We are Red Cedar

We've been there.

Red Cedar wasn’t always a service provider to others. Our in house capabilities enabled successful and sustainable growth and performance for our own related businesses. We were focused on creating intentional, technology-driven processes that enabled efficient and well run accounting, HR, and operational functions.

As we broadened our network, we saw that others struggled with the problems we had already solved. We took the extensive knowledge we gained and began sharing it with other business owners.

Since 2016, we have teamed up with like-minded, small to mid-sized companies. We excel when things are complicated. Trust us when we say, we’ve seen it all.

Our Approach






Meet Our Team of Experts

Mike Schmansky
CEO and Founder

It felt like a foreign language when I was first exposed to accounting and information systems. However, I quickly realized that not only did I easily understand this language, but that so many others in business dreaded the topic and were scared by it (or scared of getting it wrong). I saw this as an opportunity to excel in an area that was critical to every business.

I spent the first 10 years of my career at EY, learning the ins and outs of one of the largest multinational consulting practices. I started my career in Detroit but traveled all over North America. After spending 2 years living and working in Frankfurt, Germany, I left public accounting with a simple goal: to be the accounting and systems expert for entrepreneurs to enable them to be successful in growing an exciting business. I knew I wouldn’t be creating the next widget, but I wanted to have an important role in that journey.

After years of building a successful real estate-focused business, I was excited to create Red Cedar and step back into a consulting role. I get to help business owners gain confidence in their financial systems and processes, so they can focus on doing what they do best.

Outside of business, I enjoy traveling and spending time with my wife and 3 kids. I love the game of golf and the challenges that come with always pursuing improvement. I'm lucky to live in Michigan, where we have access to so many great courses!

Lauren Niziol
Director of Human Resource Advisory

Personal inclinations and interests, paired with experiences in starting and growing a business, and an education in psychology, have led me, very naturally, to a career in Human Resources.

My experiences operating multiple businesses have solidified my understanding of the delicate line between making HR decisions that will help to attract and retain top talent while keeping businesses on track to meet their goals.

I have never felt more rewarded for the opportunities that I’ve had to serve as an ambassador between employees and business leaders. One of my main goals has always been to increase employee retention. I strive to make everyone feel they are valued team members and have a trusted ally. I always had the drive to help others, and HR provides me with the opportunity to help people every day.

On a personal level, I live in the woods in MI with my husband and our 2 daughters, 2 cats, 1 dog, 2 snakes, and 1 bearded dragon. I like hiking, kayaking, cooking, and reading. And I grill a mean steak.

Steve Ponce
Director of Accounting Advisory Services

Born and raised in California, I moved with my family to the midwest, eventually landed in Michigan, and have been here ever since.

I went to Western Michigan University and studied accounting. Whereas many of the other students took accounting as a means to an end for their degrees, I felt at home. It came easy to me, it was natural.

I worked at a public accounting firm for 5 years. Instead of keeping my head down, just focusing on tax preparation, bookkeeping and consolidations, I felt like there was more to experience with accounting and saw opportunities for optimization to increase efficiencies within the company.

From there, I shifted gears into a consulting role, primarily working with property management businesses, partnerships, and private equity funds, with a specific focus on clients dealing with multi-entity consolidations. I enjoyed applying my experience and passion for supporting clients in their day-to-day accounting and financial reporting for investors, lenders, and other stakeholders.

What I love most about my role at Red Cedar is working with clients to solve their problems. I cut out any work on the client's part and take everything off of their hands. I take complicated issues and make them easy for my clients.

Believe it or not, I am one of those rare accountants who also has a creative side. I spend my downtime playing and creating music. Jazz fusion mixed with electronic elements is my sound of choice.

Ready to have your accounting & HR needs taken off of your shoulders?