STAFF / BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Kate Bordine is a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design with a Masters in Design Management and a BFA from Miami University. She is a co-founder and Creative Director of Ponyride, where she develops platforms for creative and social entrepreneurs to scale by providing affordable studio space. She focuses on building organizational frameworks that foster creative thinking and facilitates collaboration. She is also a local partner in Our/Detroit and works on marketing and design. She is currently on board of Techtown and Detroit SOUP.
ERIC C. WILLIAMS
Eric C. Williams directs the Program for Entrepreneurship and Business Law. He previously worked in New York in private practice, as a litigation associate with Winston & Strawn, legal consultant at Labaton Sucharow LLP, as a business litigation associate at Nixon Peabody LLP, and as a managing partner in the Law Office of Coleman and Williams. He also gained experience in the nonprofit sector as director of development at the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island and as senior program developer at Focus: HOPE in Detroit. Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Michigan, a master of philosophy in international relations from Magdalene College at Cambridge University and a juris doctor from Columbia University School of Law.
Karla Henderson was appointed as Director of the Building, Safety, Engineering and Environmental Department by Mayor Dave Bing in July 2009 and served in the administration for four years. In August 2010, she was appointed Group Executive of Planning and Facilities where she brought over 17 years of increasingly responsible management experience in the administration of public resources and management. Her responsibilities included overseeing of the Building, Safety, Engineering and Environmental Department; the Detroit Building Authority; the Department of Administrative Hearings; the Planning and Development Department; the Mayor’s Detroit Works Short-Term Neighborhood Intervention project; and the Bing Administration. She also served as the Chairperson to the City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, the City of Detroit Local Development Finance Authority, and as Mayor Bing’s designee to the Detroit Building Authority Board of Commissioners. She is an Urban Land Institute Rose Center Fellow for 2010-2011. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Service Resource Management from the Michigan State University and resides in Detroit. She is now the Director of Strategic Planning and Facility Management at Wayne County, Michigan.
Marc Schwartz is an activist, collector and patron of the arts. Born and raised in Detroit, he serves as Chairman of the Collections Committee at the Detroit Institute of Arts; Art Detroit Now, an arts advocacy initiative comprised of 90 arts organizations; DLECTRICITY, a nighttime festival of art + light; and Detroit Made, a design incubator. He also serves on the Advisory Council or Board of Directors of CCS Galleries, Dashboard, Detroit Advisory Council of the Knight Foundation, Detroit Creative Corridor Center, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Soup, Signal Return and Techtown.
Phillip Cooley and his partners started Slows Bar B Q in 2005. Since opening it has expanded into Ford Field(Detroit Lions,etc.), Slows To Go(catering, carryout and commissary) and a new location in Grand Rapids. They are currently constructing another location inPontiac (2016). In 2014 Cooley and another group of partners opened Gold Cash Gold(farm to table restaurant) in an abandoned pawn shop of the same name. He works with his family at O’Connor Development as a general contractor. Cooley is a co-founder of Ponyride(2012) He sits on many board of directors and advisory boards(Empowerment Plan, Detroit SOUP, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, Knight Foundation Detroit, etc.). Cooley is an adjunct professor at Lawrence Technological University where he co-teaches a studio course with university and Detroit Public High School students through Ponyride.
Meagan Dunn is the Director of Community Outreach and Partnerships for Henry Ford Health System. Meagan is responsible for managing the System’s Community Partnerships budget, builds strategic relationships with government, civic and community based organizations. She is also responsible for streamlining and coordinating community and volunteer activity for System employees. Meagan is a graduate from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. She is a member of Ebony Magazine’s 30 Leaders Under 30, and recognized by the Michigan Chronicle as a 2013 Woman of Excellence. She is currently enrolled in Michigan State University’s Executive MBA program, where she focuses on integrated management. She also serves on several non-profit boards including Presbyterian Villages of Michigan, Black Family Development and Crossroads of Michigan. Meagan resides in Detroit with her husband, Ethan.
Catherine Kelly leads a media company focused on providing information and offering a platform for African American voices and perspectives in Michigan. As publisher of the Michigan Citizen, Kelly managed editorial, sales, circulation and financials. She grew up in the city, graduated from Detroit Public Schools and holds a bachelor’s degree from Eugene Lang College of the New School in New York City. Kelly also has a master’s degree from the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy. She is now a local partner at Our/Detroit Vodka and focuses on business and branding.
Founder of ‘The Empowerment Plan’, Veronkia Scott has built and organization that began around a single idea: to design a coat specifically for the homeless. The coat is self-heated, waterproof, and transforms into a sleeping bag at night. That idea has now transformed into a system of empowerment in which homeless women are paid to learn how to produce coats for people living on the streets, giving them an opportunity to earn money, find a place to live, and gain back their independece for themselves and their family. Veronika is the youngest recipient of the John F Kennedy New Frontier Award form the JFK Library Foundation and Harvard University. She has also received an IDEA Gold Award form the Industrial Design Society of America and is one of Crain’s Top Twenty in their Twenties. The Empowerment Plan story has been told all over the world and shared at events such as the Forbes 400 Philanthropy Summit with Oprah, Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett.
KAIJA E. WUOLLET
Kaija Wuollet is the founding partner at Laavu, a Detroit - based architectural design studio - built on a city-building vision, with an emphasis on careful craftsmanship, and the belief that thoughtful design can improve everyday life. As a Finnish American, she has a strong connection to nature and craft, shaping her fascination in the design and build of objects, furniture and details. As an urbanist and entrepreneur at heart, Kaija has a deep interest in sustainable growth in cities, always searching to understand how people interact in spaces at a range of scales. Sustainable business models paired with thoughtful design serves as the foundation for each project.
JOHN VAN CAMP
John Van Camp is the President and CEO of Southwest Solutions, based in southwest Detroit. Under Johhn’s leadership, Southwest Solutions has become nationally acclaimed for its comprehensive and innovative neighborhood revitalization work. Collaborating with many partners, the agency integrates human services, community and economic development, and resident engagement programs to serve more than 25,000 a year and help build a healthier and stronger community. John joined Southwest Solutions in 1973, a year after it was founded, when it was a small community metal health agency with a staff of ten. In 1981, he became its executive director and helped evolve the company into a family of tax exempt and taxable entities, employing more than 320 persons.
From the Pop Icon “Usher” to Ford Motor Company Fund, Shawn’s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to innovation has brought value to “A” list celebrities and Fortune 500 companies alike. After starting his career in the traditional nonprofit sector with the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, Shawn found his passion as a Social Entrepreneur and in 1998 launched SWI Consulting Inc., a full service philanthropic consulting firm in Atlanta, Ga. In his role as President and CEO, Shawn spearheaded the launch of more than a dozen charitable non-profit organizations for high net-worth individuals. In 2004, Shawn partnered with 8-time Grammy Winning Artist, Usher Raymond IV to re-launch the New Look Foundation. During his decade long tenure as President and CEO, New Look trained & certified 21,000 youth leaders across 4 continents and 9 countries. In June 2014 Shawn joined Ford Motor Company Fund and has over-all responsibility for Southeastern Michigan in addition to the Asian and Middle-Eastern communities.