Newsmakers: People On The Move


Kurt Bard has joined State Savings Financial Services as a financial advisor. He has helped clients through a comprehensive investment planning approach for the past 18 years. He holds Series 7,9 and 10 as well as 63 and 65 securities certifications.

Theresa Barton has joined Prout Financial Design in Traverse City to offer administrative support as well as to help streamline the documentation process required to maintain and update client information. She brings a decade of operations, client relations and accounting experience to the team.

Andrew Petrini has joined Modern District Financial (formerly American Senior Benefits) in Traverse City as its personnel director serving northern Michigan. He is a certified human resource professional with more than 35 years of experience in management and human resources.


Sarah Flickinger has joined Digestive Health Associates of Northern Michigan in Traverse City as a physician assistant. Prior to joining Digestive Health Associates, she worked in primary care settings and in urgent care and emergency medicine.

Greg M. Noah, O.D. has joined Grand Traverse Ophthalmology Clinic in Traverse City. He specializes in complete eye examinations, contact lenses and surgical care, including LASIK and cataract surgery, eye injury care and staff training.

Kyle R. Ver Steeg, M.D. has joined the staff of Munson Medical Center as a board-certified specialist in plastic surgery. He practices with The Center for Plastic Surgery in Traverse City.

The Northwest Michigan Surgery Center in Traverse City announces the following personnel news:

Ashlea Payne, RN is a new pre/post-op team leader. She has been part of the nursing team at the Surgery Center since 2011. In her new position, she manages the staff of the pre- and post-op departments.

Christy Bingham, RN is the new intra-procedural director. She has been with the Center since its inception in 2004, most recently serving as an OR team leader. With more than 15 years of combined nursing experience, she supervises and manages the training and continued education of the OR staff, pharmacy, and surgical scheduling staff. She also serves as infection preventionist for the Center.

Gayle Bultsma, RN is the new peri-procedural director at the Surgery Center. She has been with the Center since 2004, previously serving as a pre/post-op team leader. Bringing more than 30 years of combined nursing experience to her new position, she manages the pre-op, endoscopy, and post-operative departments.


Wendy DesAutels has joined Dingeman & Dancer in Traverse City as office manager. Most recently, she was the business manager for a nonprofit children’s camp in Leelanau County. She also brings a background in graphic design and marketing.

Renee Stout, a legal assistant, paralegal and bookkeeper at The Jay Zelenock Law Firm in Traverse City, has been appointed to serve a second two-year term on the certifying board of the National Association of Legal Professionals. Her duties include maintaining, researching, and writing sections of the national certification exams.


Dean Baker, a realtor with RE/MAX Bayshore Properties in Traverse City, has been selected for the 2015 Best of Traverse City Award in the Real Estate Agents and Brokers category by the Traverse City Award Program. The program honors the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses.

Weston Buchan, an agent with Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors in Traverse City, has received the 30 Under 30 Designation from Coldwell Banker national. He was selected from agents in 3,100 offices in 49 countries to serve as an ambassador to promote real estate to the next generation of realtors. He will be part of a group called upon for feedback on new initiatives, a source for speaking and panels, and a promoter of the brand.

Tyler Strange has joined the real estate team at Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors in Traverse City. He has been involved in real estate much of his life through his family-owned brokerage and for the last three years worked independently facilitating commercial, vacant land and residential sales.

Tony Thompson has joined the real estate team at EXIT Realty Paramount in Traverse City. He brings a career in sales and sales training, both as a former business manager for a Fortune 500 company and with the largest family-owned jewelry store in the nation.

Scott Webb has joined the real estate team at Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors in Traverse City.


Julia Clark has joined the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce as membership assistant. She assists membership sales representative Sheila Peek with member programs and services and with the Chamber ambassadors. She will also share time staffing the Chamber’s first-floor reception area.

Jennifer Ewing has joined Human Resource Partners in Traverse City to support the growing demand for human resources and safety consulting services. She has more than twenty years of experience and brings a background in employee development, safety and worker’s comp, benefit administration and wellness.

Mark Keely has joined Safety Net in Traverse City as the vice president of business development. He brings more than 16 years of sales and management experience. He is responsible for new client development locally and in southeast Michigan.

Kelsie Lyons has joined the senior management team at the Traverse Area Association of Realtors as director of communications and marketing. She was most recently with a property management company in Grand Rapids.

Pat Neindorf has joined the Traverse Area Association of Realtors as membership services assistant. She was most recently employed by a bank in Illinois.

Reuben Rosales has joined Chateau Chantal as head chef. He trained at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Las Vegas, worked with celebrity Chef Louis Osteen and for the Viceroy Luxury Hotels in Aspen, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica.

Christine Thomas-Hill is the new executive director of finance and operations for Traverse City Area Public Schools. Since 2014, she has served as the interim executive director of operations/director of transportation, overseeing the food service, maintenance and transportation departments. Prior to that, she was the director of transportation, where she led a complete reorganization of the department that resulted in saving the district more than $2 million annually.

Nick Trahair, general manager of the AmericInn Traverse City, was recently honored with the Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) designation, which is issued by the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute and is the most prestigious certification available to a hospitality executive. He has been with AmericInn since 2001.