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Trustee to speak on world financial crisis

Nov. 12, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Bill Johnston, president, director and chairman of the Greenleaf Companies, will discuss "The Financial Crisis from the World to Kalamazoo" at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, on the Western Michigan University campus in Kalamazoo.

The free, public talk will be held in Schneider Hall and is part of the 2008-09 Haworth College of Business Distinguished Speaker Series. A question-and-answer period and reception in Johnston's honor will follow the presentation.

The Greenleaf Companies employs 1,000 people in southwest Michigan. This business group includes Greenleaf Trust, a Michigan Chartered Bank; Catalyst Development Co., a real estate holding company; Greenleaf Hospitality, an operating and management company for commercial properties specializing in host services; and Greenleaf Capital, the venture capital arm of the Greenleaf Companies.

Johnston earned a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in social science teaching from WMU and is serving an eight-year term on the University's governing board.

After college, Johnston spent 15 years in education, during which time he served as a teacher, assistant principal and high school principal. He left the education field in 1985 and began his career in investments when he joined a national brokerage firm. In October 1991, he started the first Greenleaf company.

Johnston is active in the community. In addition to his service as a WMU trustee, he is chairman of the SofTech Inc. Board and Directors; chairman of the Southwest Michigan First Economic Development Corp.; director of the Special-Lite Corp. and of HUMANeX; a trustee of the Gilmore Foundation's Gilmore Car Museum; and a member of the WMU Foundation.

To register to attend the Distinguished Speaker Series program, contact the dean's office in the Haworth College of Business at kim.guess@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5050.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
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Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400