Author and speaker, David J. Hulings, has been providing inspirational and instructive services for over 30 years to those in transition. Trained in the U.S. Army as an advanced instructor at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, David has spent most of his life providing insightful training and inspirational material to thousands of eager learners. David’s time in the military wet his appetite for the training and motivation of others setting him on a long and profitable course as a transition coach. After his service to our country, David worked his way through the educational world under the G.I. Bill and graduated from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, MI. Much of David’s background in education has been to hone his skills as a communicator and sharpen his understanding of human behavior. Certified in several assessments and schools of thought on motivation and human development, David has developed unique presentations that not only charm his audience but challenge their minds and actions, as well. Over the past twenty-five years David has honed management and leadership skills that have equipped him to provide positive and entertaining training sessions for his clients and their employees as they transition from point “A” to point “B.” Add to this the fact that David has conducted hundreds of one-on-one executive coaching exercises for over 20 years, and you will sense the value he can add to your organization. David knows people.
Kyle Fiebig has an extensive background in education ranging from 12 years as a high school Agriscience teacher to his current role as Principal at the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center (MACTC). Kyle has his Masters in Education from Michigan State University and is working on his second Masters from Grand Valley State University. Kyle has been married to his wife Stephanie for over nine years. They have two daughters, Victoria and Brianna.
Lawrence is a community organizer, co-founder of the Toronto Tool Library, and president of the Institute for a Resource-Based Economy. His passions lie in travelling and exploring the connections between us.
Dana Gannon is a health educator with Public Health Muskegon County. She is active in 1 in 21, Eat Healthy Muskegon, and the Muskegon Farmer’s Market. She enjoys running and being active and has been a lifetime resident of Muskegon. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Western Michigan University in Dietetics
Visionary leader possessing extensive experience in leadership development and group collaboration. Experienced K -12 school and central office administrator with a comprehensive background in elementary and secondary instruction, curriculum development, communications, multi-cultural education, school safety, budget and finance, professional learning communities, group facilitation, team building, grant writing, community relations, and data analysis. Alena is the Superintendent of Muskegon Heights Public School Academy the first public charter school district in the United States. She is responsible for turning around the entire district profile including- student discipline, student and staff attendance, dropout rate, graduation rate.
Jonathan Finks, MD
Jonathan Finks is a Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Michigan, whose practice focuses on minimally invasive general and bariatric surgery. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of California, Irvine Medical School. He completed a General Surgery residency at the University of Cincinnati, followed by a fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery at Oregon Health & Science University. He finally bounced to Ann Arbor, where he seems to have found a home. Dr. Finks is passionate about outreach, both globally and locally. He has collaborated with surgeons in Ghana and Ethiopia and is the founder of the Doctors of Tomorrow Program, a partnership between the University of Michigan Medical School and Cass Technical High School in Detroit.
Milan Kluko has been in the environmental engineering, alternative energy, and solid waste industry as an engineering consultant, developer, vendor and technology supplier. In over three decades of experience in these roles he has gained project based experience with a wide variety of environmental, agriculture, alternative energy, composting and recycling systems beginning 1983. Throughout his career he has held senior positions with publicly traded companies as well as senior technical and management positions with national engineering and environmental services firms and has founded several companies. This experience has been developed through participation in projects as a consultant or vendor in 41 states as well as Canada, Mexico, Southeast Asia, South America, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Antarctica. Using over 30 years of project based experience across a wide technical spectrum Mr. Kluko a multi (international) patent holder founded Green Spirit Farms on 11-11-11
Peg West has been editor of the Muskegon Chronicle since November 2011. Before that, she spent 19 years working at The Grand Rapids Press, where she was both a reporter and assignment editor in the news department, as well as serving a stint as assistant sports editor. She grew up in Rockford, graduated from Michigan State University and is married to Mike. And she loves being so close to her ultimate happy place: Lake Michigan
Malik Kenyatta Yakini is an activist and educator who is committed to freedom and justice for African people in particular and humanity in general. Yakini is a founder and the Executive Director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, which operates a seven acre farm in Detroit. DBCFSN also spearheaded efforts to establish the Detroit Food Policy Council, which Yakini chaired from December 2009 – May 2012. He served as a member of the Michigan Food Policy Council from 2008 - 2010. He serves on the steering committee of Undoing Racism in the Detroit Food System.
