Joe Thiel is a northern Michigan native and proud 04’alum of Northern Michigan University’s Industrial and Electro-Mechanical program who finds grounding in his innovative spirit and drive as an entrepreneur. From his first role as an engineer and supervisor in a challenging union manufacturing environment to creating and building an international supply chain, he has prided himself in always striving for success. In his 17-year career, Joe has worn many hats: engineer, supervisor, sales executive, management executive, board member, serial entrepreneur, consultant, trainer, public speaker, coach, and mentor. Much of his attitude on dedicated focus and continued learning stems from his ability to build strong relationships as he’s encountered a plethora of highly skilled mentors and partners. Through skilled mentorship and gained business perspectives Joe has had the opportunity to manage, review, and evaluate large corporations, gain capital funds, and coach countless employees, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and students. All in all, Joe loves his family and has an appreciation for nature and outdoor recreation. Of course, this led him to seek a way to get back to Marquette while also giving back to the community that gave him his start as well as a top-notch education. He now is the CEO of Innovate Marquette SmartZone and Executive Director of Invent@NMU. He feels that the Marquette area is the ideal place to raise a family due to the natural resources, kind community, and top-notch school systems. In his spare time, you can find him tasting local food flare, snowboarding on Marquette Mountain, hiking Hogsback, swimming at Rum Runners, kayaking to Little Presque Isle, camping up North, and testing out our bike trails. He appreciates the arts as he’s played the guitar since childhood and loves to write music. He’s really looking forward to integrating into the Marquette community and making it his forever home.