Hadas Bernard tapped to head Michigan Israel Business Bridge

Hadas Bernard

Hadas Bernard has been named executive director of the Michigan Israel Business Bridge (MIBB), a nonprofit organization focused on expanding manufacturing, technology, research and development, distribution and investment between Michigan and Israel.

Bernard has more than 20 years of leadership and development experience. She is the immediate past board chair of JVS, a $21-million nonprofit supporting job creation and self-sufficiency. Under her leadership, she led the transition of a new administration team, assisted the fundraising committee in raising $1.5 million and launched a recycling business. 

She also authored and received numerous grants through her prior work experience at the Energy and Housing Department at the Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA). Additionally, she served as associate director of development and research for Frankel Associates in Troy.

In her new position, Bernard is charged with expanding MIBB’s role in the Michigan and Israeli business communities and providing more services for its members.

Last year, MIBB received a grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) Pure Michigan Business Connect program to launch a pilot program called Michigan Israel Connect (MIC). The program creates an international platform giving Michigan companies access to technologies and products developed by Israeli companies and research institutes.

“As executive director, I will work with our board to accomplish three key goals,” Bernard said. “First, we will expand the MIC program to include more Michigan and Israeli businesses. This will create new opportunities for those companies, which will grow Michigan’s economy and bring more jobs to our state. Second, we will offer our members more networking and advocacy opportunities between Michigan and Israel companies and organizations. And third, we will create stronger Israeli engagement in both Michigan and Israel.

“Aside from facilitating partnerships and investments, the MIBB will simply make it easier to do business,” she said.

Bernard’s background will play a crucial role in achieving those goals. She is an Israeli citizen and has studied, traveled, worked, volunteered and led multiple missions to Israel. In 2013, she accompanied Gov. Rick Snyder on the Michigan Israel Business Bridge Trade Mission.

“Hadas is an outstanding leader who brings great energy, innovation and experience to MIBB that will take our organization to the next level,” said Beth Gotthelf, president of the organization’s Board of Directors. “During her career, she has demonstrated the ability to develop and lead policy and networking initiatives. She will be a true champion for MIBB, its members, and Michigan and Israeli companies.”

Bernard is an alumna of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and is the founder of Trade Secrets, a fundraiser that provides support for JVS’ Woman to Work program. 

She is currently a board member of Winning Futures and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. She has also served on the Board of Governors for Hillel of Metro Detroit, Kids Kicking Cancer and the National UJA’s Women’s Cabinet.

Bernard succeeds Pam Lippitt, who served as executive director for the past five years.

For details about the Michigan Israel Business Bridge, visit www.michiganisrael.com, email info@michiganisrael.com or call (248) 642-1701.