Michael Sauvante is the executive director of Commonwealth Group. He brings over 30 years experience in founding and running more than a half dozen companies in diverse industries. He is an expert in new venture creation has also worked on new venture creation within mature companies. He was one of the earliest Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to advocate sustainability, arguing for social and environmental responsibility in addition to fiscal responsibilitiy in business. >> Full bio.
Vari MacNeil is the chief creative & communications officer. She has more than 20 years experience with Fortune 500 companies in marketing and enterprise communications, large-scale web development, and creative direction and execution. She is responsible for all written, graphic, video and audio productions of the company, oversees communications strategy.
Pati Carlson is vice president of administration. She has nearly 30 years experience in helping to found and administer small businesses. She has dealt with every aspect of business administration including personnel, accounting, taxes, payroll, legal documents and corporate governance, hiring and working with attorneys, accountants and other consultants, project management, and supporting sales and marketing. She is a ABA certified paralegal and is currently in her first year of law school.
Robert Leonard is the director of Michigan operations. He has a deep understanding of the issues confronting small business having owned and operated a manufacturing company supplying the auto industry in Michigan for more than 30 years. He has long been active in promoting local economic development in support of small businesses, as well as developing policies to improve access to capital and credit and other small business-related issues.
Heather Hellman is the vice president of external communications. She has 25 years experience in public relations, advertising and promotions, strategic communications planning, and brand management. She has worked with Philip Morris, American Express, ChevronTexaco, Honda, Cox Interactive, Working Assets and HBO.
Jeremy Farnum has over 10 years experience in the design and implementation of cross-platform, browser-friendly websites. He has designed online public interfaces in the entertainment, promotion and e-commerce spaces and now specializes in intranet design. His most recent project included a complete redesign of the IT infrastructure for a community hospital, including a complete accounting system, electronic medical records and physical security.