Michigan Nonprofit Association

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2024 Nonprofit Day at the Capitol

Showing Up For Our Communities

February 22

February 22, 2024
Public Policy


2024 Keynote Speaker

Speaker Joe Tate is serving his third term and now represents the 10th House District, a diverse community that covers Detroit’s northeast side and the communities of the Village of Grosse Pointe Shores, Grosse Pointe Woods, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe city, Grosse Pointe Park, and part of Harper Woods.

Tate is Michigan’s first Black Speaker of the House, now holding the gavel and setting House priorities in a legislative term in which Democrats have the majority for the first time in over a decade. His policy priorities include uplifting Michigan families; protecting the rights of all people; ensuring workers are valued; and investing in a world-class education system, a strong infrastructure, and a thriving economy.

The Speaker decided to run for office as a part of his deep and lifelong commitment to public service. The value of service was taught to him by his parents — a teacher in the Detroit public school system and a Detroit firefighter. His life has been shaped by teamwork, commitment, and community.

As a teenager, Tate earned a scholarship to play football at Michigan State University before joining the National Football League. After the NFL, he went on to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps, deploying twice to Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.

After an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, he earned both an MBA and a master’s in environmental policy and planning from the University of Michigan. Before joining the Legislature, Tate helped small businesses grow their capacity as a program manager for the Detroit Economic Growth Corp.


Speaker | Conversation with Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks

Winnie Brinks is the Senate Majority Leader. She is proud to have earned the historic distinctions as the first woman to ever hold this position in the Michigan Senate, as well as being the first woman to represent Grand Rapids in the Michigan Senate since Eva McCall Hamilton was elected in 1920.

She cares deeply about clean drinking water in Michigan and has worked tirelessly on efforts to reduce the prevalence of toxic PFAS chemicals in it. In addition to accessible, clean water, her policy passions include improving equity in maternal health care, reproductive rights, reducing prescription drug costs, and helping uplift local communities and organizations.

Before being elected to the state House, where she served three terms, Brinks was a caseworker at The Source, helping businesses and nonprofits improve workplaces and retain employees. She also worked as the director of a community-based corrections agency and as a school paraprofessional.

Brinks is a graduate of Calvin College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a concentration in sociology. She and her husband Steve, a Spanish teacher, live in Grand Rapids and are the parents of three daughters, Olivia, Annalise and Emma.


Speaker Session | Growing Michigan’s Population: Path to a Prosperous Future

Karen Aldridge-Eason, Foundation Liaison

Karen Aldridge-Eason is the first foundation liaison to a governor’s office in the United States, a position she accepted in 2003 as a loaned executive from the foundation. Established through a joint agreement between Michigan foundations and the governor’s office, Aldridge-Eason assumed responsibility for the development of the new position, charged with bringing together state policymakers and foundation leaders to explore and identify solutions to issues affecting Michigan’s children and their families. 

Aldridge-Eason joined Mott in 1993 as a program officer for the Flint Area team, becoming program director the following year. A graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she received a bachelor’s degree in education, she also earned a master’s in public administration from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. In addition to serving as an administrator for a mission boarding school in Liberia, West Africa, she also held several governmental positions prior to becoming part of Mott’s staff. She served as budget director for the city of Flint and director of the Office of Health and Human Services within the Michigan Department of Management and Budget.


Speaker Session | Nonprofit Power: Engaging Voters for an Inclusive Democracy

Stacy Bahri, Strategic Initiatives Manager, Chaldean Community Foundation 

Stacy Bahri is the Strategic Initiatives Manager at the Chaldean Community Foundation. Stacy is involved in several boards and committees that promote various initiatives, including diversity & inclusion, such as Macomb County’s Annual Breakfast of Nations, Macomb County Student Diversity Summit, Sterling Heights Editorial Advisory Board, Chaldean News Editorial Advisory Board, Macomb Community College Cultural Advisory Committee, Healthy Macomb Advisory Committee, Macomb Health Equity Council and McLaren Macomb Diversity & Inclusion Council.

Stacy has also led initiatives to register and engage new voters and developed a plan on how the 2020 Census can reach hard-to-count communities. In her current role, Stacy provides education and training to individuals, including community, health, and government organizations on and about the Chaldean community in Southeast Michigan. Stacy is a graduate of New Detroit’s Multicultural Leadership Series, as well as Leadership Macomb’s Class XXV. In 2021, Stacy was a recipient of the Sterling Heights Diversity Distinction Award in recognition of practices that promote, recognize and reward diversity in the City of Sterling Heights. Additionally, Stacy was appointed to the Sterling Heights Community Alliance Commission in February of 2021 and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Leadership Macomb. 


Speaker Session | Growing Michigan’s Population: Path to a Prosperous Future

Jaclyn Butler, State Demographer

Dr. Jaclyn Butler is the state demographer in the Michigan Center for Data and Analytics. Dr. Butler and her team analyze population data. She also advises state and local leaders, nonprofits, and the general public on the sources, uses, and limitations of Census data. Dr. Butler completed her PhD in Demography and Rural Sociology at Penn State. She enjoys reading and the outdoors in her home state.


