Meet the Board
Denise Bannan, Ph.D.
Denise A. Bannan, Ph.D., serves as the Chair for the Board of Directors for Baker College. Dr. Bannan received her B.S. in Education from Central Michigan University, M.A. in Curriculum and Classroom Instruction from Michigan State University, and Ph.D. in Higher, Adult, Lifelong Learning – Organizational Leadership from Michigan State University. She taught business classes at the high school level before moving to the higher education setting.
Denise worked for Baker College for 38 years and held various roles within the institution: faculty member, department chair, dean, vice president for academics – campus based (Owosso), campus president (Owosso), and before her retirement was the Provost for the Baker College System. She is a lifelong resident of Shiawassee County and served in numerous leadership roles within the community.
Denise was an active member of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) Paul-Arn Chapter of Shiawassee County, member and past campaign chair of the Shiawassee County United Way Board of Directors, member and past chair of the Shiawassee County Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, board member of Shiawassee Employment and Training, member and past president of the Owosso Rotary Club, member of the Bentley Foundation Board of Directors, member of the Corunna Public Schools Foundation Board, member and chair of the Board of Trustees for Memorial Healthcare Center.
She also received numerous awards and recognitions during her tenure with the college. A few examples include: Woman of the Year for Paul-Arn Chapter of ABWA, Top Ten Business Woman of the Year (national), Athena recipient for Shiawassee County, Grand Marshall of Curwood Parade for Owosso community, Vocational Excellence Award for Owosso Rotary Club, Paul Harris Fellow from Owosso Rotary Club, and Humanitarian of the Year for Memorial Healthcare Center.
Denise lives in Owosso, Michigan, with her husband, Pat. She has two grown children.
Dan Casey served the public sector for 25 years before transitioning to the economic development profession in 1998 with the city of Southfield. In 2004, Dan joined the city of Rochester Hills and established its economic development program and managed the city’s Local Development Finance Authority. During his time in Rochester Hills, he worked collaboratively with Oakland University to establish the Rochester Hills SmartZone™, and OU INCubator.
In 2011, Dan joined the Economic Development Alliance (EDA) of St. Clair County as its CEO, where he manages a staff of six talented individuals. EDA is a public/private non-profit, membership-based organization that services St. Clair County communities and businesses. Established in 1952, EDA provides numerous services, including business attraction and retention, community development, entrepreneurial programming, and marketing. It also manages the Underground Incubator and Underground East Incubator in Port Huron, Michigan.
Dan Casey serves on numerous boards and committees. Currently, he serves on the Baker College Board of Trustees and the Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works Board of Directors, as well as other boards. He is a past board member of the Michigan Economic Developers Association.
Dan Casey received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Telecommunications from Michigan State University (1985). He is married and has two grown children, and lives in St. Clair, Michigan.
Melanie D. Davis, APR is the Community Relations Director for the city of Sterling Heights. In this role, Melanie is responsible for the city’s marketing and communications, including formulating external communication strategy across all city departments and leading media relations and crisis communication efforts. She and her team manage all city communication channels including the city’s magazine, website, social media, broadcast services (SHTV), email/text, and more. In addition to her marketing and communications role, Melanie also leads resident outreach and engagement, including inbound resident questions and concerns as well as hosting many of the city’s annual signature community events, including the Sterlingfest Art & Music Fair, the Memorial Day Parade, and the Cultural Exchange. She is responsible for the city’s public art program, and her team manages several commissions and resident committees, including the Arts and Beautification Commissions, the Ethnic Community Committee, the CommUNITY Alliance, the Youth Advisory Board, and the African American Coalition.
Previously, Melanie served as President & CEO of the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce where she was responsible for the organization’s operations and planning/execution of its strategic plan. While at the chamber, she developed the organization’s annual program of work including developing products, programs, services, and events that met the needs of the local business community. She also helped enhance the organization’s brand in the community while encouraging membership growth.
Melanie has also served as executive director for the Adcraft Club of Detroit, president for Macomb County Chamber, and vice president of marketing and communications for the Detroit Regional Chamber. She has spent nearly 30 years in these roles developing a robust track record of increasing revenue growth, acquiring new memberships, and executing an integrated approach to serving the needs of the members. In addition, she has developed a strategic approach to marketing and communications that has resulted in success for the organizations she has represented.
Melanie has also spent time as an adjunct professor in public relations for Eastern Michigan University and in marketing at Macomb Community College.
She currently serves on the Baker College Board of Directors, the Advancing Macomb Marketing and Communications Committee, and the PRSA Detroit Accreditation Committee. In the past, she has also served on the Board Nominating Committee for the Girl Scouts for Southeastern Michigan, the Detroit Creative Corridor Center’s Advisory Board, and the boards for the American Red Cross – Southeast Michigan Chapter, the Public Relations Society of America – Detroit Chapter, and the Anton Art Center, and was a member of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy Communications Committee, the Super Bowl Host Committee Communications Action Team, the Detroit Metro Convention, and Visitors Bureau Image TAG (Tourism Action Group).
Melanie received her Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations and Master of Arts degree in public relations and organizational communication from Wayne State University in Detroit. Melanie is an accredited member of the public relations profession and a graduate of Institutes for Organization Management (a training program designed specifically for chamber of commerce and association management professionals), the Center for Creative Leadership, Leadership Detroit XXV, and Leadership Macomb X.
Melanie lives in Sterling Heights, Michigan, with her husband and Australian Cattle Dog, Miley. She has two grown children.
