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Industry Leaders to join CMURC Board of Directors Appointments underscore importance of innovative entrepreneurial ecosystem

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich., June 24, 2021 — Felicia Harris, Julie Messing and Dan Ward have been approved to join the Central Michigan University Research Corporation (CMURC) Board of Directors by the Central Michigan University (CMU) Board of Trustees.

Two new appointments serving on the CMURC board are alumni of CMU, rounding out the 15-member board. Felicia Harris graduated from CMU with a degree in HR Management to later establish her company EverythingHR. Dan Ward initially worked under Dan Gilbert after graduating from CMU, and then progressed on to create Detroit Labs – a custom software development company. Both appointments share extensive experience in the entrepreneurial ecosystem since their time at CMU.

“The private sector voice, particularly when associated with entrepreneurship and small business, is vital to the efforts of the CMURC and the work of this board,” said CMU President Bob Davies, chairperson of the CMURC Board of Directors. “Dan and Felicia represent the best of our alumni – graduates who leverage the knowledge and skills gained at CMU to innovate and inspire positive change in their workplaces and communities. Julie will bring a unique perspective on the future of entrepreneurship, as seen through her work with student leaders, faculty and staff at CMU.”

The third appointee is Director of Isabella Bank Institute for Entrepreneurship (IBIE) Julie Messing. Julie is an experienced entrepreneurship educator who works closely with entrepreneurs and business leaders to bring opportunities to CMU students as well as supporting regional entrepreneurial development.

“The talent, knowledge and caliber of leadership that the new appointments bring will be instrumental to the entrepreneurs, professionals, and corporations we serve,” said President + CEO of CMURC Erin Strang.

CMU Associate Vice President of Government + External Relations Toby Roth, and Private Sector Member Raymond Gunn will also be reappointed to the board.

Upon the adoption of this resolution, the CMU directors will be: President Robert O. Davies, Trustee Richard Studley, Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services Nicholas Long, Associate Vice President Toby Roth, Vice President David Weindorf, Dean Chris Moberg, Senior Vice Provost Ray Christie, and Director Julie Messing. The private sector directors will be: William Kimbell, Daniel Dralle, Kimberly Norris, Jeff Stoutenburg, Raymond Gunn, Dan Ward, and Felicia Harris. Nancy Ridley will be an ex officio member until retirement in November.

To learn more about the innovative entrepreneurial ecosystem at CMURC, please visit

About Central Michigan University Research Corporation CMURC is a professional and diverse coworking space with accelerator programs focused on product and strategic development for entrepreneurs to positively impact the economy in the Great Lakes Bay Region. It brings together local, regional and statewide partners to accelerate the success of entrepreneurs, professionals, and corporations growing businesses and jobs by leveraging the resources of Central Michigan University, the Mount Pleasant SmartZone District and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.  CMURC is committed to inclusive entrepreneurship with the ultimate goal of closing the opportunity gap because people from all backgrounds deserve access to business and entrepreneurial resources.


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