As the president and lead consulting forester for Michigan Forestry Company, Brett has over 15 years of experience from all facets of the forestry industry. Working on behalf of the landowner to maximize the potential of their woodlot is his focus and passion. He is a registered forester in the state of Michigan, #3301046054. He is currently certified to write Tree Farm, Qualified Forest Program, and Commercial Forest stewardship plans. In 2018, Brett was elected as the Chair of the Michigan Society of American Foresters - Lower Peninsula.
Previously, Brett was employed by Atwood Forest Products as a timber buyer working with both private and government owned land to procure timber for the mill. His experience managing logging crews and knowledge about mill operations is a valuable asset when helping private landowners benefit from and understand a timber harvest.
Prior to his procurement forestry experience, Brett worked at Michigan State University's W.K. Kellogg Experimental Forest in Augusta, MI managing university forest properties, research projects, field days, and university timber sale administration.
Brett obtained both his Bachelor of Science in Forest Resource Management and his Masters of Science in Forestry Communications & Economics from Michigan State University. His passion for helping landowners be stewards of their forest resources was demonstrated in his masters thesis, 'Communication analysis to non-industrial private forest landowners (NIPFs) in Michigan,' which was published in the Journal of Forestry.
A lifelong love for the forest started at an early age with Brett's dad, Randy Kuipers, a consulting forester in West Michigan.
Darlene Kuipers is dedicated to developing communities through small business and entrepreneurship, economic development and community programs. She brings her passion for building mutually beneficial partnerships and entrepreneurship together as Vice President of Michigan Forestry Company managing the business operations and strategy for the company.
Formerly, Darlene acted as the Development + Marketing Director for the Holland Tulip Time Festival focusing on fund diversification and sustainability; community partnerships and impact; and narrative strategy development. Darlene has also managed financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work force readiness programs for Junior Achievement as their Education Program Manager for school districts along the Lakeshore. She also served on the youth serving organizations committee for Destination Education and on the community service organization board for e-Merge West Michigan (now a part of Start Garden) as the organization regionalized and was featured as a judge for the 2014 Young Entrepreneur Awards.
Darlene also held positions at the American Cancer Society managing their breast cancer initiatives and programs for the Northwestern region of Michigan, managed half-day entrepreneurship conferences across the United States as Director of Events for the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour in conjunction with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Free Enterprise Campaign, and established a career services department while working at Digital Media Arts College as their Career Services Coordinator.
Currently, Darlene is an active member of her community through the West Coast Chamber of Commerce, a graduate of West Coast First 2014, and sits on the Board of Directors as acting Vice President for Holland/Zeeland Young Professionals. She graduated from NewNorth Center for Design in Business’ Innovation Management Certificate program in 2017 and attended Grand Valley State University and Digital Media Arts College.