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Our Leadership


Todd Gustafson, President & Chief Executive Officer

Todd serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Kinexus Group, where he has been driving their repositioning into a nationally recognized community development organization since 2005.  His leadership has transformed Kinexus into a multi-million dollar statewide asset that integrates workforce, economic and community development into a family of organizations.  Their innovative solutions to some of the most pressing problems earned them recognition by such organizations as the NonProfit Times, MiBiz Magazine, and Crain’s Detroit Business.

"If you have the will, more things are possible than you realize."
- Alger Gustafson


Allie Knapp, Bridge Academy of SW Michigan School Leader

Allie Knapp serves as the School Leader of the Bridge Academy of Southwest Michigan, where she has been driving change in the education space for more than seven years and is directly responsible for the operations of the program. 

Allie joined the Kinexus Group team as a Youth Instructional Specialist in 2013 and moved to Manager of Education Services in 2016, where she oversaw both youth and adult education services. Knapp now oversees multiple programs, including the Bridge Academy and Michigan Works! Adult Education. In addition, Allie facilitates partnerships between the Bridge Academy and Berrien Springs Public Schools in order to deliver a collaborative approach to education. 

She is passionate about improving the lives of others through exceptional customer service, intense barrier removal, and truly serving each student as an individual. 

Knapp earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education for English and Communication from Western Michigan University. In addition, she holds a State of Michigan Provisional Teaching Certificate. In her free time, Allie enjoys spending time with her husband and young son, traveling, and hosting gatherings with friends. She was born and raised in Southwest Michigan and currently resides in St. Joseph, Michigan.

"The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. It's whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere."

- Barack Obama


Chrissy Meek, Workforce Operations Manager

Chrissy Meek is the Workforce Operations Manager for the Berrien County office for Michigan Works! Berrien, Cass, Van Buren . Chrissy brings “Talent” to the operations of both people and processes at Michigan Works!. With a background in communications, she has led teams, small and large, through her roles in development and fundraising, as well as more than 20 years of volunteer efforts with the Red Cross. Her experience with organization, performance metrics, and behavior analysis sets the standards of best practices at the forefront of everything she accomplishes. She is well versed with children, youth, and adults, bringing her passion to the plate of equality and fairness.


As a previous radio host and published author of two books, multiple news articles and poems, her creativity to see the big picture expands her mindset of what the local economic impact could be with a team of cohesion and collaboration. Chrissy believes in the core beliefs of relationship building, effective communication, and quality outcomes.


In her spare time, Chrissy, enjoys singing, writing, swimming, a day at the shooting range, and time with family and friends. Chrissy likes antiquing on days that end in “Y” and loves a night of Red Wings Hockey. Lake life is her joy, residing on Paw Paw Lake in Watervliet, Michigan with her 4-legged friends: Rottweiler, Cahleesi, and Chihuahua, Csiah.

“It’s not the problem, it’s how you handle the problem.”

- Chrissy Meek

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LaRon Harris, Workforce Operations Manager

​LaRon is the Workforce Operations Manager for the Paw Paw and Cass offices for Michigan Works! Berrien, Cass, Van Buren, where he oversees staff that are committed to inspiring positive economic change one person, one business, one community at a time.


His previous work experiences at Michigan Works! include Talent Exchange, Career Development Specialist, and Talent Enrollment Specialist. LaRon's work experience prior to Michigan Works! includes employment by the U.S. Army as a Human Resources Senior supervisor, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Chicago Regional Office, and the Grand Rapids Urban League.

LaRon graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Bethel College and completed his Master of Arts degree in Organizational Management from Spring Arbor University. He also attended and graduated from the United States Army Noncommissioned Leadership Academy.

LaRon enjoys spending time with his family, attending sporting events and concerts. In his spare time, he enjoys working out and some of his workouts include boxing and weight training. He enjoys all Michigan professional sports teams and is a huge fan of the University of Michigan.

"Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them."
- General Colin Powell

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