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Scott Alan Davis

Scott Alan Davis left his work in the private sector 15 years ago to do what he loves: serve youth and serve community. As the Vanguard Community Development Corporation’s executive director, Davis strives to help kids reach their full potential and then watches them learn to serve others as they step confidently into adulthood.

Cheryl Simon

Cheryl Simon gained her wisdom and knowledge from years in Detroit’s nonprofit sector before taking on the coordinating role with Detroit Food Policy Council, a group shaping food policy and championing a more just and environmentally conscious local food system. She invites those most impacted by food policy to the table to partake in both the discussion and the decisions. 

Malik Yakini

In 2006, Malik Yakini organized a meeting of about 40 people to discuss food security issues; at that meeting, the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network was born. Yakini recently won a James Beard Foundation Leadership Award for his work to ensure social justice, food equity, and food security for the people of Detroit.

Daniel Carney

People need the freedom to make mistakes in order to nurture innovation without fear, says National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s CEO Daniel Carney. Creating an environment where new leaders can flourish is key to his leadership style. 

Marsialle D. Arbuckle

It’s rare for an agency founder and leader to have real-life familiarity with the problems facing vulnerable youth. But Marsialle Arbuckle grew up in the foster care system -- making him the most valuable asset to Detroit’s Center for Urban Youth and Family Development. His agency helps those transitioning from foster care secure safe places to live. 

Minsu Longariu

Minsu Longariu, executive director of the Restaurant Opportunity Center of Michigan, believes in the power of people coming together to create change. Whether that happens around a restaurant table or in a community meeting, Longariu says that working together is the best way to overcome big challenges.

Danielle Sielatycki

Danielle Sielatycki asserts that large-scale social change happens best with broad cross-sector coordination -- not isolated individual programs. As executive director of Prevention Works, Inc., she leads efforts to educate Kalamazoo area youth on the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and violence.

Alison Heeres

A former volunteer for Cooking Matters courses, Alison Heeres is now in charge of educational programming for The Next Urban Chef, a program that educates Detroit youth on local food systems and sustainability while teaching valuable culinary skills. 

Amy Berkhoudt

Amy Berkhoudt brings a relative newcomer’s fresh perspective to Detroit’s issues, along with an unwavering belief in the potential of the city’s youth. She also brings energy and passion to bear in her work as co-director of the Detroit Youth Food Brigade.

Oran Hesterman

Fair Foods Network’s president and CEO Oran Hesterman, Ph.D., is a passionate leader, author, and promoter of good nutrition for vulnerable children and families. Using strong public-private partnerships and carefully measuring program impact, Fair Food Network is a leader in improving access to healthy, fresh food for Michigan residents.

Heidi Cate

Lighthouse Academy is the safety net for academically struggling and socially misplaced students. Superintendent Heidi Cate discusses helping those students readjust and achieve goals that some would call impossible.

Susan Reed

Supervising attorney Susan Reed is inspired by the strength and resiliency of her clients at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. The center is creating a more equal future for all children and building a base of support for immigrants in the communities where they live. 

Thomas Costello

Inspired by his Jesuit education and the Jesuit philosophy of service to others -- and deeply committed to a more just and inclusive world -- Thomas Costello ditched the private sector in 2008 to become president of the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion.

Lisa Mitchell

Working to end racism, Lisa Mitchell, executive director of Grand Rapids Area Center for Ecumenism (GRACE), brings workshops and assessment programs to educational, nonprofit and workplace settings through a program called Partners for a Racism-Free Community.

Charlie Cavell

At an age when most young people focus on their social lives, Charlie Cavell saw a problem: youth unemployment in Detroit. While still a student at Wayne State, he founded the Pay It Forward Initiative. The program helps connect underserved young people with employment opportunities.
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