A powerful new development series for Women in Leadership

  • A Strategic Approach to Leading and Inspiring People
  • Process
  • Financials

These three series will consist of 3 sessions per series focusing on women and their growing role as leaders in today's business environment.  We will examine issues facing women in business and offer the tools to develop the aspirational plans to manage them.  The series will guide you toward increasing your leadership presence and transforming your current state into one that supports a long-lasting, thriving career.  Throughout these three series you will...

  • Develop skills essential for your success
  • Explore practical solutions to equip you with meaningful ways to overcome common business challenges
  • Expand your performance range through inspiring collaboration with other women that build self-awareness and trust

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Women in Leadership

  • When:  Tuesdays from 6:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.
    A Strategic Approach to Leading and Inspiring People:  March 5, 12, 19, 2019
    Process: April 2, 9, 16, 2019
    Financials:  April 30, May 7, May 14, 2019

    Where:  Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, 17 Pearl St. NW
    Grand Rapids, Michigan  49503

    Cost:  $800 per series,   A 15% discount is available for individuals who register for all three series; groups (4 or more) and employees of non-profit organizations

    Registration:  Register on line at www.ferris.edu/cpd.  For assistance or discounted registrations, call Deb Tice at FSU-Corporate and Professional Development 231-591-5810

  • Series 1: A Strategic Approach to Leading and Inspiring People

    Session 1:

    Tuesday - March 5, 2019  6:00pm-9:00pm

    Embrace the Leader Within

    Instructor:  Kasey Thompson, PhD
    Instructor:  Karen Kiio, MS

    The first session establishes a foundation for the role of women in leadership with an emphasis on the challenges they face in professional environments.  You will focus on strategies for identifying leadership gaps, aligning personal and professional goals , and understanding the external factors impacting transformative, powerful leadership.  You will begin to gain insights and the skills required to move intentionally toward the highest level of leadership within your organization.  As you explore your personal leadership style and effectiveness, you will also begin to identify and design an action plan targeted to strengthen your leadership ethos.

    Session 2:

    Tuesday - March 12, 2019  6:00pm-9:00pm

    Create a Powerful Customer Experience

    Instructor:  Karen Kiio, MS

    Crafting a "Wow" customer experience takes purposeful commitment, astute planning, and inclusive team efforts.  This session will highlight your crucial role in developing both employees and systems to involve customers in value creation, measuring service success, and fixing system failures.  This week targets both the internal and external customer environment.

    Session 3:

    Tuesday - March 19, 2019  6:00pm-9:00pm

    Groundwork for a Healthy, Flourishing Culture

    Instructor:  Kasey Thompson, PhD
    Instructor:  Karen Kiio, MS

    Success happens with skilled and driven people and nothing gets accomplished without their collective efforts.  You will walk out of this session with greater insights on the seven most common barriers to true employee desire, effort, performance, and satisfaction.  A greater awareness of creating more effective teams will also be examined as will the reality that most "people problems" largely stem from poorly thought through systems that management has established.  Once you realize the widespread nature of systemic de-motivators within organizations, you are now ready to identify and implement both performance-and satisfaction-enhancing actions.  You will develop your skills to inspire others and become the boss that others seek out!

    Series 2: Process

    Session 1:

    Tuesday, April 2, 2019 6:00pm-9:00pm

    Process:  Performance Improvement in Both Service and Manufacturing Environments

    Instructor:  Lisa Eshback, PhD

    This session's topics will highlight both new and established tools inspiring you to better assess the value-added or non-value-added nature of the many processes within your area.  Whether your setting is private or public, manufacturing or service, after this session, you will be able to better identify numerous types of common waste, map your products' or services' value stream, and use tools to distinguish between symptoms and true problems.

    Lean intelligence enables and facilitates simple, concise and continuous improvements in your business's processes using tools such as value stream mapping, standardized work, 5s, root-cause analysis, leveling, one-piece flow/Kanban, and PDCA.

    Develop your skills in efficiency and enhancement through process improvement!

