Meet the MEDC Community Assistance Team

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community development

February 1, 2018

Meet the MEDC Community Assistance Team

Working hard to help communities thrive and grow


Happy New Year!

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation's CATeam has had a number of staff changes so to help you get to know your team member better, we've put together a brief bio and photo for every member by region. Remember, the CATeam is a great resource and should be your first point in determining whether you have a downtown project that may qualify for consideration.

Jennifer Tucker

Jennifer Tucker – Upper Peninsula

Jen serves the Upper Peninsula, Region 1 on the CATeam.  With over 6 years of experience working in community development in the UP, and over 13 years of experience as a snow shoveling resident of the region, she works to achieve Yooper status.  She is armed with experience working at the local, county and state level, and has enjoyed a wide variety of other professional opportunities including wildland firefighting, instructing earth science courses, fundraising, and event planning.

Jen spends most of her free time outside in the Great Lakes State, playing with her dog Peete Pie, watching football, and working on her house. Her passion for music and cooking keep her thinking creatively and trying new things in many aspects of her life.

Jen can be reached at 906.201.4367 or

Dan Leonard

Daniel Leonard – Northern Lower

Dan covers Regions 2 and 3 for the CATeam. He works with communities to improve their existing physical asset inventory and social presence within downtowns throughout northern-lower Michigan. Through marketing, branding, job growth, reactivation of vacant storefronts, public spaces and historic preservation of key assets, Michigan communities are the target for improving the regional assets privy to those living, working and playing in this greate state. After growing up within a rural area of mid-Michigan, Daniel graduated from MSU with a BS degree in urban and regional planning. Professionally, he’s worked in both the private and public sectors of community/municipal planning for eight years before transitioning to an economic development focus.

Dan and his wife, Katie, enjoy boating and also spend time away from the Great Lakes with adventures hunting small game with their PUGS, Grace and Carl. Dan can be reached at 989.387.4467 or

Lindsay Viviano

Lindsay Viviano – Western

Lindsay Viviano covers Kent, Ottawa, and Muskegon counties in Region 4 for the CATeam.  She started January 2 at the MEDC. Lindsay came from Zeeland’s City Manager’s office, as well as the Community Development department – many hats! She has been in local government since 2014 and that term started with an internship in the City of Wyoming. Fun Fact - While in Zeeland she worked to submit the RRC Evaluations to the MEDC for the City. 

Originally, she has eastern roots in Michigan and grew up in Clarkston!  She is a GVSU alumni and has stayed in West Michigan ever since. In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys rooting on the Detroit Tigers, listening to 80s music, and hanging out with her retired racing greyhound, Neil! 

Lindsay can be reached at (517) 249-0408 or

Sue DeVries

Sue DeVries – Rural West

Sue DeVries is an economic development finance professional who covers the 10 rural counties in Region 4 for the CATeam. She started with MEDC in January 2016. Before joining the team at MEDC Sue worked in community development at MSHDA. She has previous experience in conservation work, as a nonprofit developer, and as an elected official in the City of Grand Rapids.

Sue came to Grand Rapids in the late 1970s to obtain a history degree from Calvin College and has stayed in Grand Rapids ever since. Her master’s degree is from Grand Valley. In her spare time Sue enjoys gardening, photography, exploring and collecting art, and basking in the joys of being a grandma.

Sue can be reached at 616.430.0280 or

Chelsea Rowley

Chelsea Rowley – Bay

Chelsea Rowley covers Region 5, which includes Bay, Saginaw, Clare, Gratiot, Isabella, Arenac, and Midland counties, for the Community Assistance Team. She started her role at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in mid-October. Chelsea joined the MEDC from the Michigan Baseball Foundation in Midland where she worked as the Program Manager of the foundation’s economic development initiative called Momentum Midland.

Chelsea's roots are deeply planted in Region 5. Aside from working in Midland for two and a half years before joining the CATeam, Chelsea was born and raised in Bay City), received her bachelor’s degree from Alma College, and previously lived in Mt. Pleasant. In her spare time, Chelsea enjoys running, listening to podcasts, and spending time with family and friends.

Chelsea can be reached at 989.475.7015 or

Chuck Donaldson

Charles Donaldson – Thumb

Chuck Donaldson is the Region 6 CATeam Specialist.  Region 6 covers the lower eastern part of the state including the counties of Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer, Tuscola, Huron, Sanilac, and St. Clair. Chuck joined the CATeam in March of 2017.  Prior to that he was part of the Community Development Block Grant team at the MEDC and started in 2013. Chuck has a background in planning, transportation, environmental studies, and economic development. 

Chuck was born in the metro Detroit area, but went to college in California to study Natural Resources Management at Cal Poly State University at San Luis Obispo. Go Mustangs!  A little known fact about Chuck is that during his summers in college, he was a Park Ranger at Devils Postpile, and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in California. In his spare time Chuck likes to participate in outdoor hobbies like hunting, fishing, snowboarding, and gardening.

