WHAT IS VENTURE NORTH?

Venture North provides small business loans and resources in Northern Michigan for economic and community development. As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund, we make capital accessible to entrepreneurs who might not have other avenues to start or grow their business.

We serve low-income and rural communities across Emmet, Charlevoix, Antrim, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Manistee, Wexford, and Missaukee counties in Northern Michigan.

Our team of experts bring decades of experience in small business success, banking, finance, data analysis, and community development. A call to Venture North means an agile response to new opportunities and a belief in the power of entrepreneurs.

Board of Directors

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Vice Chair | Trudeau Consulting

LAURA TRUDEAU

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Chair | Hagerty

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Director | REMAX Bayshore Properties

BOB BRICK

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Director | Tiered Consulting

LAURA REZNICH

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Director I Preston Feather Building Centers

KIRK JABARA

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CEO | TraverseCONNECT

WARREN CALL

Staff

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Laura Galbraith, Executive Director, Venture North Funding & Development. Laura has been employed with the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce for over twelve years. Laura has been responsible for the key operations of the Chamber’s enterprise: financial, accounting, information technology, and human resources.

 

She has also been responsible for strategic planning, key performance indicator management, and professional development initiatives.
 

In 2015, the Traverse City Area Chamber Foundation and the Traverse Bay Economic Development Corporation merged into Venture North Funding & Development and named Laura the Executive Director. Venture North is a regional business financing and support organization.

 

Laura manages six separate loan funds across a 10-county region with total assets of more than $7 million. It has funded over $4 million, assisting 70+ businesses throughout the region with expansions, equipment and inventory purchases, working capital and related needs.


Laura has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s in business administration from Lawrence Technological University. Laura served on the Traverse Area Human Resource Association Board of Directors for five years.

 

She currently serves on the following boards and committees: TART Trails, Shape Up North Advisory Council and Economic Development Foundation Loan Committee. Laura and her husband, John, have three children.

Executive Director

laura@venturenorthfunding.org

231-995-7110

LAURA GALBRAITH

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Sara Christensen joined the Venture North team as Portfolio Administrator, where she is responsible for managing the flow of information between Venture North clients and loan applicants, underwriting and loan committees, and she provides administrative support to Executive Director Laura Galbraith.


She is an experienced professional in community and economic development in the region. Most recently serving as the Community Development Director for Northern Lakes Economic Alliance, a four-county region in Northwest Lower Michigan, where she worked for nine years.

 

Sara is also a certified and experienced CDBG Grant Administrator through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.


Sara has also worked as an office administrator for a real estate office in Boyne City, taught as an adjunct professor at North Central Michigan College and as a teacher at Boyne City Public School. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s from Spring Arbor University, both in education.

Portfolio Administrator

sara@venturenorthfunding.org

231-995-7115

SARA CHRISTENSEN

BE IN 
TOUCH

202 E Grandview Pkwy

Traverse City, MI 49684 

(231) 995 - 7115

© 2019 Venture North Funding

Photo Credit: Snaps by Izzy Photography