Demographics Business Relocation

AES Board News



MANISTEE, MICHIGAN --  The Board of Directors for the Alliance for Economic Success (AES) has appointed four new Board members to join the governing team that directs the economic and community development organization for the Manistee County area. 

“What a terrific line up of new board members,” said Beth McCarthy, AES Board Chair.  “The AES will surely continue to have a game changing impact in our area with this group of leaders from health care, higher education, manufacturing and industry.   Appointed were:

James Barker, MBA, CEO of West Shore Medical Center.  Mr. Barker has served as Director of Health Services at Central Michigan University, as an Assistant Administrator at INTEGRIS Bass Baptist Health Center in Enid, Oklahoma and Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer at the Regional Medical Center of NEA in Jonesboro, Ark, and VP of Patient Care Services at Saline Regional Health Center.

Kelly Smith, Ph.D., President, Baker College Cadillac.  Baker College is the largest college in Michigan with over 34,000 students on 12 campuses and four satellite locations.  The nonprofit College grants certificates, associates, bachelors, and master’s degrees in business, health sciences, education and human services and various technical fields.  The College has a graduate employment rate of over 97 percent.  Smith has served in education in a number of capacities, including teacher, K-12 school administrator and Vice President of Finance at a Community College.

Eric Gustad, Public Affairs Area Manager, Consumers Energy Company. Gustad supports Mason, Mecosta, Osceola and Lake Counties as the face of Consumers Energy Company.  He also serves as a member of the City of Manistee’s City Council.  He was a training and performance manager at the Little River Casino and Resort for eleven years and has also served in other human relations and training capacities.

The Manistee Manufacturer’s Council will rotate their Board representation among Jim Reithel, Vice President, Martin Marietta Magnesia Specialties; Steve Paine, President, Fab-Lite, Inc. and Jacob Bialik, Facility Manager, Morton Salt Company.  Founded in 2004, MMC is a strong coalition of manufacturing interests in Manistee County. The founding members are: Fab-Lite, Inc.; Noron Industries; Martin Marietta Magnesia Specialties; Morton Salt; Packaging Corporation of America; and TES Filer City Station.   The manufacturing businesses in Manistee County are iconic and continue to be primary drivers behind the region’s economy, providing area families a high living standard.