Chuck can be reached at 810.241.6658 or

Nate Scramlin

Nate Scramlin – Capital Region

Nate Scramlin covers Clinton, Eaton and Ingham Counties in Region 7 for the CATeam and heads up the Public Spaces Community Places crowdfunding initiative at the MEDC. He is a 10 year veteran of Community Planning and Development working in a multitude of disciplines including primarily community revitalization and planning, downtown development, transportation and non-motorized planning, and environmental planning. With the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for the past six years, he has been integral in activating both large-scale mixed-use redevelopment projects as well as small-scale public space solutions in communities across Michigan. A planner by trade, educated at Michigan State University, Nate and his fellow Community Assistance Team members traverse the great state of Pure Michigan fueling revitalization and community vibrancy guided by New Urbanist and place-making principles.  Nate is a small town guy at heart hailing from Lapeer, now living in Old Town Lansing. It’s safe to say he enjoys the simple things in life! If he can help it, he’d prefer to be outside riding his bike, watching the birds, pitching a tent, burning wood and cooking things over it.

Nate can be reached at 517.862.7742 or

Emily Petz

Emily Petz – Southwest

Emily Petz covers Van Buren, Cass, Berrien, Kalamazoo, Calhoun, St Joseph, and Branch in Region 8 for the CATeam. She started in January of 2016. Emily came from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Community Development Team. She has worked with federal funding like HOME and CDBG funds since the fall of 2008! She is a Leader in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited professional, as well as an Economic Development Finance Professional through the National Development Council.

Emily grew up in Caledonia, Michigan. She is a Michigan State University alumni with a degree in urban and regional planning and an environmental economics specialization. In her spare time, she enjoys backpacking, running, biking, and yoga.  In 2017 Emily and her fiancé bought and rehabilitated their 1890 house located in Kalamazoo Michigan. She has a seven-year-old orange cat named Oliver who recently got into shape by losing four pounds!

Emily can be reached at 269-568-0371 or

Paula Holtz

Paula Holtz - Southeast

Paula covers Livingston, Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Lenawee and Monroe counties for Region 9. Paula has spent twenty years working in the economic development field, with a special focus on downtown and redevelopment initiatives. Formerly, she was with the city of Tecumseh, serving as Economic Development Director, a position she held for sixteen years. Prior to that, Paula spent several years in metropolitan Detroit working in municipal economic development and for a public/private partnership focusing on economic development activities. Paula holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Michigan University and a Master’s Degree in urban planning from Wayne State University. She lives in Tecumseh, Michigan with her husband and two children.

Paula can be reached at 517.243.5689 or

Brittney Hoszkiw

Brittney Hoszkiw - Detroit

Brittney Hoszkiw is the Community Assistance Team Specialist for the city of Detroit. Brittney works to build local capacity and advance development projects using a variety of economic development tools, throughout the city. Previously, Brittney focused on local capacity building and community organizing as the Organization Specialist for Michigan Main Street at the MEDC and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). She has held a variety of titles within downtown development from volunteer to executive director in communities across the state. Among them was her position as Executive Director of Old Town Lansing's Main Street program which was named a Great American Main Street Award winner in 2011. As director, Brittney welcomed over 40 new businesses and oversaw over 200 festivals and events, including the creation of Old Town Scrapfeast, Chalk of the Town and Turner St. Outdoor Theater. Her previous experience includes work with Iron Mountain DDA/Main Street, as the Main Street Coordinator and Main Street Manager for Scottville Main Street. Brittney graduated from Central Michigan University with a Master’s in Public Administration and Michigan State University with a BS in Communications & Public Relations.

Brittney can be reached at 517.420.7291 or

Dominic Romano

Dominic Romano - Southeast

Dominic Romano covers Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties (except for Detroit) in Region 10 for the CATeam.  Dominic has been at the MEDC since 2014 with previous roles on the Community Development Block Grant Team and International Trade Group. Dominic came from the City of Livonia working with public finance in the DPW, fire, and water billing departments. He has been in many positions professionally in realms including non-profit, lending, entertainment, and title services.    

Dominic’s hometown is Royal Oak, but has also resided in Ferndale, Redford, Livonia, Mount Pleasant and Detroit, and has multiple degrees in public administration and urban and regional planning from Central Michigan University and Eastern Michigan University. With his wife and two boys, Dominic likes to explore all the new and old restaurants and attractions in Detroit, as well as camp and travel throughout the state with regular visits to the Houghton and Hancock area in the UP.

Dominic can be reached at 313.418.7568 or

CAT map

The Community Development newsletter is the MEDC’s media portal for organizational updates, program changes, and upcoming training opportunities. This effort is another form of outreach promoting those positive impacts that MEDC Community Development team brings to communities throughout the State of Michigan.

Photo: Downtown Howell, winner of MEDC's Michigan Main Street Photo Contest - Economic Vitality category