Aerial view of the Dowagiac campus

McCuistion appointed to foundation board

12/20/2017 - 1pm
Ann McCuistion

Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees Dec. 18 confirmed the appointment of Elkhart accountant Ann McCuistion to a three-year term on the SMC Foundation board.

McCuistion, of Jones, studied accounting at SMC to transition into a new career after earning a bachelor’s degree at Texas Tech University in Lubbock to teach high school science.

With teaching jobs in short supply, she worked for three years for an accounting firm in Texas.

She grew up in the Texas High Plains 60 miles east of Amarillo.

When her husband Michael’s job with Edward Lowe brought them to southwest Michigan in 1981, she enrolled at SMC.

Mike has also taken SMC classes. They celebrate 40 years of marriage in January.

McCuistion, president of Elkhart Rotary Club, is a CPA and partner in Cornerstone CPA Group, LLP, which Oct. 1 marked its third anniversary.

Cornerstone was created by merging her four-year partnership with Steve Poe and Burnham and Beyler.

Her 150-member Rotary club conceived 36-acre Wellfield Botanic Gardens in 2002 as a community service project celebrating Rotary International’s centennial.

Both her daughters became accountants. Megan, of Union, is a CPA with Cornerstone, and gave McCuistion her first grandson this year. Jill lives in Colorado Springs.

Except for three years with Michigan National Bank in Cassopolis as a bank teller and credit analyst, McCuistion has been employed in accounting for almost 40 years, since 1978.

“I am solutions-oriented, work hard at being connected, do the marketing for our firm and love enabling and encouraging people to succeed at whatever they are doing,” McCuistion said.

The SMC Foundation should benefit from her expertise in accounting, financial analysis and decision-making.

“I love Cass County and have sat on several non-profit boards in the past,” including Elkhart Samaritan Center, Elkhart Civic Theatre and the Salvation Army.

She is also affiliated with BNI (Business Networking International) Michiana, a networking group of Mishawaka, South Bend and Elkhart professionals who meet weekly to share strategies.

McCuistion, who enjoys hiking, reading and biology, hopes to “increase community exposure to this great county asset and increase Cass County student count” through her foundation service.

“Cass County is a wonderful rural environment and SMC gives so many kids a boost into four-year degrees,” said McCuistion, who pursued master’s-level courses in accounting and business at Western Michigan University.

The foundation ensures all eligible students have financial access to college education.

This non-profit, tax-exempt corporation established in 1970 bridges the gap between students’ needs and resources with scholarships.

This year the foundation embarked on a major gift initiative to provide funding for the Nursing and Health Education Building under construction on the Dowagiac campus.  
 
For information on supporting Building Healthy Futures, visit the new web site, healthy-futures.swmich.edu. or contact Director of Development Eileen Toney at (269) 782-1301 or etoney01@swmich.edu.