KAREN BANTEL:
 




 
 
 
 
 
President, CyberMichigan, part of the nonprofit Altarum Institute. CyberMichigan is a public policy and advocacy group that seeks to make Michigan a world leader in developing and applying information and communication technologies that improve the health, economic well-being, and educational achievement of every Michigan citizen. Bantel leads the organization’s strategic development, fundraising, hiring, project management and relationships with Altarum and CyberMichigan’s independent 15-member board.


WHERE BORN: “New York City. My parents moved to Michigan when I was six months old.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “Probably my professors in graduate school. They expanded my horizons in terms of what career possibilities are.”

LAST BOOK READ:The World Is Flat, by Thomas Friedman.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Persistent. Strategic. Collaborative, I hope.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “If we describe the industry as being information technology for the state of Michigan, I think we are moving away from the broad infrastructure issues that were critical over the past decade, and more into issues of increased access to traditionally underserved populations – for example, rural and low-income and low-literacy residents. The classic ‘Digital Divide’ issues. There is also more specialization around application areas. We’re doing more work in entrepreneurship and in health care. We have a major project now called the Michigan Health Information Network, and it’s a collaborative process to engage stakeholders in the health care area to develop a joint vision on interoperable health systems. And the other issue is the issue of low-literacy, either functionally or in terms of their Web literacy, trying to improve access to those individuals.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “I would have to say my lightweight laptop. It’s only two and a half pounds.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “There are lots of favorite places, but if you want me to choose I’d say Venice or Barcelona.”

FAVORITE HOBBY: “Movies. I’m a runner, but that’s really more for health than because I love it.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “A variety of seafood.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “None I can think of easily.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “I guess it’s the old ‘made a difference’ thing, that my efforts resulted in change that benefited people, and that people enjoyed their interactions with me.”