Our Team


dr. James c. Acheson - chairman

As his grandfather was inspirational as an inventor and a protégé of Thomas Edison, so Dr. James C. Acheson is inspirational as a leader in the arena of community giving.

Dr. Acheson ran his family's 90 year-old global specialty chemical firm, Acheson Industries, Inc., for 20 years before establishing a land-development company, Acheson Ventures, LLC.

He's a man whose generosity and love of community prompted him to spearhead unprecedented initiatives for the South side of Port Huron, Michigan.

One of the most impressive projects is a 10-year plan to revitalize a mile long piece of property along the St. Clair River and to enhance the quality of life for residents for generations.

  • Chairman and president of the James C. Acheson Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to the cultural and economic enhancement of the City of Port Huron, Michigan, and Lighthouse Point, Florida. 

  • Chairman and president of Acheson Ventures, LLC, a land-development company dedicated to the revitalization of the south side of Port Huron, Michigan.

  • Recipient of the Russell G. Mawby Award for Philanthropy, Michigan's highest honor for an individual whose philanthropic endeavors have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to encourage private action for public good.



DonnA m. NIESTER, c.p.a.- president and ceo

Donna M. Niester is Chief Executive Officer of Acheson Ventures, LLC.  She has been Trustee of the James C. Acheson Foundation since 2000 and also has been with Acheson Ventures since 2000.

Before joining Acheson Ventures, Ms. Niester was a partner in Austin, Niester, Schweihofer & Finnegan PC.

Ms. Niester has long been active in the Port Huron community as well as with state-wide organizations.

  • Member and Past President of the Community Foundation of St. Clair County

  • Member of the Michigan Community Service Commission

  • Past Trustee of the McLaren Port Huron Hospital Board of Directors and current Chairman of the McLaren Port Huron Hospital Audit Committee

  • President of the Port Huron Golf Club

  • Recognized by Crain’s magazine as 100 Most Influential Women of 2016



Michael r. Delong - vice president of operations

Michael R. DeLong is Vice President of Operations of Acheson Ventures, LLC. He has been with the company since 2002. 

Mr. Delong is responsible for all New Construction / Development and ongoing Facility Maintenance along with daily operations of the company.

Before joining Acheson Ventures , Mr. DeLong was Director of Operations / Construction / Facility Maintenance / Purchasing & Supply Distribution at the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital system for 14 years. 

Mr. DeLong spent 11 years in the United States Air Force.


DaveSquare2 copy.jpg

Dave s. Brown - director of marine operations

Dave joined the Acheson team in 2008 as Director of Marine Operations and has enhanced the development of Desmond Marine and River Street Marina under that umbrella.

Dave has 39 years of experience with the City of Sarnia Bridgeview Marina operations. Bridgeview Marina recently extended the managing and administration of Sarnia Bay Marina. Between both Sarnia operations, Dave owns and operates over 1,100 slips for the local boaters.



mary e. schneider - executive assistant/bookkeeper

Mary feels like an "institution" now, having been Dr. Acheson’s secretary since 1971 with Acheson Industries, and then happily tagging along in 1998 for the start-up of Acheson Ventures. 

She considers herself fortunate, thanks in big part to President and CEO Donna Niester, for being able to do bookkeeping for AV's various entities, as she has always loved the debits and credits. 

Mary says a major plus has been the friendships made over the years with her amazing co-workers who she says are truly a team and a family.



lesley k. green- executive assistant

Lesley began her long standing career with the late Doug Austin, former President and CEO of AV and current President and CEO, Donna Niester in 1995. In 2000, when Acheson Ventures began its mission in Port Huron, she was asked to join the team. Lesley’s primary responsibility is being the assistant to Donna Niester.

In addition to that, she tends to several other entities within the company and human resources. Lesley says the Acheson Ventures office staff makes coming to work each day something she looks forward to doing.



lisa m. delong - administrative assistant

Lisa DeLong joined Acheson Ventures in 2013, and is the administrative assistant to the Vice President of Operations. Prior to her position with AV, she served as the assistant office manager at Desmond Marine L.L.C. for six years, while she obtained her associate degree in Business Administration.

In her current position, Lisa provides technical and logistical support for numerous projects and meetings as well as serving as the primary contact for directing visitor and queries to the appropriate individuals.

She is grateful for the incredible experiences with AV and looks forward to personal and professional growth within the company.