Three Alums in Crain's 'Under 40' List

Posted on: October 8, 2013

Crain's Drawn to Success-40 Under 40

Three College of Communication Arts & Sciences alumnae have been named to Crain's Detroit Business' 40 under 40 list, an honor bestowed each year upon 40 southeast Michigan business leaders under the age of 40 who have been successful at making their mark on the business world.

Crain's Detroit Business, a weekly publication that describes itself as the business news and information source for Detroit and southeast Michigan, will present the 40 under 40 awards on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at Emagine in Royal Oak, Mich.

More than 300 people were nominated for this year's awards. The 2013 winners include these three CAS alumnae:

  • Trish Dewald, Communication '05
  • Kelly Gasior, Communication '96
  • Laura Lawson, Advertising '99

Trish Dewald

Dewald is the Chief Development Officer for the Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS) in Detroit, Mich., a position she has held for three years. In that time, Dewald says her biggest achievement has been securing COTS' first six-figure donation from an individual, a $250,000 gift, which helped the nonprofit organization exceed its budgeted revenue projections by $350,000, or nearly 30 percent over its goal.

"I'm honored to represent the Spartans on the 40 under 40 list and thrilled with the exposure that it will bring to Coalition On Temporary Shelter," Dewald said.

COTS provides emergency shelter, transitional housing and support services for the homeless and at-risk population in the metro Detroit area. Within the next fiscal year, Dewald hopes to bring in 1,000 new donors and recruit Detroit's larger or more well-known philanthropic residents.

"My time at MSU was very formative for my career, especially as a leader," Dewald said. "While I was at State, I worked at the Breslin Center in the Marketing department where I promoted concerts, family shows and other non-basketball events (though I loved being there when our boys won the National Championship!)."

Dewald counts Janet Lillie, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, as one of her mentors.

"The lessons she taught in my Organizational Communication class resonate with me today, especially when faced with systemic challenges in my agency and the homeless sector," Dewald said. "My time at Michigan State University definitely prepared me to be the critical, collaborative and innovative professional that I am today."

Kelly Gasior

Gasior is the Vice President of Strategy and Operations for Trinity Senior Living Communities in Livonia, Mich., a position she has held for the past seven years. During that time, she helped open three senior wellness centers, was involved in the planning for a new continuing care retirement community, and created a brand and identity for when the company was newly named.

"I'm truly honored to be part of such a creative and inspiring group of people," Gasior said about being named to the 40 under 40 list. "I'm particularly pleased with the 'Drawn to Success' title (of the article), it's truly how I feel. I was drawn to this industry, to helping people, and MSU had a huge influence on my choice.

"CAS introduced me to research, data and the art of persuasion. I learned how to communicate efficiently, effectively and with passion. There are lots of passionate people in healthcare and many people focused on efficiencies...CAS taught me to condense, summarize, explain and advocate for my cause. That skill, and many others I learned at MSU, has served me well in my career thus far.

Trinity Senior Living Communities has 34 communities in five states that provide person-centered care for more than 35,000 seniors each year. Gasior currently is working on documenting clinical quality improvement and expanding memory care services for seniors.

Laura Lawson

Lawson is the Vice President of Marketing for United Shore Financial Services in Troy, Mich., a position she has held for the past two years. In that time, she created a marketing department to grow United Shore's wholesale division, United Wholesale Mortgage.

According to Lawson, since the launch of that eight-person marketing department, the wholesale division has become the fourth-largest lender of its kind in the nation and has tripled its production.

Lawson also led the rebranding for the company and website redesign. Currently, she is working on developing a mobile app and company blog.

"I am honored to be recognized within Crain's 40 Under 40 for 2013 and to be listed among such talented and remarkable people," Lawson said.

Before working for United Shore Financial Services, Lawson worked for five years on the production team for "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

"MSU/CAS provided me with a well-rounded education and range of experience," Lawson said. "As an MSU/CAS alum, I had the confidence to pursue my dream job in Los Angeles shortly after graduation."

For more information on these alumnae and the 40 under 40 awards, see the "Crain's Drawn to Success 40 Under 40" article.

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