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Initiative Team

The West Michigan Shoreline Food Processing Initiative was officially launched on October 30, 2017 with an initial team of expert consultants led by Marty Gerencer, Principal of Morse Marketing Connections and an expert in the food processing industry. Other consultants include experts in food processing education, site consulting, economic development, and international business development. The team of experts include:


Marty Gerencer

Executive Director

Marty is Principal of Morse Marketing Connections, LLC (MMC), a Norton Shores based marketing and business consulting firm. Prior to the launch of MMC, Marty spent over 20 years with Gerber Products Company and worked with cross-functional teams to implement collaborative approaches to business practices. Most recently she has led the development of the Muskegon Food Hub.

John Sisson

Senior Managing Consultant-Infrastructure

John is Executive Managing Director of the Next Move Group, a leading site consulting group. He has performed site selection and incentives negotiations worldwide over a 30 year career following time in corporate finance with Ford Motor Company and Mallinckrodt. John was commissioned by Consumers Energy to evaluate the BC Cobb (Muskegon) and JR Whiting (Luna Pier) facilities as potential locations for new development with the closure of the two coal facilities in 2016. He is leading the process for potential development of a shovel ready food processing industrial complex in the Greater Muskegon Region.

Clarence Rudat

Senior Consultant-Education

Clarence is the Program Coordinator for the Michigan State University (MSU) Institute of Agriculture Technology partnership in Muskegon, overseeing the agriculture associate degree program at Muskegon Community College and the MSU certificate programs in Agriculture Operations, Fruit and Vegetable Management, and Landscape Management. He was instrumental in launching the mobile food lab concept at MSU along with the being the lead developer of the Food Science and Processing Certificate program.

Dennis Marvin

Senior Consultant-Programs and Communications

Dennis recently retired from Consumers Energy after a 34 year career in Community Engagement, Economic Development, Public Affairs, and Media Relations. Prior to his retirement, Dennis led the community transition process for the closure of the BC Cobb and JR Whiting facilities. He spent over 12 years involved in international business and economic development programs for Consumers Energy and CMS Energy in Asia with focus in Japan, Korea, and China, as well as, Northern Africa, Australia, and Argentina. Dennis is currently Principal of Community Engagement Services, LLC.