Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Aitch Foundation came together Oct. 18 to shine a light on women in the area who are consistently inspiring, impacting and influencing change in the community at the 2018 Inspiration and Influence Awards. With the wide pool of nominations, the esteemed panel of judges had a hard time choosing a final winner. A total of five admired women were recognized in the areas of community impact, women’s advancement and medical research. Here’s a look at those who served as judges:
Whitney Anderson-Harrell serves as the chief community development officer at Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU). Anderson-Harrell began at MSUFCU in 2015, previously working for Kraft Foods for 13 years. She currently oversees the credit union’s community development and financial education departments as well as the Financial Innovation and Education Center.
Anderson-Harrell is extremely active in the Greater Lansing and Michigan State University communities. She currently serves on the Lansing Food Bank Committee, the CIS Advisory Council, Lansing SAVE board, Capital Area United Way board, Lansing Promise board and as board secretary for the MSU Multicultural Business Program. Anderson-Harrell holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration: marketing from MSU; a Master of Business Administration from Wake Forest University; and has had foreign business studies in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico.
Scott Norman is vice president of business development for Physicians Health Plan, a division of Sparrow Health System. Physicians Health Plan is an award-winning health plan that provides insurance for hundreds of employers across Mid-Michigan. In this role, Norman is responsible for strategic planning, sales, marketing, and product and market development. He will also oversee expanding collaborative relationships across Michigan as the health plan potentially expands into new markets.
Norman has nearly 20 years of experience in health care insurance and his most recent experience was at Priority Health where he was vice president of senior markets. In that role, he was responsible for overseeing the 4.5-star Medicare Advantage plan that had $1.2 billion in annual revenue and covered over 140,000 members across Michigan. He previously served as Priority Health’s vice president of sales and client services, responsible for commercial sales and customer retention for over 7,000 employer clients and 400,000 enrolled members.
Olivia Martin provides comprehensive investment planning. She helps manage assets for individuals, trusts, retirement plans, charitable organizations and businesses. Through a long-term investment approach, she helps clients develop and implement strategies for building wealth and realizing their goals.
For over a decade, Martin has helped clients address their financial concerns and develop strategies by focusing on each individual’s specific needs. With extensive experience throughout major shifts in the markets, Martin has dedicated her career to delivering the personalized investment planning services her clients deserve. Additionally, she has a passion for helping nonprofit organizations properly construct endowment portfolios to fund the important work they do.
Martin spends her free time with her husband, Jerry, and their son,
Adrian. They like to stay active both physically and mentally. Martin especially enjoys golfing and she participates in many charitable outings around the area.
Katie Bent is a fifth-year inside wireman apprentice with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 665. She was indentured into the local in 2014 at 19 years old. In her past four years as an electrical apprentice, she has honed her skills, expanded her knowledge and built relationships with her co-workers. She is currently broadening her experience in temperature control with Centennial Electric. Bent aspires to become a foreman for IBEW and lead electrical crews to complete jobs under budget, on time and with expert craftsmanship. She has recently completed a remodel at Jenison Field House on the Michigan State University campus and is now assisting with the new addition to the university’s Business College complex.
Bent takes much pride in her work and enjoys the day-to-day hustle of a construction site. Outside of work, Bent is proud to be a mother to her daughter, Willow Jayne, and a life partner to her fiancé, Payne. They are currently saving to build their dream home in the Lansing area. In her spare time, Bent practices Ashtanga yoga and hopes to one day teach yoga to people in her community. She also enjoys family trips to the park and serving her community with her fellow apprentices.
Michelle Massey serves as a vice president for Dewpoint. With over 25 years of information technology industry experience, Massey has extensive experience in proposal development, business operations, and corporate planning and support. Her current responsibilities include business development, marketing, communications and charitable contributions. Massey manages Dewpoint’s overall corporate branding through marketing, public relations and community involvement.
A strong supporter of the Lansing region, Massey serves on the boards for Ele’s Place, Wharton Center, Sparrow Foundation, the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan State University Museum. Massey earned her bachelor’s degree in communications/telecommunications and master’s in international telecommunications from MSU.
Debbie Petersmark serves as general manager of WILX Media, which operates the NBC affiliate WILX-TV 10 and WILX.com. Petersmark joined the station in 2000 as an account executive and has served as general sales manager since 2014.
Prior to joining WILX, Petersmark spent 10 years at the Sparrow Foundation as the manager of the Children’s Miracle Network, where she led the fundraising efforts for the Regional Children’s Center and produced an annual telethon. She serves as a board member for the American Red Cross, Mid-Michigan. A lifelong resident of East Lansing, Petersmark holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University. She and her husband, Mike, live in East Lansing with their three children, Andy, Megan and Owen.
Julie O’Brien joined CBRE|Martin in 2011, bringing over 25 years of expertise in marketing, sales and communications to her role as an associate. O’Brien’s successful history of developing and servicing client relationships made her a welcome asset to the company and a vibrant addition to the market’s leading industrial real estate team.
Initially, O’Brien chose not to pursue real estate when she took her first real estate class and licensing exam with her husband, Shawn, over 30 years ago. Instead, she continued to work full time as a consultant for a national fundraising firm. When she needed more flexibility while raising her family, O’Brien left fundraising and worked part time in sales and marketing at a mortgage company and later a law firm.
O’Brien and her family live in East Lansing. Her three daughters keep the couple busy: Kaleigh, 23, is an Michigan State University Spartan supply-chain grad and lives/works in Ann Arbor; Kenzie, 21, is an MSU Spartan senior studying marketing; and Chloe, 15, is a sophomore at Haslett High School and gymnast.