New North Hires Leader
NewNorth Center for Design in Business, the region’s leading innovation training resource, welcomes Seth Starner as their new President. Starner joins NewNorth after a decade of innovation leadership roles within Amway Corporation.
“We are thrilled to have Seth join NewNorth,” noted NewNorth Board Chair, Bruce Los, and Senior Vice President of Gentex. “He has an exceptional combination of business savvy and passion for innovation—this is the secret sauce that has allowed NewNorth to provide high level, structured innovation methods to companies throughout West Michigan and the Midwest. Seth is the perfect person to lead NewNorth to the next phase of growth.”
Most recently, Starner led Business Innovation Consulting at Amway Corporation, responsible for internal innovation training, leading strategic planning sessions, and catalyzing innovation teams to implement new opportunities around the globe. Prior to his decade of innovation experience at Amway, Starner was Project Director at Wirthlin Worldwide, a global market research firm. Starner has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree from Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design. Across West Michigan, he serves on the Boards of Directors of the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Keller Futures Center. Starner was also one of the drivers of GRid70 in downtown Grand Rapids.
“For decades, the West Michigan business community has built itself upon a legacy of innovation,” said Starner. “NewNorth offers businesses of all types a unique executive education experience that will help West Michigan sustain an innovation advantage. To be able to lead this non-profit organization, and assist companies throughout the region, is an opportunity I could not pass up.”
Starner replaces Nate Young, who recently left to become VP of Global Innovation for Newell Rubbermaid. Young will remain active in the organization, serving on the Board of Directors.
“Launching NewNorth was a thrill ride,” said Young. “Starting from scratch and building a sustainable model that drives real value for business was incredibly satisfying. Most satisfying was witnessing the impact NewNorth graduates are making within their companies; area companies are stronger as a result of NewNorth. I am excited to serve on the Board and equally excited to assist Seth as he looks to take the organization to the next level.”
“Not only did Nate drive NewNorth from startup to thriving organization, he was instrumental in selecting Seth,” commented Michael Warsaw, NewNorth Search Committee Chair and Vice President of Global Innovation for Johnson Controls. “We all agree that in Seth we have the perfect next leader. Someone who lives and breathes innovation and truly understands the value it can unlock for our business community.
NewNorth is a non-profit, hybrid education and business institution. The Center focuses on innovation – creating catalysts for change through assessment, executive education, and custom workshops. The portfolio features design-centric, post-graduate business programs formulated expressly to bring increased value to local, regional and national companies and organizations. NewNorth has served over 2,000 people and 200 companies over the past 4 years, including Meijer, Haworth, Johnson Controls, Stryker, Whirlpool, Tower Automotive, Herman Miller and Newell Rubbermaid. In addition to these widely recognized corporate leaders, NewNorth has served small to mid-size companies, including Stone Plastics, Stow Company, Zipments, VarsityNews Network, and Hudsonville Ice Cream.
Upcoming Classes & Events
MSUBI: Finding Your Market, Finding Your Model
Seth will be presenting at the MSU Bioeconomy Institute on Tuesday, June 24 from 11:30a-1:00p. Seth will offer insight on creating alternative value propositions through product innovation and discuss diversified market options for your product or service offering. Register here.
Start Garden Class: MVP-Finding the Right Customer
Seth will be facilitating a class at Start Garden. He’ll take you through steps that will help you uncover the best market for your Minumum Viable Product and will teach tools that are easily performed to understand the customer, the end user and channel. Register here.
INNOVATION METHODS CERTIFICATION
Our next IMC cohort is forming and class begins on Wednesday, September 10, 2014.
Learn more about IMC.