Founded in 2009 by Mike Jandernoa, the former CEO of Perrigo Co., the program links local business owners at “second- and third-stage companies” with established business executives.
“Small and medium-sized businesses play a critical role in growing West Michigan’s economy,” said Jandernoa, who is also a JEM mentor.
“Linking decision-makers at these businesses with veteran business mentors is one way we can help accelerate their growth and economic impact on our community.”
Participants develop a one-on-one relationship with mentors, in addition to connecting with other new leaders through monthly group discussions and other activities.
Scott Crowley, owner of the Highland Group and a JEM participant, said the program held him accountable and challenged his traditional methods.
“Our bottom line is healthier and so is the company,” Crowley said in a JEM news release. “We really needed that extra set of eyes, ears and a healthy dose of honesty and expertise.”
“We needed someone who could make sure we were on strategy, validate or challenge the decision-making, and who could support our business goals as a coach and confidant.”
JEM mentors include 18 current for former CEOs and presidents of established companies, including Paul Boyer, former president of retailer Meijer Inc.; Jerry Scott, former president of Grand Haven manufacturer GHSP and Kathy Crosby, CEO of Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids.
The 2-year-old program served six entrepreneurs in its 2011 class and nine entrepreneurs in its 2010 class. The program charges a $3,500 fee to participants.
Persons interested in learning more about the program are invited to attend an informational meeting next Wednesday. The session will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the University Club, 111 S. Lyon St. NW, Suite 1025. To register for the event, visit www.jandernoamentoring.org.