Speaker Session | Advocacy Case Study: MI Nonprofit Relief Fund

Julie Calley, Director of Strategy for House Republican Leader Matt Hall

Former State Representative Julie Calley was first elected to the Michigan House in November 2016 and represented the residents of Barry County and part of Ionia County including the townships of Boston, Campbell, Danby, Keene, Lyons, North Plains, Odessa, Orange, Portland, Ronald, Sebewa, most of Berlin Township, and the City of Portland. Calley served as chair of the Local Government & Municipal Finance Committee, and as a member of the Elections & Ethics, Rules & Competitiveness, and Tax Policy committees. Additionally, Calley was the former Co-Chair of the Michigan Nonprofit Legislative Caucus. Currently, she serves as Director of Strategy for House Republican Leader Matt Hall. 


Speaker Session | Nonprofit Power: Engaging Voters for an Inclusive Democracy

Norman Clement, Founder, Detroit Change Initiative

Norman Clement founded the Detroit Change Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing opportunities for Detroiters by improving civic engagement. His goal in 2024 is to increase voter turnout in Detroit to a staggering 85 percent of registered voters.


Speaker Session | Advocacy: Mission Critical, Not Mission Creep

Stephanie Deible, MNA Program & Partnership Manager

As Program and Partnership Manager, Stephanie Deible is integral to the design, management, and evolution of MNA programs. Her work solidifies the organization’s dedication to elevating the voice and leadership of the nonprofit sector. Stephanie embodies MNA’s core values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice ensuring that these values are consistently echoed across MNA’s programs, products, and services.

Read her full bio

Hilary doe

Speaker Session | Growing Michigan’s Population: Path to a Prosperous Future

Hillary Doe, Chief Growth Officer

As Chief Growth Officer, Hilary leads the state’s efforts to grow Michigan’s population, economy, and reputation as the best place to live, work, raise a family, and start a business. Hilary works alongside the Growing Michigan Together Council on a once-in-a-generation effort to grow Michigan’s population, boost economic growth, and make Michigan the place everyone wants to call home. 

Hilary is a dynamic leader in nonprofits, technology, strategy, and public policy. She served as the national director at the Roosevelt Network, where she built and led an organization engaging thousands of young people in civic engagement and social change programming at chapters nationwide, which ultimately earned the organization recognition as a recipient of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. She also served as Vice President of the Roosevelt Institute, where she oversaw strategy and expanded the Institute’s Four Freedoms Center, with the goal of empowering communities and reducing inequality alongside the greatest economists of our generations. Most recently, she served as President and Chief Strategy Officer at Nationbuilder, working to equip the world’s leaders with software to grow their movements, businesses, and organizations, while spreading democracy. 

Hilary is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s Honors College and Ford School of Public Policy, a Detroit resident, and proud Michigander. 


Speaker Session | Growing Michigan’s Population: Path to a Prosperous Future

State Rep. Alabas Farhat

State Rep. Alabas Farhat proudly serves the 3rd House District, which comprises most of Dearborn, all of Melvindale and parts of Detroit. Farhat has a strong passion for public service, and he carries that dedication with him to Lansing as he advocates for both the residents in his district and for the wellbeing of all Michiganders across the state. 

Through his experience serving at all levels of government, Farhat has learned that real change starts with the people. That’s why he immensely values listening to and working closely with residents — he believes this direct communication and close connection with constituents is the key to revitalizing the community, improving the standard of living for all and creating positive change for generations to come. In order to manifest these changes, Farhat knows public health, public safety, economic development and strong infrastructure must be central legislative priorities.


Speaker Session | Advocacy Case Study: MI Nonprofit Relief Fund

Joan Gustafson, MNA External Affairs Officer

Joan is responsible for the development and execution of a comprehensive public affairs and civic engagement strategy for the organization. Previously, she spearheaded the communication and government affairs efforts for the International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI). Prior to joining IFPTI, Joan was the Regional Director of West Michigan for Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and served as the Governor’s liaison and ombudsman for the region.

Read her full bio


MNA Public Policy Team

Annie Hamaty, MNA Public Policy & Government Relations Manager

Annie Hamaty serves as the Public Policy & Government Relations Manager at MNA, bringing her expertise and dedication to the field of public service.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Cultures and Politics from Michigan State University's James Madison College in May 2023, supplementing her primary major with a secondary focus on Social Relations and Policy.

Read her full bio here


MNA Public Policy Team

Klarholz Jobe, MNA Public Policy Fellow

Klarholz Jobe is a public policy fellow at MNA. She started her new role at MNA earlier this summer. She hails from the West African nation of Gambia where she was born and raised. Her journey to the United States was paved with dedication and a commitment to making a difference. As an undergraduate student at Ithaca College in New York, Klarholz majored in politics, with legal studies as her minor.

Read her full bio here


Speaker Session | Welcome & Closing Speech

Kelley Kuhn, MNA President & CEO

Kelley Kuhn (she/her) lives and breathes the business of nonprofits. She’s in the most perfect job in the world to help the nonprofits on the ground literally make lives and communities better – Kuhn is the president and CEO of Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA), a charitable organization dedicated to nonprofits and the communities they serve by promoting antiracism and social justice.

