InvestUP is a private sector-led economic development organization keenly focused on driving economic growth across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  Founded by the region’s leading private sector businesses and the region’s universities, its mission is to deliver business and job growth across the peninsula.  The Board is comprised of its members’ CEOs and Presidents, who have identified the following strategic objectives for the Upper Peninsula:

  • Promote the Upper Peninsula externally for its outstanding business and lifestyle opportunities
  • Attract and retain talent
  • Advance and grow existing Upper Peninsula businesses
  • Attract new businesses in key industries

InvestUP Board of Directors

Bob Mahaney, President, Veridea Group (Chairman)

Steve Hicks, President & CEO, JM Longyear (Vice Chairman)

Melissa Holmquist CEO, Upper Peninsula Health Plan (Treasurer)

Kelly George, President & CEO, mBank (Secretary)

Bob Mahaney, President, Veridea Group (Chairman)
Steve Hicks, President & CEO, JM Longyear (Vice Chairman)
Melissa Holmquist, CEO, Upper Peninsula Health Plan (Treasurer)
Kelly George, President & CEO, mBank (Secretary)

Brad Canale, CEO, NMU Foundation
Fritz Erickson, President, Northern Michigan University
Rodney S. Hanley, President, Lake Superior State University
Richard J. Koubek, President, Michigan Technological University
Ray Johnson, CEO, Marquette SmartZone/Invent@NMU
Jim Larsen, CEO, UPPCO
Kristen Mariuzza, Managing Director, Eagle Mine
Rick Nebel, President, People's State Bank of Munising
Karyn Olsson, CEO, Marketing Department Inc.
Brian Sinotte, Market President, UP Health Systems
Steve Verrette, President, Champion, Inc.
Bill Raymond, CEO UPward Talent Council


Marty Fittante, CEO

Chief Executive Officer – Martin (“Marty”) Fittante

Marty is the former chief of staff for Michigan State Senator Tom Casperson. His legislative works spans numerous industries, including forestry, mining, and health care. He was previously external affairs director for the House Policy Office, a position that he held after serving as legislative director during Senator Casperson’s terms in the Michigan House of Representatives. As a policy advisor, he managed three statewide task forces that addressed job creation, education, and agriculture. Marty and his wife Lisa also own an accounting firm in Iron Mountain that serves small and medium sized businesses.

Marty is the inaugural recipient of the Jon Farley Michigan Legislative Staff Award, given to an exceptional staffer who is motivated by a dedication to service and a desire to foster an environment in Lansing based on merit and results. He is also the recipient of the Michigan Junior Chamber of Commerce President’s Award of Excellence, and the Daily Press Neighbors Award, presented to residents who “give the Central U.P. its heart and soul.”

Marty is a graduate of Bay College, Ferris State University, and Wayne State University Law School.




Aubrey Atanasoff, Marketing Project Coordinator

Marketing Project Coordinator – Aubrey Atanasoff

Aubrey is a native of Iron River, Michigan. As Marketing Project Coordinator she leads the strategic initiatives of InvestUP through targeted marketing and promotional projects.

A transfer from a career in the Upper Peninsula commercial banking industry, Aubrey's experience gives her perspective on the unique needs of businesses in the region. At The Miners State Bank in Iron River, Aubrey served as an integral part of the marketing team; creating promotional materials, organizing business engagement events and conducting market research. She also serves as an adviser for the social media and marketing plans of her family’s grocery business, Family Foods, located in Iron River.

Aubrey achieved her BA in History from the University of Michigan, where she served on the Executive Board as VP of Communications for the community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. She went on to graduate with highest honors from Concordia University, Chicago, earning a Master’s in Business Administration.




Karyn Olsson, Public Relations and Story Contact

Public Relations and Story Contact - Karyn Olsson

Karyn Olsson has been leading marketing teams for 30 years. As CEO of Marketing Department, Inc., she and her team have gained a strong reputation among manufactures and tech companies for energizing brands and growing revenues. This B2B full-service agency is located in Michigan’s panoramic Upper Peninsula. The region’s abundant natural resources and unique lifestyle inspires Karyn and her team every day. So, she is driven to tell the rest of the world what a great place this region is to work, live and own a business.




In addition to the support of a dedicated network of local economic developers, InvestUP receives support from Michigan’s Office of the Governor and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. We’ve enjoyed working with everyone to build InvestUP!


As InvestUP continues to grow, we are committed to keeping you informed about news, events and opportunities.
Please connect with us on our LinkedIn page and stay tuned for our newsletter, a new Facebook page, and upcoming events.
Also please add news@investupmi.com to your contacts list and send us your Upper Peninsula news!