Battle Creek Unlimited taps Joe Sobieralski as new VP


Battle Creek Unlimited has hired Joe Sobieralski to serve as one of the organization’s vice presidents, the economic development organization said Thursday.

Sobieralski will be in charge of BCU’s operations and will work alongside BCU President and CEO Marie Briganti and Doug Voshell, the organization’s other vice president.

According to a media release from BCU, Sobieralski most recently served as the executive director of the Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance, an economic development organization in Niles. He has a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Michigan State University and a master of public administration from Western Michigan University with a local government concentration. He’s also reportedly earned credits for Community Economic Development Certification, an industry designation for economic developers.

It’s been a period of change for BCU since the Fowler native, Briganti, took over the top job in April. With the elimination of the Downtown Development Authority, the organization lost its downtown development director, Rob Peterson, whose last day was June 30; Cheryl Beard, former BCU director of commercial development, is no longer with the organization with the reason never being disclosed by either party; and Jan Frantz, BCU’s director of corporate projects, announced her retirement from the organization earlier this month.

Additionally, BCU trimmed its board of directors from 40 members to 15 members plus two ex-officio members in August as a way for the board to become more engaged in committee work.

“We know the board members who have helped BCU in the past have been integral to BCU’s past success,” Briganti told the Enquirer in August. “We want to keep these leaders engaged so they can be part of our future success.”

Recently, BCU was involved, along with the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority, in the sale of three properties in downtown Battle Creek to David Sciacca and Alexa Smolinski of 180Urban. The organization also participated in last week’s groundbreaking of a $2.75 million expansion to Kellogg Community College’s Regional Manufacturing Technology Center.

“It’s concrete, brick-and-mortar proof that we’re planning to be here for a while and we’re here for the next big investment and partnering is going to be easy,” Briganti said last week.

Source: Battle Creek Enquirer