TCNewTech Announces Big Changes

Transition of Leadership for 2021

TCNewTech is pleased to announce that the board of directors elected Kelly Ignace as the new board President. Ignace, who is the Principal of WorkshopSIX7 will serve a two-year term effective November 1, 2020. She succeeds Russell Schindler, president & CEO of SampleServe, who served as board president since founding TCNewTech in 2015. Schindler will continue to serve on the Fiber Optic Sub-Committee. Under Schindler’s leadership, the TCNewTech community has grown to over two thousand members, events topping three hundred attendees, and now in the virtual space viewings have gained new members from both coasts. Schindler paved the way for conversations on important topics facing our local businesses such as the need for Fiber-Optic internet service, Cyber Securities, AgTech and Health Tech, and more.

“TCNewTech has come a long way since it began and has had a significant impact towards solidifying the Grand Traverse region as a place to build start-ups and tech companies,” said outgoing president Russell Schindler.  “It’s been my honor to serve as the Board President since it began five and a half years ago. As I step down to focus my full attention on my own growing company, I join with my fellow Board Directors in extending our congratulations to Kelly Ignace on becoming the new Board President. I am confident that under Kelly’s leadership, the TCNewTech board and organization will continue to thrive and make a positive difference for northern Michigan. Congratulations, Kelly Ignace!”   

 Kelly Ignace has worked the last six years as an independent contractor for marketing and business development projects, helping to advance companies near and far with her company WorkshopSIX7. During her time serving as a Director to the Board of TCNewTech, Kelly helped to systematically steward the organization’s mission in a number of ways including the buildout of our current website and automation of several internal processes.

 “We look forward to Kelly’s leadership as TCNewTech’s first woman President to lead our tech startup community,” commented TCNewTech’s Executive Director, Jennifer Szunko.

Additionally, seven amazing TCNewTech Board Members are finishing up their terms this month: Ashley Sloat, Benson Munger, Jenny Craig, Josh Kent, Justin Blanchard, Russ Ryba, and Russell Schindler

“How can we thank these individuals who have contributed so much to TCNewTech? Although they are leaving the board, we will definitely be tapping into their knowledge and skills moving forward as they continue as members, volunteers, and supporters of the TCNewTech mission,” said Szunko. “Congratulations to our new board president Kelly Ignace. Thanks to Russell Schindler for following through on his idea to create a local organization uniting entrepreneurs, investors, and those interested in new technologies. With the support of our board and dedicated members, TCNewTech will continue to make significant inroads to move our mission-driven agenda forward, including growing our membership, increasing attendance in our programs, raising our voices on the issues felt by startups, and making advancements in our quest to make our region the tech hub of the Midwest.”  

Continuing to fulfill the mission and their terms as Board of Directors for TCNewTech are Ben Marshall, Camille Hoisington, Dan Mastromonaco, Jamie Kemler, Keith E. Kelly, and Tim Heger; along with Development Director Sarah Hunt. More information about each of these individuals and their strengths, can be found on the TCNewTech website.