WMU News

WMU offers business development services through new office

Sept. 30, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business will provide "one-stop shopping" in its services for local businesses through its newly formed Office of Business Development Services located in downtown Kalamazoo.

The Office of Business Development Services, located in the Kalamazoo Chamber of Commerce Building, 348 W. Michigan, will incorporate two of the college's existing programs for businesses and a new program focused on continuing education. WESTOPS, the University's Office of Public Service, and the Women's Business Development Center will be housed in the OBDS and joined by the Professional Education Program, which was formerly part of the University's Division of Continuing Education.

"Our goal is to provide local businesses one-stop shopping for the various services that we are already providing-small business assistance through WESTOPS, assistance to businesswomen through the WBDC and professional and continuing education workshops and seminars through Professional Education," says Dr. James Schmotter, dean of the Haworth College of Business.

The office's new location will be especially beneficial in its efforts to provide services to the business community. WESTOPS and the WBDC were formerly located in the Columbia Building on East Michigan Avenue, while the Professional Education Program operated from campus. Schmotter says being located in the Chamber of Commerce building presents exciting opportunities.

"Our new location gives us an opportunity to pursue initiatives in partnership with the other organizations committed to heightening the economic competitiveness of Kalamazoo," he says. "We're excited about the synergy that can develop, and I'm really grateful to the Chamber's Board and to acting Chamber president Blaine Lam for inviting us into their physical space. We're all together in the battle to improve the economic and business climate of Kalamazoo, and our new location and organization will make the Haworth College a more effective player in this effort."

William H. Cotton, the director of WESTOPS, will oversee the OBDS. Patricia Guenther will continue to head the Women's Business Development Center and James H. McFaul will direct Professional Education.

For more information or to reach the Office of Business Development, call (616) 387-2714.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
616 387-8400