Friday, March 23, 2012

JEM Taking Applications

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

Former Perrigo Co. chief offers to share business experience and wisdom with small business owners