     Session 2: 

    Tuesday, April 9, 2019 6:00pm-9:00pm

    Business Impact Through Design and Innovation

    Instructor:  Gayle DeBruyn, MM

    Design thinking includes processes and methodologies that engage integrative and divergent thinking to imagine more inspired solutions.  Through the practice of whole systems design thinking, focused listening and keen observational skills, design thinking is a robust tool for identifying opportunities and solving problems. 

    Beginning in the 1940's as an exclusively industrial design and engineering application, this practice has since been adopted by architecture and urban planning and most recently as a tool for business and social entrepreneurship practices.  Learn how design as a tool for innovation can impact your business...and your career.

    Develop your skills in creating an innovative environment focused on solutions and anticipation of customer needs!

    Session 3:

    Tuesday, April 16, 2019 6:00pm-9:00pm

    Your Future as Leaders:  Strategic Planning and 'Process' Alignment

    Instructor:  Kasey Thompson, PhD
    Instructor:  Lisa Eshbach, PhD

    In this session, your opportunity to create immediate positive contributions within your organization's systems will be highlighted.  How you can make direct contributions to your organization.  You will be challenged to create a plan that continues your professional development with an emphasis on how you can be an inspiration and change agent for many of the people within your professional world. 

    Develop your skills in business-process acumen and creating action plans for your continued leadership aspirations!

    Series 3:  Financials

    Session 1:

    Tuesday, May 7, 2019 6:00pm-9:00pm

    Essential Awareness:  Refining Your Business Acumen

    Instructor:  Catherine Browers, EdD
    Instructor:  Spencer Tower, PhD

    You will gain greater familiarity with the common language and analytical tools of the crucial 'numbers' side of your organization's decision-making.  You will begin a hands-on three-week business simulation where, in a small team, you will collaboratively identify strategic directions and make the supporting financial decisions.

    Develop your skills in business decision making that ultimately drives your organization's bottom line!

    Session 2:

    Tuesday, May 14, 2019 6:00pm-9:00pm

    Understanding the Numbers Your Bosses Want you to Understand

    Instructor:  Catherine Browers, EdD

    Building on the first session, Refining Your Business Acumen, we will focus our discussions on the financial and strategic decisions and outcomes from the ongoing business simulation.  Clear emphasis will highlight how the simulation's dynamic situation can directly relate to your role in your organization.  Increased skills in financial choices and interpretation of results can boost your influence and respect within your organization.

    Develop your skills in interpreting the information that gives clarity to budget and resource allocations!

    Session 3:

    Tuesday, May 21, 2019 6:00pm-9:00pm

    Your Future as Leaders:  Strategic Planning & 'Financial' Alignment

    Instructor:  Kasey Thompson, PhD
    Instructor:  Catherine Browers, EdD

    You will be challenged to create a plan that continues your professional development with an emphasis on how you can continue to gain financial insights and become an inspiration for other upcoming professionals within your company and community.  Lasting success depends on your ability to discover the needed resources and create the systems to align your department's efforts with the larger organization's chosen strategy.

    Develop your skills in business acumen and creating action plans for your continued leadership aspirations!

  • Catherine BrowersCatherine Browers, EdD, Assistant Professor of Management,
    College of Business, Ferris State University
    Professor Browers has over 25 years of administrative accounting and finance experience in public, private, and non-profit organizations.  Her career has also included expertise in labor negotiations, grant writing, budget processing and analysis, and organizational leadership.  In addition to these professional activities, Browers is the owner and executive officer of Integrated Professional Resources, which provides financial consulting and grant writing services to non-profit and educational organizations.

    Jennifer DirmeyerJennifer Dirmeyer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Economics
    Ferris State University
    Jennifer Dirmeyer,  joined Ferris State University in January 2014, where she also serves as the Assistant Department Chair in the Management Department.  Her research interests are political economy, local and urban governance and corruption.  She has been published in academic journals, The Chronicle of HIgher Education and other popular outlets.  Her paper, "The Jitney Potential:  Transportation Regulation and the Welfare of the Poor," was included in the Templeton Prize-winning report, Enterprise Programs:  Freeing Entrepreneurs to Provide Essential Services to the Poor.:  Other professional interests include devising pedagogical tools for active learning in economics and facilitating co-curricular activities to encourage student engagement beyond the classroom.  In her free time she explores Michigan with her two sons and husband.

