“The 30” Impact Extends to Kalamazoo Community and Beyond

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The Haworth College of Business at Western Michigan University highlights some of its top business influencers with “The 30,” an annual publication that recognizes recent alumni and students who have made an impact in the business world.


While the 2020 honorees are shaking up their industries around the globe, several are making a difference right here in greater Kalamazoo. “Receiving the honor and recognition of being named to The 30 has been wonderful,” says Liz Yunker, a 2012 graduate and financial advisor for Portage-based Sanford Financial Services.

In her position, Yunker is able to use her analytical mindset to develop solid financial plans, while also understanding that every client is unique and their plans should be too. As a female advisor in a primarily male industry, she strives to make sure all clients, especially women, are equally educated about and empowered by their financial plan.

“This achievement allowed me to pause and reflect on my personal accomplishments, as well as those of my classmates,” Yunker says. “As I continue to grow my career, having a quality local network allows me to make important connections with individuals for whom I can provide financial planning services. Being part of The 30 is a wonderful beginning to establishing myself as an alumna and understanding how Broncos can have a great influence on the community.”

Blair Brindley, a 2013 graduate and director of business operations for Three Rivers Community Schools, describes being named to The 30 as “the highest honor and a dream come true” for a professional educator. In her position, Brindley has eliminated deficits, established budgets over $30 million and created better benefits packages for employees. She is also part of a team that passed a $60 million bond and secured a grant to bring two electric buses to the district. Impacting kids and communities is her passion, which is why she is pursuing a Master of Arts in educational leadership at WMU.

“This honor recognizes the hard work and countless hours individuals like me put into our field,” she says. “Being named to The 30 will help me make an even greater impact locally. Meeting other young professionals through this program has been exciting, and I look forward to connecting with others who want to make a difference in the community.”


What makes being selected to The 30 a special honor? According to honorees, the recognition helps fuel the Bronco spirit to succeed in one’s career, to make a significant mark in business, and to leave a positive impact on others.

If you know of a WMU Haworth College of Business alum who is doing extraordinary things in the business world and would make a great candidate for The 30, you can nominate them for the 2021 class here.


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