Bhushan Kulkarni, the new treasurer; Ric DeVore, regional president of PNC; Marty Kahn, CEO of ProQuest; Mike Miller; head of Google's Ann Arbor office; Conan Smith, chairman of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners and executive director of the Michigan Suburbs Alliance; and Thomas Zurbuchen, associate dean for entrepreneurship at the U-M College of Engineering.
Mark Ouimet, a former Washtenaw County commissioner elected to the state House of Representatives in November, and former ProQuest executive Elliot Forsyth, now an executive with the Michigan Economic Development Corp., are off the Executive Committee.
The changes come as SPARK is also in the midst of a leadership transition. The group's new CEO, Paul Krutko, started his job a month ago. He replaced SPARK's first CEO, Michael Finney, who is now CEO of the MEDC.
SPARK said in its 2010 annual report that 42 of the companies it assisted last year announced plans to eventually add 1,425 jobs.
The group also released details of its 2011 budget, saying that its core operating budget is $3.07 million. That figure includes $1.12 million from the Local Development Finance Authority — which is also contributing $225,000 for a pool of microloan funds provided to local startup companies. The LDFA is a tax-capture authority that accumulates property tax dollars from the downtown development district in Ann Arbor.
The budget includes $250,000 from Washtenaw County, $75,000 from the city of Ann Arbor and $69,400 from other local municipalities. SPARK gets another $1.55 million from other sources, including $350,000 from U-M and financing from private businesses and nonprofits.