    Lisa EshbackLisa Eshbach, PhD, Associate Professor of Management,
    College of Business, Ferris State University
    Dr. Eshbach teaches management courses, including Leadership, Strategic Management, and Lean Systems in FSU's College of Business.  Prior to joining Ferris, she spent thirteen years working in a variety of leadership roles at Ford Motor Company and Visteon Corporation.  She implemented strategies that concentrated on productivity and profitability enhancement through continuous improvement initiatives.  Her research with implementing lean systems, leadership, and strategy within service and manufacturing organizations.  She is a member of the North American Case Research Association and Lean Enterprise Institute.  Dr. Eshbach's teaching is aimed at preparing students with the proper tools,  perspectives, and skill sets needed to handle the various challenges present in the workplace. 

    Emily FransstedEmily Fransted, JD, Associate Professor of Legal Studies,
    Ferris State University
    Emily Fransted is a graduate of Michigan State University where she earned her BA and her Juris Doctorate.  Thereafter, she obtained a clerkship in the 49th Circuit Court under the Honorable Scott P. Hill-Kennedy and Ronald C. Nichols and worked in private practice at Lobert & Fransted, PC, in Big Rapids.  Emily is member of the State Bar of Michigan and is admitted to practice in federal court for the Western and Eastern Districts of Michigan.  Prior to joining Ferris State University, Emily's practice included areas such as real estate, business law and employment matters, estate planning, consumer bankruptcy, landlord/tenant matters, and collections.

    Karyn KiioKaryn Kiio, MS, Instructor of Hospitality Management,
    Ferris State University
    Karyn Kiio also serves Off-Campus Kent Career Technical Center and West Michigan Students.


    Kasey ShortKasey Thompson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Management,
    College of Business, Ferris State University
    Dr. Kasey Thompson earned a Ph.D. in Values-Driven Leadership from Benedictine University in Lisle, IL and joined the Ferris State University's College of Business in 2017.  Dr. Thompson has over twenty-five years of professional experience including leading Global strategic initiatives for McDonald's Corporation where she served as the Director of Global Menu Strategy.  Dr. Thompson led platform innovation teams for the 35,000 restaurants globally as a strategic director for the world's 90th largest economy.  Most notably, Dr. Thompson co-wrote the full strategic marketing plan for Redbox, the world's first fully automated DVD system.  Dr. Thompson is passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship and has research interests in Trust and Trust-related phenomena in organizations.

    David SteenstraDavid Steenstra PhD, Professor of Management,
    College of Business, Ferris State University
    Higher education has been Dr. Steenstra's passion for most of his life.  He has taught at nine different universities, including one in Europe and one in Russia. Concurrent with college teaching and various administrative roles, Dr. Steenstra is an entrepreneur.  His company has conducted corporate training and consulting programs for over 500 clients located throughout the world.  His corporate training business is practical, applied education; real solutions to real problems. It sounds a lot like the mission of Ferris State University.  This is why it is so easy for him to passionately embrace what this university stands for.  He really believes Ferris is right on the target!

    Spence TowerSpencer Tower, PhD, Professor of Management,
    College of Business, Ferris State University
    For over twenty-five+ years, Spence has been teaching graduate and undergraduate organizational behavior, strategic management, human resources, and numerous other management classes at Michigan State University, Central Michigan University, and Ferris.
    His Ph.D is from Michigan State University in Organizational Behavior with a focus in Human Resource Management.  He has taught for the military (Navy, Air Force, Army and Marines) as well as internationally (Eqypt, Mexico, Canada).  He has also worked and taught at the University of Santa Barbara, Western Illinois University, Aquinas College, Michigan State University and the University of Pittsburgh's Semester at Sea Program.  He has consulted or provided workshops/classes with organizations such as Health Canada, Gentex, Independent Bank, Spectrum Health, Traverse City Chamber of Commerce, Aetna, North Carolina Department of Transportation, W.W. Williams, Tenneco, the National Charter School Institute, and the Girl Scouts of America.

Ferris State University
Corporate and Professional Development
1020 Maple Street
Big Rapids, MI 49307
[email protected]