Speaker Date Topic
Dr. Annis Pratt, Professor Emerita Jun 25, 2018
How did a serious academic scholar wind up writing adventure novels?
How did a serious academic scholar wind up writing adventure novels?

I was born in New York City but moved to Birmingham with my late husband, Dr. Henry Pratt, whose parents Martha and Edmund Pratt were longtime Birmingham residents. In my career as a Professor of English I taught at Emory University and Spelman College in Atlanta before completing my career at the University of Wisconsin. As Henry was a professor at Wayne State we had a commuting marriage. My daughter Faith Hopp is also a professor at Wayne State and my daughter Lorien is CEO of a computer business. I have four grandchildren.
    My three academic books are about how authors use mythology in literature, but when I retired I decided to write novels myself. The result was The Infinite Games series which will be the topic of my talk today.

Dana L. Schmitt - C.O.O. Jul 16, 2018
United Shore Professional Baseball League
United Shore Professional Baseball League

Dana L. Schmitt is the Chief Operating Officer of the United Shore Professional Baseball League, an independent professional baseball league that serves as a developmental league for Major League Baseball.  The USPBL was established in 2015 and it is headquartered in Rochester, MI, with its first ballpark – Jimmy John’s Field – located in Utica, MI.  The USPBL currently has four teams playing in the league’s third baseball season at Jimmy John’s Field.  The USPBL has had 20 players signed to contracts by Major League organizations through its first two baseball seasons.  
Dana previously served as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of General Sports and Entertainment, LLC, the Rochester, Michigan based parent company to the United Shore Professional Baseball League.  Her work with General Sports and Entertainment, LLC included: completing the acquisition of the Derby County Football Club in Derby, UK, an English Premier/Championship League Football (soccer) Club; helping to operate and then to sell the Fort Wayne Wizards, a Class A Minor League Baseball franchise and affiliate of the San Diego Padres; and helping to launch, operate and ultimately sell a synthetic turf athletic field company called General Sports Venue, which successfully licensed and re-launched the Astroturf brand in the United States.  Prior to joining General Sports, Dana worked for the Chicago law firm of Blatt, Hammesfahr & Eaton, where she represented Lloyd's of London Syndicates, and various insurers and re-insurers in the United States, Canada and Europe.  
Dana received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan in 1992, and she received her Juris Doctor degree in 1995 from the University of Michigan Law School.  Dana was selected as one of Detroit's "40 Under 40" by Crain's Detroit Business in 2005. 

Dan DiBardino - President of Crime Stoppers Aug 27, 2018
Crime Stoppers of Michigan and how anonymous tips help law enforcement solve crimes.
Crime Stoppers of Michigan and how anonymous tips help law enforcement solve crimes.
  • Crime Stoppers of Michigan is celebrating their 25th year
  • Our successes
  • Why people don’t call the police
  • How the tip process works
  • How reward amounts are determined

Bio - Daniel J. DiBardino is the Managing Director with Recon Management Group with over 35 years of senior corporate security experience.  Recon Management Group delivers global security and investigative solutions through three practice groups:  Security Consulting, Investigative Services, and Protective Services. 

Additionally, Mr. DiBardino currently serves as the President and CEO of Crime Stoppers of Michigan. He is also a member on the Advisory Committee of Proving Innocence of Michigan, as well as a member of the Association of Corporate Growth Planning Committee, ASIS International, and continues to be a security advisor for a number of educational institutions.  He has authored numerous articles and is a frequent speaker on corporate security issues.  Mr. DiBardino received a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts.

Nicole Gastelewicz & Lauren Royston Sep 10, 2018
Consumers Energy
Consumers Energy

Nicole Gastelewicz is a business professional with over 10 years of leadership experience in multi-faceted industries. She is currently a Business Account Manager with Consumers Energy where she partners with small businesses in Oakland County to connect them with the organization, provide assistance to the local community and provide a multitude of resources to help grow small business in Michigan. Nicole has been with Consumers Energy for 3 years and she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Technical Management from DeVry University.

Lauren Royston is a community relations and economic development professional with over 15 years of experience. She is currently the Community Affairs Manager with Consumers Energy where she engages with local government, community organizations and leaders in Oakland County. Lauren earned her Bachelor of Arts from Spelman College and graduated from Wayne State University with a Masters of Public Administration.