“A solid and resourced nonprofit sector makes the world a better place and my mission is to ensure all nonprofits have access to capital, human and other resources they need to deliver on their missions,” she said.

Read Her Full Bio


Speaker Session | Nonprofit Power: Engaging Voters for an Inclusive Democracy

Sugelema Lynch, Field Coordinator, Nonprofit VOTE’s Multi-State Field Program

Sugelema Lynch is the Field Coordinator for Nonprofit VOTE’s Multi-State Field Program. She is a seasoned community organizer, relationship manager and voting rights advocate with over a decade of experience cultivating long lasting ties in rural and urban communities in North Carolina. Her background is heavily grounded in grassroots organizing and deep canvassing with an emphasis on year round civic engagement in small rural towns. Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, she was a public school teacher. She holds a B.A. in Education and a Masters in Business Administration.


Speaker Session | Advocacy Case Study: MI Nonprofit Relief Fund

Terri Legg, President & CEO, United Way of Montcalm – Ionia Counties

Terri Legg is the President & CEO of United Way of Montcalm – Ionia Counties. With more than 30 years of experience in the corporate and nonprofit sectors, she has gained a reputation as an accomplished, strategic, and energetic leader. Terri has transformed her United Way from a fundraiser to a mobilizer and agent for community change.

Under her guidance, 211 was brought back to the region along with new community initiatives such as United Way’s Period Project which provides access to feminine hygiene products for free to all schools and nonprofits in Montcalm and Ionia Counties; and United to End Hunger. In 2020, Terri was named the Champions for Children Community Member of the Year and was nominated in both 2019 and 2020 for the 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan award. She has been deeply involved in the community, serving in leadership roles on many local and state-level boards. Terri is a graduate of Davenport University. When not at work, Terri is an avid traveler who enjoys exploring the road less traveled.  


Speaker Session | Community Model and Results: MI Nonprofit Relief Fund

Kourtney Neloms, Founder and President of Catalyst Consulting 313

Kourtney Neloms, Founder and President of Catalyst Consulting 313, established the boutique consulting firm in 2004. The firm offers strategic programmatic and operational support to social impact and philanthropic organizations in Detroit and across Michigan. 

Kourtney's most recent diverse projects include managing grassroots grantmaking, developing a referral system for a network of organizations providing mental and behavioral health services, and managing a federally-funded relief grant program for small nonprofit organizations. Before consulting, Kourtney managed federal resource distribution for the city of Detroit’s workforce development agency and aided lowincome homeowners with housing repair in Detroit. A lifelong Detroit resident and University of Michigan graduate with dual master's degrees in social work and urban planning, Kourtney is deeply rooted in and dedicated to her community. In her personal life, she enjoys traveling and adventures with her husband and two sons.


Speaker Session | Community Model and Results: MI Nonprofit Relief Fund

Tammy Pitts, MNA Chief Communications Officer

Tammy is responsible for all external communications, marketing, and media relations strategy and execution across the organization. Tammy has an extensive background in journalism, media relations, social media strategy, marketing and brand management. Prior to joining MNA, she served as the senior producer of News 10 Today at WILX for over 17 years where she coordinated content for a daily broadcast.

Read her full bio


Speaker Session | Community Model and Results: MI Nonprofit Relief Fund

Lysne Tait, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Helping Women Period

A nationally recognized leader in the fight to end period poverty, Lysne Tait is the co-founder and executive director of Helping Women Period. 

Since its launch in 2015, Helping Women Period has provided more than 4 million products to menstruators in need throughout Michigan, and works to end period poverty through partnerships, advocacy, donations and education. Lysne and Helping Women Period have been featured in Oprah’s O Magazine, TeenVogue, Today.com, Forbes, and more.

Lysne received a bachelor's degree in Education and Communication from Eastern Michigan University before teaching for six years. Lysne is an avid reader and literature enthusiast, reading at least 150 books a year. She sits on the board for the Dewitt District Library and is currently writing her first book.


Nonprofit Power: Engaging Voters for an Inclusive Democracy

Essence Wilson, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Communities First, Inc.

Essence Wilson is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Communities First, Inc., a nonprofit organization that focuses on equitable real estate development, economic mobility, and community engagement. With more than $60 million in real estate development and serving over 35,000 people annually, Essence is responsible for resource generation, improving organizational efficiency, strategic problem-solving, expansion planning, and organizing community engagement efforts at the thriving nonprofit.

She has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering (Kettering University) and a master's degree in management, strategy, and leadership (Michigan State University). Essence is the current Vice President of CEDAM and serves as the current chair of the Flint/Genesee Continuum of Care where she has been instrumental in systemic and structural change. She has been recognized for her achievements with several awards, including the Michigan Chronicle's 40 Under 40 list, recognition as one of 11 “Women Who Shape the State” and the Civic Achievement Award from Kettering University. Essence Wilson's dedication to building healthy, vibrant communities through economic development, affordable housing and innovative programming has made her an invaluable asset to the nonprofit sector and Michigan communities. 

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