Tap into a Panel of Expertise on Talent Pipeline Strategies

At a time when 80% of employers have trouble recruiting high-potential talent, talent pipelines are essential to hire for hard-to-fill positions. The best-performing employers have pipelines in place for openings they expect years down the road.

For the next installment of our lunchtime Talent Solutions Series, we have assembled a wide range of expertise to explore how employers can develop ready-to-tap pipelines of engaged and skilled prospects.

Sign up today and join us for lunch and a dynamic discussion Jan. 11 at Frederik Meijer Gardens. (A reminder: HR professionals earn 1.5 professional development credits through SHRM.)


Here is more about who will be leading our review of this topic:

Keynote address

Jeran Culina, manager of Business Leaders United, National Skills Coalition

Jeran manages implementation, engagement and expansion of a national network of employers concerned about the nation’s skills mismatch, who promote public investments in skills training and education that prepare workers for the 21st Century economy.

Before joining National Skills Coalition, she was a senior policy associate at Advance CTE, which supports advancement of high-quality and equitable CTE policies, programs and pathways. She previously served as the education and research project manager at TalentFirst, where she led initiatives in all the organization’s education priorities from early childhood to postsecondary education.


Kevin Stotts, President, TalentFirst

Kevin leads the data-driven strategies and initiatives of TalentFirst, an alliance of West Michigan CEOs who collaborate to improve the quality of the region’s talent development, attraction, and retention. By partnering with leaders in business, education, workforce, economic development and policy, TalentFirst works to ensure West Michigan is a top-20 region for talent.

Prior to joining TalentFirst, Kevin led several nonprofit organizations related to education, workforce, and community development. He serves on several statewide, regional, and local boards and commissions related to education and the workforce.


Jamon Alexander, President and CEO, West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology

 Jamon leads WMCAT’s work to provide equitable access to opportunity. He joined WMCAT in 2015, serving most recently as director of workforce development. In that role, he grew the nationally recognized Adult Career Training Program, which builds income security through support, leadership development, and career training for adults experiencing under- and unemployment.

He is a community activist who previously led fundraising and volunteer efforts at YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, Spectrum Health Foundation, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation, and Heart of West Michigan United Way.

Cindy Brown, Employment Development Manager, Grand Valley State University

Cindy leads employer development for GVSU’s Career Center, connecting with university and community partners to establish relationships for career opportunities, in addition to partnering with faculty, staff, and employers on student-focused initiatives.

She previously served as vice president of Talent Initiatives for The Right Place, and for years also served jointly as executive director for Hello West Michigan before stepping into her role for The Right Place full time. She has over 20 years of leadership experience in employee development, talent acquisition, training, and facilitation.

Julie Parks, Dean of Workforce Training and the Interim Dean for Business & Industry, Grand Rapids Community College

Julie has over 20 years of experience developing programming and innovations in workforce development. She and her team focus on empowering individuals to find the career that best fits their aspirations and then helping break down barriers so they can succeed.

Under her leadership, GRCC in 2021 was awarded three grants totaling more than $15 million for workforce development programs, particularly for low-income neighborhoods and skilled trades. In 2019, she and her team won Innovation of the Year recognition from the League for Innovation in the Community College.

Kristy White, Head of HR, Autocam Medical

Kristy leads talent, benefits, learning and development, compensation and more for seven Autocam plants across the country, with a focus on retaining and recruiting talent.

Her career in HR started in 2003 at Smiths Aerospace, with her responsibilities growing upon GE Aviation’s 2007 acquisition of that company. She later took roles at startup Modustri and at Grand Rapids Controls before joining Autocam in 2018. She partners with high schools and tech centers to promote machining and engineering to help the labor market meet its demands.

We’re looking for a robust discussion, with plenty of opportunity to ask questions. Learn more about this series:



Subscribe to our blog feed

Related Reading

preschool classroom with children and teachers sitting at a table

The following opinion was originally published in The Detroit News on May 21 (subscriber link). By Kevin Stotts For more than a decade, Michigan has...

Young man sits in work cubicle looking at computer, hand on his head

Among the many historic workplace disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the more unexpected might have been a growing willingness to discuss mental and...

Mom in graduation cap and gown, with smiling daughter.

A new study shows that most American adults recognize the value of a postsecondary credential for career and financial success. At the same time, employers...