Martin joining Ann Arbor non-profit

Eastern Michigan University President Susan Martin was elected to Ann Arbor SPARK’s board of directors at the group’s annual meeting in May. Leigh Greden, executive director of government and community relations at EMU was also named to SPARK’s executive committee.

The non-profit organization has been operating for five years, focusing on attracting and supporting business throughout the Ann Arbor area.

The organization’s Web site describes its mission by stating “Ann Arbor SPARK will be the driving force in establishing the Ann Arbor region as a desired place for business expansion and location by identifying and meeting the needs of business at every stage, from those that are established to those working to successfully commercialize innovations.”

Neither Martin nor Greden were immediately available for comment, however both offices promised to follow up with the Echo.
According to a press release from the university, President Martin is honored to be placed on the board.

“It’s a distinct privilege and opportunity to be named to the Ann Arbor SPARK board of directors,” Martin said in the release. “SPARK has had a tremendous effect on business growth in the area, and will play a crucial role in the area’s economic future.”

The group’s board of directors meets annually while the executive committee meets bi-monthly to handle more detailed operations.

The appointment comes on the heels of the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti Area Chambers of Commerce announcing their merger June 1.

The chair of the board, Karl Couyoumijian said in a release the newly created chamber will be representing both communities.

“The newly formed board will work closely together to create a chamber that truly is an advocate for the area’s businesses,” he said in the release.

Members of the board include a variety of individuals involved in industries such as the education sector, business and law.

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