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American Society of Employers (ASE) announces the Michigan HR Executives of the Year for 2019

Media Contact: Heather Nezich, ASE, 248.223.8040,

Livonia, Mich. —October 3, 2019 — American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, is pleased to announce the honorees for its annual Michigan HR Executive of the Year for 2019. Through a nomination process overseen by ASE, candidates are selected in four categories and recognized for their admirable work that distinguishes them in the field of Human Resource Management. The 2019 winners are:

• Kathleen (Kathie) Patterson, Chief Human Resources Officer, Ally Financial
(For-profit Organization – Large Employer)

• Sara Van Wagoner, Vice President of Corporate Growth Strategies, Edcor
(For-profit Organization – Small Employer)

• Laurita Thomas, Associate Vice President for Human Resources, University of Michigan
(Non-profit Organization – Large Employer)

• Andrew McKinnon, Director, Human Resources and Labor Relations, Macomb County
(Non-profit Organization – Small Employer)

“The honorees continue to impress me each year, and this year is no exception. The dedication to the HR profession is prevalent in each of the 2019 HR Executives of the Year,” stated Mary E. Corrado, ASE President & CEO. “We look forward to celebrating their achievements at the Annual Summit on November 7th.”

The 2019 Michigan HR Executives of the Year will receive their awards at ASE’s 16th Annual Summit, which celebrates not only the honorees but also the pivotal role of the HR profession in Michigan’s business and non-profit communities. ASE will also celebrate and recognize its members that have been with ASE for 50+ years.

The ASE Annual Summit will be held Thursday, November 7th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Detroit Athletic Club. The event will feature a keynote presentation by Ted Abernathy, Managing Partner at Economic Leadership, LLC, who will speak about 10 trends that will impact every employer in the future. Ted has 38 years of experience in directing local and regional economic development and workforce development programs and later as CEO of a leading economic policy think tank.

ASE’s 2019 Annual Summit is open to both ASE members and non-members. Tickets are $99 per person, $539 for groups of six, and $639 for groups of eight. The evening includes networking, cocktails, small plates, and dessert. To purchase tickets or for registration information, please call 248-223-8006 or visit the ASE website.

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization
American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit employer association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for HR information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people. Learn more about ASE at