A native of the Copper Country and the grandson of Finnish immigrant copper miners, Kevin is currently the Dean of the International School of Business at Finlandia University. In addition, he also lectures in global entrepreneurship, business strategy and project management for the University. Previous to this, he lived and worked for 15 years in Finland. The majority of this time he lectured in international business and marketing for the International Business Program at the JAMK University of Applied Sciences in Jyväskylä. While at JAMK, he trained, coached and advised numerous Finnish and Russian start-ups and established companies and organizations. His last two years in Finland were as the Manager of Business Development at Jyväskylä Innovation, Oy where he marketed the Jyväskylä region to foreign investors and assisted in developing its high tech business sectors. Upon returning to the USA in 2010, he worked for one year as an Economic Coordinator for Western U.P. Planning and Development Region. He was a FinnFest USA 2013 board member and chaired the Business and Technology Forum and Marketing committees. A graduate of Michigan Technological University and Eastern Michigan University, Kevin and his wife Liisa live in Atlantic Mine, Michigan.
Mark Massicotte has over 35 years of success in various manufacturing, engineering, quality, and management roles. He has lead teams to develop & optimize processes in traditional high-volume applications (automotive) as well as low-volume prototype operations. Through his innovation and entrepreneurial efforts, Mark is personally responsible for millions of dollars in process improvements. He has had the opportunity to mentor and guide colleagues, business enterprises, and students in the United States and abroad. Mark has been president of the Baraga Chamber of Commerce since 2008 and is currently board chair of the Workforce Development Board representing the six county Western UP area. He also serves as an active member of the Baraga County Economic Development Corporation, Financial Secretary for the Knights of Columbus, and volunteers his time to many community events. In 2006, Mr. Massicotte became president of L’Anse Manufacturing, Inc where he immediately took their machining expertise to the next level through quality improvements, expansion into new markets, and investing in new equipment.
Melissa Davis has been working to promote renewable and energy-efficient technologies in the Copper Country since 2005, when she founded the non-profit New Power Tour, Inc. Since then, the area has had no shortage of opportunities to educate residents about woody biomass, or Bioenergy, as the Finnish term it. She was on the planning committee for the FinnFest 2013 Business and Technology Forum, and hosted a Bioenergy afternoon track. This is all part of an effort to bring Finnish expertise to the attention of Upper Peninsula businesses and municipalities in those areas of business related to the sustainable harvesting of woody biomass: gasification equipment, farmer/forester cooperatives, heat entrepreneurships and best practices in forest management and harvesting.
Greg Seppanen, a Copper Country native, is Vice President of Trust & Financial Services at Superior National Bank & Trust. He holds the Certified Trust & Financial Advisor (CTFA) designation from the ABA’s Institute of Certified Bankers. Greg has also participated in a monthly radio program where he discusses financial planning related topics. In addition to his position with SNB-T, he serves on the board of the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce as Vice President. Greg and his wife Jennifer reside in Houghton with their three children.
Jeff Ratcliffe is the Executive Director of the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance, a private-public economic development partnership located in Houghton and serving Baraga, Houghton, and Keweenaw Counties. Jeff has worked in economic development since 1993 serving as the Ingham County EDC staff liaison to several out-county development authorities, as the Executive Director of the Luce County EDC from 1995 to 2001, and as the Executive Director of the Otsego County Economic Alliance from 2001-2014. He currently serves on the Western UP Workforce Development Board, Western UP Planning and Development Region board (ex-officio), and the Upper Peninsula Economic Development Alliance. Jeff was the recipient of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation 2010 Local Partner award and is a past member of the Michigan Economic Developers Association Board of Directors serving as its President in 2004. Jeff is certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional through the National Development Council, is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute, holds Masters and Bachelor’s degrees in International Affairs and Political Science respectively and is a Returned Peace Corp Volunteer.