Our Board of Directors

Committed to the Cause

Amber M Shinn

Amber M Shinn is the Project Manager for Michigan's University Research Corridor (URC), an alliance of Michigan State University, University of Michigan, and Wayne State University, created to transform, strengthen and diversify the state's economy.

At the URC, Shinn manages programs and events that foster greater collaboration among researchers across the universities and with industry. She also supports the development and dissemination of reports that inform key stakeholders on the critical contributions of Michigan's top three research intensive universities on the state's economy. 

Prior to the URC, Shinn was the marketing director of the MSU Innovation Center for more than 5 years. In that role, she oversaw messaging across four departments and eight initiatives, aligning tech transfer, business engagement, startups and entrepreneurship, external relations and media relations. She previously owned and led Shinn Marketing LLC, developing and executing award-winning campaigns for Fortune 500 companies and local small businesses alike; and was deputy campaign director of the winning 2008 Cure Michigan statewide ballot initiative.

Shinn earned her MBA and BA from Michigan State University, and currently serves on the board of Impression 5 Science Center and the Capital City Film Festival. 


Jenny Smith

Jenny Smith is our Treasurer originally from Haiti. Jenny has a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership and 15 years experience working in the field of finance at a local credit union. Jenny is currently in a managerial position that has helped her learn the in's and outs of managing others while meeting and exceeding goals and expectations. Jenny has a passion for helping people who have been through traumatic and stressful

experiences. Jenny is excited to focus her passion for assisting others and expertise to T.W.I.G.S. 


Kate Pease

Kate Pease is a small business owner who provides professional house keeping services to her clients. When she is not busy running her business she can be found taking care of her two boys Mason and Carter along side her husband Adam. Kate is a long time volunteer with Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity. After experiencing an extended stay at the Sparrow OB Special care unit after the birth of her youngest son, Kate took it upon herself to create a volunteer position for OB Special Care. In November of 2017, Kates own mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and fought a courageous battle. Sadly, Kates mom passed September of 2021. Kate and her mom are a large part of why T.W.I.G.S was founded. Kate's mom worked throughout her battle until she finally retired in May of 2021. Kate was one of her mom's primary caretakers so she knows first hand how hard it is to juggle day to day tasks while simultaneously taking care of a loved one with cancer.

Kate has earned two associates degrees both from Lansing Community College, in General Studies and Child Development. 




Alicia Williams

Alicia WIlliams is the Director of Operations at IMPACT Real Estate. She previously was the Executive Director at Oliver Woods and the Sales and Marketing Manager at Brookdale Meridian. Alicia lives in East Lansing with her husband Matt and their son Miles. Alicia has first hand experience  being a caretaker of someone going through medical challenges. Not only did she help take care of her grandmother who had dementia but also her son Miles has endured two brain surgeries and follow up medical procedures and monitoring. Alicia has a philanthropist heart and an excellence business sense that brings much needed talent and experience to T.W.I.G.S board of directors.