Mr. Jones began his career in his father’s business and conducted land survey operations across the northern lower and upper peninsula of Michigan. In 1988 Mr. Jones assumed his present position as President and founder of Jones Petrie and Rafinski (JPR). Over the course of the last 30 years Mr. Jones has led the multi disciplined A & E firm as it has expanded to provide a wide variety of services to a diverse clientele. This includes municipal entities of all sizes along with private clients including industrial and commercial developers across the Midwest East Coast to Florida. Ken’s Background in development planning brings a unique perspective to his duties with the St. Joseph County Edge. Ken and his wife Kim live in Southern St. Joseph County and Ken is deeply committed to the economic health of our community. He currently serves as a Chairman of the EDGE and Brownfields Management Board here in St. Joseph County, Michigan.
Chris Orlowski, General Manager, has served on the management team of XL Machine Company, Inc. (XL) since 2012. Chris began his career on the shop floor as a machinist in 2000, and can still be found in both office and shop floor environments. With 17 years of experience in the machining industry, Chris has held key managerial positions at Burke E. Porter Machinery Company, both part of the Burke Porter Group. Chris has grown XL Machine Company from a quality, prototype machining center at $7M in sales to multiple large capacity prototype to production facilities, now $16M in sales. Chris is currently on the board of St. Joseph County Edge where he serves as Vice President. He is also on the steering committee of Kalamazoo county EFE and St. Joseph county CTE helping high school students prepare for the workplace.
With a pinch of positivity and a dash of creativity, Cathy Knapp knows how to mix ingredients for success, whether she’s serving a client or dishing up a great meal. As self-proclaimed “foodies,” Cathy and her husband, Kim, have made it their mission to meet or attend the restaurants of the Food Network chefs. The inspiration they’be gained serves them well at home, where Kim takes on the role of Executive Chef and Cathy is the Pastry Chef. A Certified Economic Developer, Cathy cooks up the next big project at Southwest Michigan First’s office based in Sturgis. She holds responsibility for delivering business consulting services to St. Joseph County’s existing companies and managing the project pipeline associated with those businesses. A graduate of Ferris State University, she is a member and past president of Sturgis Rotary Club, a member of the International Economic Development Council and serves on the Education Committee for the Michigan Economic Developers Association. Cathy has also been active with Sturgis Public Schools’ Business Partnership program. While cooking is Cathy’s pastime of choice, she spends most evenings and weekends with her husband and three children and, depending on the time of year, enjoying a sunset while boating on one of St. Joseph County’s many scenic lakes and rivers.