From 1990 – 2011 he served as Executive Director of Nsoroma Institute Public School Academy, one of Detroit’s leading African-centered schools. In 2006 he was honored as “Administrator of the Year” by the Michigan Association of Public School Academies. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of Timbuktu Academy of Science and Technology from 2004 - 2011. He is C.E.O. of Black Star Educational Management.
He is dedicated to working to identify and alleviate the impact of racism and white privilege on the food system. He has an intense interest in contributing to the development of an international food sovereignty movement that embraces Blacks farmers in the Americas, the Caribbean and Africa. He views the “good food revolution” as part of the larger movement for freedom, justice and equality.
Yakini has presented at numerous local community meetings and national conferences on food justice and implementing community food security practices. He is featured in the book "Blacks Living Green," and the movie “Urban Roots.” From 2011 – 2013 he was an Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Food and Community Fellow. He is currently a Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Fellow. He is a 2012 recipient of the James Beard Foundation Leadership Award. He is a vegan and an avid organic grower.
Chloe Grigsby is a junior at Mona Shores High School. She is actively involved in her community and school by participating in many esteemed clubs and organizations including the United Way, Rotary International, National Honors Society, and serves as class president and school photographer. She is a seasoned performer, passionate traveler, and avid sailor. Her favorite quote is, “Be kind whenever possible… it is always possible”, stated by the Dalai Lama. Chloe has so much gratitude for every moment in her life and often says, “I’m just trying to spread love and take it all in.”
My name is Marina Katherine Morris. For many people that shake my hand for the first time, their reactions range from “wow” to “oh boy” to “hmmm” (that short hmmm, that sparks interest among most). I’ve even gotten the occasional “I could have sworn you were 12 years old”. Whatever their first reaction is, I make it my mission to not let it be their last. Hello, my name is Marina Morris. I was born with cerebral palsy, I shake, I limp, but I do not have a disability. I’m here to simply create a vision in your mind, you won’t soon to forget. A vision to inspire. A vision to motivate. A vision to remember. To envision a world where disabilities are ONLY ever your unique and different abilities. I have a story, and it’s about time I told it.
The duo Gasta, from West Michigan is comprised of two dynamic musicians committed to the performance of traditional Celtic music with a modern flare. With beginnings focused on Bluegrass and Hymns, the group has branched out to energetic blends of reels and slides with jazz and world elements. They are becoming notorious for their speed and virtuosity.
Nathan Wright on violin, vocals and guitar is classically trained with influences in bluegrass and folk styles. He has studied with Classical violinists to Bluegrass fiddlers. His playing is inspired by violinist Mark O'Connor, to fiddler Jeremy Kittel, to jazz master Jean Luc Ponty. Jonathan Misner on bodhran and various percussion instruments, whistles and vocals, is a humorous, engaging member of the band. He is a self-taught musician, absorbed in the heritage of Celtic music. His humor and high energy playing is contagious. These two musicians pack a punch. Their enthusiasm for Celtic music is captivating. Jonathan and Nathan began playing music together in 2003, and formed as a band in 2009. The duo has recorded two albums Vision and Heres to You. In December 2012 Gasta released their first EP In High Gear.
Downie has been singing in front of audiences since she was a small girl. She began her formal vocal training as a young teenager performing classical, pop and jazz music.
Downie received rave reviews in Japan where for four years she performed to sell out crowds in the Jazz clubs.
As well as being a seasoned performer and vocalist Downie is a songwriter in smooth jazz and pop. Her origianal music can be heard on two previous albums"Just Ask Me" and "A Different Kind Of You".
As well as being a songwriter Downie is a song stylist and her own unique arrangements of popular tunes, such as "I've Got You Under My Skin", "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" and "She Walks This Earth", have recieved accolades among her peers and radio listeners.
Along with her originals, from modern, latin, pop, jazz, Downie also performs a vast array of beloved American Songbook Standards.
Her albums have been played in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Seattle, San Diego, Las Vegas, Jackson. New Orleans, Pensacola, Boston, Baltimore, Ft. Collins, Memphis, Houston, Scratton, Phoenix, Huntsville, Milwaukee, Wichita KA, St. Louis, and Los Angelos.
Downie has performed live on air at WGU jazz music series with Scott Vander Werf, WYCE with Ryan Reynolds, WPMD with Mike Stark and TEE-M on the unsigined music show in Los Ceritos California and on the Dennis Bono Show Live with Grammy winning singer Crystal Gayle and James Tormé, son of three time Grammy winner M