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Wilbee-Amis to lead strategic business initiatives for InvestUP

MARQUETTE, MI (June 24, 2019) – InvestUP, the private sector led economic development organization focused on driving economic growth and prosperity throughout the Upper Peninsula, is pleased to announce the addition of Joanna Wilbee-Amis as Director of Business Initiatives.

In this role, Wilbee-Amis will work closely with businesses, developers, and the public sector, including institutions engaged in strategically shaping economic development policy and opportunity.  Through that engagement, Wilbee-Amis will drive InvestUP’s mission of supporting business expansion, attraction, and retention across the Upper Peninsula, focusing on strategic opportunities for existing business and innovative approaches for emerging entrepreneurs and industries, identifying resources to partner with second stage businesses to permit continued evolution and growth, as well as identifying and implementing strategies to ensure talent is available for the business community. 

“Joanna possesses the vision, intellect, and passion to help change and impact the region’s economic prosperity,” stated Marty Fittante, CEO, InvestUP. “With Joanna’s unique skill set, exceptional experience, strong local relationships, and work ethic, I have absolutely no doubt she will be a tremendous asset to InvestUP in our quest to help the Upper Peninsula flourish. The board and I are delighted to welcome her aboard.”

Wilbee-Amis brings more than twenty-five years of experience in strategic planning and implementation working to achieve private sector business success by blending business expertise and a creative mindset to identify needs, develop high impact solutions, and integrate communication strategies for the projects she has developed and supported.

She has spent the last 16 years as an integrated marketing communications consultant working with local clients that have included Stormy Kromer and Travel Marquette as well as projects like the City of Gladstone ‘s North Shore Real Estate Redevelopment Plan and Market Analysis with Place + Main Advisors. Prior to forming her consulting agency, HobNob Communications, she worked with some of the largest brands in consumer entertainment, which included Disney On Ice, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and The Radio City Rockettes, to increase brand awareness and sales. In addition, she served as an adjunct instructor in the Business Division at Bay College for 6 years and was recognized in 2017 with the Outstanding Educator Part-Time Faculty Award.

“Working with Joanna, she took the time to engage and learn about our company, recognizing the challenges we were facing to develop a strategy that focused on our brand assets. Through implementation we were able to create and increase awareness,” commented Gina Thorsen, President of Stormy Kromer. Adding, “I am confident that she will do the same for the Upper Peninsula in her role with InvestUP, furthering the organization’s mission and delivering results.”

Wilbee-Amis is an Escanaba native and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Western Michigan University as well as a Master of Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University. She resides in Gladstone with her husband Christopher, and sons Ryder and Landon.

Wilbee-Amis will officially begin in the new role on July 8, 2019. To learn more about the mission and opportunities associated with InvestUP, please visit

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As a part of our commitment to the Upper Peninsula, we collaborate with partners to share some of the most compelling stories about business and job growth across the region. Our goal through these stories is to get at the heart of what makes the U.P. unique — and to ensure these stories travel beyond our peninsula and broadly illustrate why the UP is the place to live and work.

If you have an idea for an article, please contact a staff or board member at InvestUP.

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