Gov. Snyder names one new trustee, reappoints another to WMU board

Contact: Cheryl Roland
Photo of William D. Johnston.


Photo of Jeffrey Rinvelt.


KALAMAZOO, Mich—Two Western Michigan University alumni have been named to new terms on the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.

William D. Johnston of Portage, who has served on the WMU board since 2007, has been reappointed for a second, eight-year term. Jeffrey Rinvelt of Ann Arbor has been appointed to replace Trustee Jeanne H. Carlson of Novi, whose term expires at the end of 2014. Rinvelt also will serve for an eight-year term.

"I appreciate Jeff and Bill's commitment to improving Western Michigan University to benefit current and future Broncos. I am confident they will bring valuable experience to the board," said Snyder.

William D. Johnston

Johnston is the chairman of Greenleaf Companies, which include Greenleaf Trust, Greenleaf Hospitality Group and Catalyst Development LLC. In addition to his membership on the WMU Board of Trustees, he is past chair of Southwest Michigan First, an area economic development agency, and he has served on a variety of other boards, such as those of the Bronson Healthcare Group, Donald and Genevieve Gilmore Foundation, Special-Lite Corp., Softech Inc., HUMANeX and the WMU Foundation.

Johnston earned a bachelor's degree in public administration and a master's degree in political science from WMU in 1970 and 1974, respectively. In fall 2010, he was named a winner of the WMU Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award.

Jeffrey Rinvelt

Rinvelt, who earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from WMU in 1991, is the principal with Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, a Michigan-based fund that supports the growth of venture capital in the state while serving as a bridge between Michigan's emerging innovation community and its strong industrial and commercial base. It is the largest privately funded organization of its kind in the United States.

A veteran of various startup ventures, Rinvelt was previously the director of Ardesta, where he was engaged in sourcing, evaluating and conducting due diligence on investment opportunities as well as monitoring and providing assistance to the companies in Ardesta's portfolio. Prior to joining Ardesta, Rinvelt was a co-founder of GrapeVINE Technologies, providing product management and marketing for that company's knowledge management product, eventually resulting in an acquisition by Sun Microsystems. Rinvelt was also part of the startup team for, an Internet company providing complete coverage of the mutual fund industry, and he spent five years with Ernst & Young's Information Technology group as a senior consultant.

Rinvelt has been a frequent visitor to campus, serving in 2013 as a guest professor in the Department of Finance and Commercial Law. He lends his expertise to a number of Ann-Arbor-area non-profits through his board work for Non-Profit Enterprises at Work and the Ann Arbor YMCA, as well as serving as treasurer for 826Michigan, a nonprofit writing center.