Susan Huttenlocher Ebeling has served Baker College for over 25 years, first as the Board Chair for the Auburn Hills Campus, and then as a Regent/Trustee for the Baker System. Currently, Susan also serves on the JEF Board, which manages the college’s foundation assets. Over the years, Susan has participated on various Baker College committees of the board as needed. In 2011, Baker College honored Susan with a Doctorate of Humane Letters in recognition of her years of service to the institution.
Susan received her BA in Materials and Logistics from Michigan State University and began her career with Hewlett Packard in California. Susan earned her MBA from The University of Michigan after returning home to lead The Huttenlocher Group. Susan has been retired for many years, focusing on community leadership and her family.
Susan is a past president of The Pontiac Rotary where she continues to serve the Pontiac community. Susan also serves on the Board of The Holiday Extravaganza, which oversees a four-community parade and holiday celebration for which Susan is the announcer. Susan continues to serve many local non-profits in an advisory and volunteer capacity, including her church where she serves in a production role.
Susan has received numerous recognitions over the years, including Girl Scouts’ Woman of Distinction (N. Oakland Co.), Michigan PTSA Honorary Life Membership, United Way of S.E. MI Board Service Award, Walled Lake Schools Golden Apple, Rotary International’s Paul Harris Fellow, and Rotary of Pontiac’s President’s Award.
Susan resides in Commerce Township with her husband Jeff and shelter pup, Bentley. Their two grown daughters give them lots of opportunities to travel to interesting places.
Mike Hamner is Vice President of Operations and Continuous Improvement for Avon Protection Systems, Inc. in Cadillac, Michigan. Mike has worked for Avon Protection since 1996, serving many different roles and locations within the organization, from Engineering and Operations to Global Continuous Improvement.
Mike received his Bachelor of Engineering from Ferris State University and Master of Business from Baker College. He is also a formally trained Six Sigma Black Belt.
Mike currently serves as a volunteer on many boards, both past and present. He is currently the President of the Cadillac Industrial Fund Board (CIF) and a Member of Cadillac Area Industrial Group (CAIG). Past Board Member and Treasurer, Munson Hospital Cadillac, past Board Member and Executive Director, Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce, and past Habitat for Humanity Volunteer. In 2018, Mike received the Outstanding Citizen award from the Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce, which honors individuals who have devoted significant time and energy to improve the community’s quality of life and have provided leadership in the development and/or expansion of volunteer projects that have benefited members of the community.
Mike resides in Cadillac, Michigan, with his wife, Shannon. With five grown children between them and all off on their own, it provides them plenty of time for traveling, outdoor activities, and enjoying the brief Cadillac summers.
Mary E. Slingerland RN, MSN serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Baker College. Mrs. Slingerland received her B.S. in Nursing from Mercy College of Detroit and her M.S. in Nursing Education from Saginaw Valley State University, along with additional nursing coursework at Purdue and Indiana University. Her first 25 years of professional nursing practice involved various Medical-Surgical, Nursing Leadership, and Nursing Education positions at various Mid-Michigan healthcare facilities along with St. Elizabeth Healthcare Center in LaFayette, Indiana. In 2003, her nursing practice changed paths from a hospital focus to higher education as she developed and gained state approval for the Associate Degree in Nursing program at Baker College of Owosso, and later achieved national accreditation for the program. During her ten years at Baker College of Owosso, she held the positions of Director of Nursing and Dean of Health Sciences. She has been a lifelong resident of Shiawassee County and served in various community organizations. Mrs. Slingerland has been an active member in the Respite Volunteers of Shiawassee Board, 100 Women Who Care in Greater Owosso Area, WOW – Walls of Warmth volunteer, Owosso School Board, Shiawassee United Way Board, Shiawassee Community Foundation Board, as well as volunteering with Shiawassee County Run Drugs Out of Town, Shiawassee Relay for Life, and the Shiawassee County Health Department injection clinics. Mrs. Slingerland was honored in 2000 with the Athena Award for Shiawassee County. She currently works in a part-time role at their family business, Slingerland Auto Group as HR Coordinator.
Dwana Thompson is the EEO and Employee Relations Director for the city of Muskegon. She has served the employees and community of the city for the past 16+ years through compliance, risk management, safety, equal opportunity, ADA, wellness, policy development, and DEI programs with the Government Alliance on Race and Equity. When people ask her what she does in the city, she usually speaks about her primary duty of taking care of employees. She is the Co-Facilitator of the Inclusive Leadership Academy, which is a collaboration between the city of Muskegon and Muskegon Community College and prepares people of color to serve on community boards and committees or sit at decision-making tables. The program is housed through continuing education at MCC. She currently serves her community on the Athena on the Lakeshore Committee with the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber, the MLK Unity Breakfast Committee, the Julia Hackley Fund with the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, the Board of Directors of Baker College, as Parliamentarian for the Muskegon Heights Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, and on the Steward Board for Phillip Chapel AME Church. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University and holds a BA in Psychology and Sociology, Human Resources certifications through Michigan State University, and DEI coursework through Cornell University.
Alan Wise is a retired entrepreneur, having owned businesses in the Computer Hardware, Computer Services, Aviation, and Golf Course industries. His background includes electrical engineering, software development, professional services, and aircraft management. His career spans 43 years.
Alan has served on Baker Campus and System Boards since 2000. Currently, he serves on the Baker College Board of Trustees. He got involved with Baker College because of the employees he hired who had received degrees from Baker.
Alan attended Michigan State University, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration (MBA). He is a proponent of continued education and holds many certificates and certifications in the computer and aviation fields.
Alan lives in Oakland Township, Michigan, with his wife. He enjoys playing with his grandchildren, traveling, and flying.