Monday Mentor Minutes-Brian Graham

Brian Graham Photo

Spartan Brian Graham discusses his role as an Engineer and Businessman.

Brian serves as the VP of Global Operations at Sealink International Inc. He has extensive experience leading and directing domestic and international organizations in the area of Operations Excellence, Product Development, and Business Development. These organizations have been extremely successful in delivering new technologies to the market, delivering financial results and growing businesses in start- up, turn around and consolidation situations. His specialties include:

*Strategic analysis/initiatives

*International Operations – single / multisite

*Business start- up and turn around

*International Technology / Product Transfer

*Program / Project / Portfolio Management

*New Product Development & Commercialization

*Green Field Plant expansion

*Global Supplier Management & Development

*Business Process Development, Optimization, Management

*Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing

His other specialties include: EMS: Medical, Industrial and Public Safety verticals, Strategic Planning, Strategic Alliance Forming, M&A, Fund Raising, Branding and Identity, Lean Manufacturing, Value Engineering, General Management, Demand Flow Technology, SMT Manufacturing, Turn Around Management, Tampa Exchange Club, Tampa Bay Technology Forum: Emerging Company Network Board, Pinellas County TBIC Vetting Committee

Brian graduated from MSU through the Applied Engineering program, earning a B.S. in Engineering. He later attained a degree from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder and even attended a Leadership series at Harvard University in 2006. One piece of advice he offers undergraduates is to seek mentorship early and often, both while partaking in internships and while in the workforce because you never know what can come from an opportunity.

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Monday Mentor Minutes- Ray Bates

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Spartan Ray Bates shares his experiences within the HR field.

Ray Bates joined Croda International, a boutique chemical manufacturer, in March of 2016 and is currently a Human Resources Manager in the Philadelphia, PA metropolitan area.  In his current role, he is responsible for all of the strategic and tactical HR requirements and oversees two locations in Delaware and Pennsylvania.  With one location being a unionized environment, and his other site a non-union environment; Ray and his team experience a wide-ranging spectrum of challenges and opportunities on a daily basis.  Ray is currently in a transitional period as he will soon be leaving Croda and has accepted an opportunity to work at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as a Sr. HR Business Partner.

Prior to joining Croda, Ray was the Lead HR Business Partner for The Boeing Company at their Ridley Park, Pennsylvania location.   While at Boeing, Ray began as an intern and went on to hold a variety of positions that extended from unionized manufacturing settings to international HR support in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe.

Prior to his career in Human Resources, Ray served in the United States Marine Corps for 11 years, and prior to that, he spent 4 years in the Army Reserves.  After his career in the military, Ray went on to earn his Bachelors and a Masters Degrees from Michigan State University in Human Resource Management (Eli Broad College of Business) and Human Resources & Labor Relations (MHRLR) respectively.  As an undergraduate he studied abroad at the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland, studying International Business and Labor Management.  Ray has since then earned a Master of Business Administration, specializing in International Business, from Washington State University.  He is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) and holds both the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certifications.

Ray is a native of Durand, Michigan and currently lives just west of Philadelphia.

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Monday Mentor Minutes – Molly Ziske

Spartan Molly Ziske shares how she tells stories with research and data as a Senior Consumer Insights Manager.

popo & me 10 18 2013Molly Ziske is currently a Senior Consumer Insights Manager for McCann Worldgroup Detroit. She manages analytics and insight for (General Motor’s corporate website). Molly not only reports the analytics behind but provides insights for site improvement and is responsible for all tagging and reporting plans for the redesigned which launched in February of 2016.

Outside of work, Molly’s favorite things include:

  • Her three daughters (Emerson, a junior at Wellesley College; Carter, a junior at MSU and Claire a freshman at Wayne State University)
  • Her 3 year old puppy, Topopo Bullough Ziske
  • MSU football and the Spartan Marching Band. You can’t have one without the other, right?
  • A good book. Molly is on target to reach her goal of 52 books this year.

Contact Molly:



Twitter: @mollyziske


Monday Mentor Minutes – Elizabeth Battiste

Spartan Elizabeth Battiste shares her experiences as a Digital Media Strategist at the Michigan State Senate.

Elizabeth JPEGElizabeth’s central focus is to empower others to utilize technology to forge new relationships, build on existing ones, and reach their fullest potential.

She thrives on helping others through some of their most difficult days and approach each day with an empathetic and detail-oriented mindset.

Professionally, she has helped build a successful targeted media firm, bolstered the online presence of numerous organizations and public figures, utilized the latest tools and technologies to make government more transparent and accountable, and empowered others to communicate more efficiently and effectively.

Today she serves as a Digital Media Strategist at the Michigan State Senate. Elizabeth graduated from MSU in 2012 with her Bachelor’s in Organizational and Interpersonal Communication.

Contact Elizabeth-