Speakers

Sam Dantzler
President
Garage Composites

The Tail!

Sam Dantzler is owner/operator of Garage Composites, a-20-Club best-practices organization established in 1981 for Powersports and Marine dealers.  Garage Composites also offers many training academies for managers, as well as Wheelhouse College, an online training platform for all dealership employees.
 

The Garage Composites team moderates over thirty 20-Clubs across the two industries, and tracks monthly data for over 500 dealerships. In addition to staying in front of industry trends through 20-Clubs and management academies, Sam continues to do exclusive contract work with Barletta Boats, Correct Craft, Marine Retail Association of America, Harley-Davidson, Polaris, KTM/Husqvarna.
 

Sam grew up water skiing in Florida and continues to embrace his addiction to the Powersports industry, taking his daughter Abigail to school in a sidecar since the age of four. He loves these industries and is considered an industry expert in the realm of want-based selling for over 20 years now.

 

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No Bad Days

JT Jester is a young entrepreneur, philanthropist, podcaster, and inspirational speaker based in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. A graduate of High Point University in North Carolina, JT Jester is also an experienced mountaineer, extreme skier, boater, hunter, and adventurer who has made it his life mission to encourage people to untether from natural or self-imposed limitations and live full, passionate lives.
 

Born with life-threatening VATER/VACTERL syndrome, as well as extreme dyslexia and short-term memory loss, he established the JT Mestdagh Foundation to bring encouragement, joy, and laughter to people with physical and learning disabilities and to their families. JT hopes that through his life experiences and other people’s stories, the reader is reminded there truly are no bad days and to never give up.
 

Author. Speaker. Adventure Enthusiast. “I want to share my story so people who feel alone and discouraged might feel will, well, less alone and more confident.” – JT

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JT Jester
JT Mestdagh Foundation

Doug DeVos
Founder 
Continuum Ventures

Entrepreneurship, Business, and Love of
the Great Lakes

Doug is an advocate for real opportunity and freedom for all. He believes in a better tomorrow, where all people are free to pursue their own happiness and are empowered to strive for greatness. He inspires social entrepreneurship and believes in the potential and the power of individuals to create a movement of good.

Doug DeVos, along with his wife Maria, is Founder of Continuum Ventures–an investment company for The Doug & Maria DeVos Family. Continuum Ventures invests in business, community, and civic engagement to make a positive and meaningful difference for people and communities.

Doug is Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for Amway, the world’s largest direct selling company with more than $8 billion in revenue. He previously served as President of Amway for more than 16 years. DeVos joined Amway in 1986 and served in various leadership positions for Amway in Europe, the Americas and Asia.

DeVos’ focus on fostering entrepreneurship and providing opportunities for people around the world to start a business of their own has been a lifelong passion for him. In 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce appointed DeVos to the U.S.-India CEO Forum. DeVos has also served as an industry leader in numerous roles including Chairman of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (2014-2017) and Chairman of the U.S. Direct Selling Association (2003-2004). He has been inducted into the U.S. Direct Selling Association Hall of Fame and been recognized with the Direct Selling Education Foundation’s Circle of Honor award.

Beyond Amway, DeVos is Chairman – Frederick Douglass Society and leads the Ambassador Network for Stand Together, an organization committed to helping people realize their potential by addressing society’s biggest challenges.

DeVos also chairs the Executive Committee for the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and is involved in numerous Michigan business and civic organizations, including the Business Leaders for Michigan, West Michigan Policy Forum, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, and in particular, their own personal Doug & Maria DeVos Foundation.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Purdue University where he was a quarterback for the Purdue football team.

 

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Jeff Allen
Maner Costerisan

Valuation of Business and Succession Planning for your future

Jeff brings more than 16 years of experience to the Maner Costerisan team. Passionate about diving into new problems and devising thoughtful, out-of-the-box solutions for clients, Jeff specializes in auditing, financial and treasury management, forecasting, budgeting, executive leadership training and financial consulting. Jeff has an innate ability to simplify highly-complex concepts and solve tough business challenges.
 

After joining Maner in 2006, Jeff left briefly to work at a global medical manufacturing product corporation, gathering essential skillsets that help him more closely relate to issues and perspectives facing clients. Since returning to the firm in 2018, he’s been promoted to Principal, and has taken on additional responsibilities, helping lead the firm’s growing data analysis, dashboarding and reporting capabilities.
 

As part of his day-to-day work, Jeff provides assurance services to Maner’s Affordable Housing clients during the industry’s busy season. Additionally, he focuses on providing financial consulting services to startup and distressed businesses. He also leads the firm’s business valuation services specialty and provides a wide range of valuation-related services to multiple industries.

