Detroit-based Innovation and Collaboration Organization Names Two New Board Members

DETROIT – The American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII), which operates Detroit-based LIFT – Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow, a Manufacturing USA institute, today announced two new members to its Board of Directors.

Karen M. Belans, chief financial officer, Detroit Regional Chamber, and Martin Kinsella, director of business development, Comau, officially begin serving as Directors on the now nine-member board on November 16, 2018.

The nonprofit public-private partnership develops and deploys advanced lightweight manufacturing technologies, and education and workforce  development programs to prepare the advanced manufacturing workforce of the future.

“We are thrilled to welcome Karen and Martin to the ALMMII Board,” said Becky Stewart, ALMMII board chair. “Karen and Martin bring key experience and skills that will be a significant benefit to the board as we evolve in support of LIFT and its business objectives. They have been advocates for the mission of LIFT, as well as the City of Detroit and State of Michigan, and we are looking forward to their insights as we move the institute into the future.”

Belans joined the Detroit Chamber in 1995 and was named its Chief Financial Officer in 1996. In her role, Belans oversees all aspects of financial management, budgeting, auditing and tax planning strategies for the four entities under the Chamber. Over her tenure, she has reversed negative fund balances and maxed out debt lines, completed the implementation of two new general ledger systems, as well as budgeting and membership management databases.

“I look forward to participating on the Board of Directors for an institute that is not only vital to the City of Detroit, but the nation,” Belans said. “As the voice of business for Southeast Michigan, the Detroit Regional Chamber focuses on improving the business climate through economic development efforts, and I look forward to working with LIFT to carry out this mission for the Detroit region’s manufacturing base.”

Kinsella, who serves as the chair of the LIFT Education and Workforce Development Executive Committee, joined Comau – a LIFT Gold Member – in 1990. In his role as director of business development, Kinsella is responsible to create and maintain a robust pipeline of new business opportunities for Comau.

“Having been active in the institute from its inception, I am honored to have been asked to join the Board of Directors to help it achieve its initial mission of revolutionizing lightweight manufacturing,” Kinsella said. “We at Comau believe this institute plays a critical role in securing the future of manufacturing in the U.S., and we are proud to be a part of it.”

More information about LIFT and the Board of Directors can be found at

LIFT, operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII), is a Detroit-based, public-private partnership committed to the development and deployment of advanced lightweight metal manufacturing technologies, and implementing education and training initiatives to better prepare the workforce today and in the future. LIFT is one of the founding institutes of Manufacturing USA. and is funded in part by the Department of Defense with management through the Office of Naval Research. Visit or follow on Twitter @NewsFromLIFT to learn more.

Joe Steele