Arts, culture and creative placemaking play a major role in not only drawing new talent into a region, they also are key in keeping talent that already exists! Join local talent attraction and retention specialist Chris Sell as speaks with statewide placemaking experts on how talent and place factor into creating vibrant, successful communities.
Meet Your Moderator
Chris Sell, MSU / East Lansing, Mich.
Chris serves as the director of alumni and entrepreneur engagement at Michigan State University, with a dual appointment to the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and the Alumni Office.
Chris is also the founder and executive director of Lansing 5:01, a non-profit organization that aims to retain and attract talent to the Lansing region through place-based marketing initiatives and unique large-scale events that promote the community as a top destination for college graduates and returning professionals.
Cathleen Edgerly, Downtown Lansing Inc. / Lansing, Mich.
Cathleen Edgerly recently joined Downtown Lansing, Inc. as executive director with past experience in program coordination and management, communications and marketing and most recently served as the Howell Main Street Inc. DDA executive director and chief operating officer. During Cathleen’s time with Howell Main Street Inc., Howell won the Great American Main Street award and was named a Master Level Main Street community. Cathleen created the 501(c)3 non-profit board, oversaw board transitions, expanded and revamped the Howell Art Project and mentored other downtown and Main Street leaders.
Jennifer Kitson Jelenek, Downtown Kalamazoo Partnership / Kalamazoo, Mich.
Jennifer is vice president of business development for the Downtown Kalamazoo Partnership. Previously, guiding organizational strategy, operations and community engagement. In this role, she manages the organization’s four Citizen Coalitions and leads the development of business recruitment and retention efforts. Previously, she served as director of the Business Improvement District (BID) Program for the City of New York and has held roles with Southwest Michigan First, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Arizona State University and the Phoenix City Council.
Kris Mathis, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce / Grand Rapids, Mich.
Kris Mathis is a council member for the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce's Creative Council as part of their Creative Chamber program, empowering communities to grow their creative industry. He is a Grand Rapids native who has had a successful career as a motivational speaker, business coach, entrepreneur and author of the best-selling book, "From Success to Significance: The 8 Keys to Achieving any Goal or Dream.”
Marc Pasco, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy / Detroit, Mich.
Marc Pasco is the director of communications for the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and is responsible for all of their marketing, advertising and public relations efforts. Marc has been with the Conservancy for seven years. During his 27 years in the PR field, he has worked at the Kalamazoo County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Cranbrook Educational Community, Campbell & Company and Hermanoff Public Relations.