An avid camper, hiker and outdoorsman, Jeff lives in the woods of Williamston, Michigan with wife, Megan, their two boys, Jonas and Evan and one-year old schnoodle.

 

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Greg Coyne
Sandler Training - Gerry Weinberg & Assoc.

Building a Sustainable Business Through Technology

Greg is a high-energy and enthusiastic speaker and consultant who has been actively involved with Sandler by Gerry Weinberg & Associates since 2009.  He has an additional 10+ years of success in Leadership, Management, Customer Care, & Business Development.
 

He has helped a wide variety of companies, in various industries, whose presidents and sales leaders were worried that their organizations were not getting them the results they wanted. They were frustrated with themselves, that they were not able to lead effectively in a remote environment; concerned that they were leaving money on the table, by giving information to companies that used it to buy from their competition; anxious that their current culture was hostile and fragmented; and worried that with those issues, their business wouldn’t give them a solid succession plan, either for themselves or their stakeholders.
 

Through Greg’s help, his clients learn how to use a system to build and develop their business, uncover blind spots they didn’t even realize they had, and stop wasting valuable time with people and companies who will never buy from them.

 

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Eric Hultgren
MLive

How to Use Social Media to Build Your Brand

Eric is a storyteller and market leader who uses stories to focus on how human beings can connect pragmatically by using technologies available right now. He has worked in radio, television, taught mass media at university for over a decade, a podcaster, content creator and a fan of the art of marketing.

 

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Greg Weykamp
Edgewater Resources

Improving Environmental Performance at Marinas

Greg Weykamp has more than thirty years of experience in the planning and design of the public realm, with an emphasis on implementation of sustainable built landscapes and urban waterfront environments. He is a CLARB and LEED Certified landscape architect, and his project experience spans waterfront parks, marinas, master planned communities, urban revitalization, streetscapes, parks, and recreation facilities.

 

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Laura Kohler
Irish Boat Show

Running a Successful Apprenticeship Program

Laura Kohler is the Human Resources Manager at Irish Boat Shop. Laura started her HR career working for an at-risk youth camp in Tennessee and North Carolina, where she focused on Training and Development. She continued developing HR expertise while working in Benefits Management at Yosemite National Park. Laura was promoted to HR Manager and moved to Grand Canyon National Park. In 2016 She moved back home to Northern Michigan, wanting to get closer to water and family again. When not at work, Laura enjoys relaxing with her dogs at home. 

 

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Matthew Naud
Senior Consultant with adapt.city and Resource Recycling Systems

Sustainable Operations and Ordering for Business

Matthew Naud is a Senior Consultant with adapt.city and Resource Recycling Systems.  In 2001, he became the first Environmental Coordinator for the city of Ann Arbor and spent 17 years leading innovative programs to further urban sustainability goals in Ann Arbor including climate mitigation and adaptation, environmental remediation, brownfield, recycling and composting, river management, emergency management, and equity.   He has played a leadership role in several national and regional networks of city sustainability staff including the Urban Sustainability Director’s Network, Great Lakes Climate Adaptation network, and Michigan Green Communities.  He is a co-founder of RentLab.org and board member for the Michigan Municipal Association for Utility Interests.

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Nikki Storey
Great Lakes Boat Building School

Boots on the Boat

Nikki Storey, President of Great Lakes Boat Building School (GLBBS), heads the only accredited marine trades institution in the Midwest Region. A native to Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula, where the school is located, Nikki grew up in a family of skilled trades people, giving her a strong understanding of the importance of trade-focused careers. With a degree in Business Management and a minor in Human Resources, Nikki also has many years of extensive Human Resources experience helping employers attract and onboard new staff. Nikki merged her personal and professional experiences at GLBBS and developed a passion for helping students pursue trade-careers specific to the marine industry. In 2018, after spearheading the process to establish GLBBS as a nationally accredited institution, Nikki changed the focus of the school by developing programming based on recommendations and expressed needs from marine industry leaders and employers. With a “hands-on” approach to leadership, she also worked closely with students to learn and set their goals as both students and future employees. Her work helped create programming that sets students up for success and provides the marine industry with employees whose skills line up with industry needs. In the last six years, GLBBS has seen 100% employment placement for students with an average 92% student satisfaction rate of the school and programs. Nikki’s work continues with a strategic plan focused on increasing enrollment, developing new programs relevant to the marine industry, and expanding the GLBBS facilities and campus. Nikki’s work has been recognized industry wide. In 2020, She received the Light House Award from Michigan Boating Industry Association, was named as one of Boating Industry’s 40 under 40, and then appeared in Boating Industry’s 2022 Women Making Waves.

 

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