With over 25 years of professional experience, Kristi’s project management career began in the Technical Education Program at General Motors. She initially supported start-up and administrative activities in Lansing, MI and progressively extended those talents to other GM facilities in Troy, Flint, Ypsilanti, and finally the GM Technical Center in Warren, MI. It is during her five year tenure at General Motors that Kristi first collaborated with Dave Banchiu, President of EdEn Inc.
In 1994, Kristi transitioned her skills to the newly formed Educational Enhancements, now EdEn Inc., serving as the start-up project manager in support of the Ford University Programs Group. Not long after, the firm took on new business with Oakland Community College and Oakland University centered on the administration of Economic Development Job Training (EDJT) Grants. Over the next 18 years, she was instrumental in managing over $18M in EDJT funding in support of technical training for 36 southeast Michigan companies.
During that time, Kristi took her passion for economic development and grant writing one step further by crafting and submitting an H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant to the US Department of Labor on behalf of EdEn Inc. In 2003, the firm was awarded the 3-year, $3M grant that provided technical training and certifications to over 1200 employees at 15 different companies to include FANUC Robotics, EDS, and Chrysler Corporation. During the H1B project, Kristi was also able to attain a Project Manager Professional (PMP) certification to validate her years of project experience.
Today, Kristi is President of EdEn Inc. and is responsible for day-to-day business operations, strategic planning and the management of various projects. She is actively involved in regional economic development efforts and enjoys convening workforce developers, educators, and employers together for a common goal. Strange as it sounds, she also enjoys grant research – especially labor market research in support of the firm's grant writing activities.
Kristi holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University and a Master of Business Administration from Oakland University. She is also an active fundraiser for the Hemophilia Foundation of Michigan.
Founder of EdEn Inc.
It was Dave’s experience at the highly respected Walsh College in Troy, MI during a rapid growth and development phase of the college that served as the ultimate foundation for the creation of EdEn Inc. He was involved in the development of three distinct new departments at the college in his 9+ year tenure to include a Marketing department which was the first of its kind for any college in southeast Michigan, a Graduate Admissions department, and a Development Office. This experience in creating, innovating and managing new initiatives lead to joining General Motor Corporation as a manager in a newly created GM Technical Education Program as part of the Global Engineering group. He was one of the first four employees within this group and eventually was responsible for the comprehensive roll-out of the program to the Lansing Automotive Division, the Ypsilanti Hydraulic Plant Engineering Center and the CPC division at the Technical Center in Warren. The program was ultimately recognized with several professional and national awards.
Dave left General Motors in 1993 with a partner to start Educational Enhancements Inc. (now known as EdEn Inc.). They leveraged their experience and accomplishments to obtain a contract to manage college degree programs for the Vehicle Operations group within Ford Motor Company in 1994. This served as the impetus for the company being recognized as the Small Business Service of the Year by the Small Business Association of Michigan in 1995.
Dave has been the sole owner and President of the company since 1996. Since that time, EdEn has been able to build upon those initial areas of expertise and expanded its project management services to the current level of impressive capabilities. If prompted, he will tell you that he is most proud of the fact that the company has a reputation for integrity and, as a result, has forged meaningful relationships with most of the key entities and organizations related to education, training and economic development in the southeast Michigan area. Another source of pride is the fact that the current EdEn team has been intact for over 16 years.
Dave is responsible for visioning, strategic planning, relationship building, business management and partnership alignments for the firm. On a project basis, he is responsible for overseeing and providing input to the project team related to strategy development, planning, problem solving and implementation (when he is not writing as part of the team effort for grant applications, business proposals and final project reports all of which are sometimes happening at the same time). Dave is active in the Oakland County Business Roundtable as part of the Education and Business committee, serves as an advisor on a kitchen cabinet for emerging companies for Oakland University and has served on the President’s Advisory Council for Walsh College. Dave holds Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University and a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University.
The EdEn Team has partnered with Oakland County to produce four ground-breaking studies on the employment needs of evolving industries in the County and across Southeast Michigan. To access the Skills Needs Assessment Program (SNAP) reports, click on the topic area below:
Connected Mobility (2017)
Health Systems (2014)
Advanced Manufacturing (2012)
Emerging Sector (2009)
The EdEn Team served as project manager for Oakland Community College in the submission of a grant application that resulted in the college receiving $4.5 million from the MSF Skilled Trades Equipment Fund. To see more information about this award, click HERE.
EdEn Inc. is responsible for writing and managing a $5 million grant awarded to Automation Alley by the US Department of Labor for technical training. To see the press release, click HERE.