First Step Board of Directors

PRESIDENT

Jennifer Hartke, Program Attorney, Lakeshore Legal Aid

VICE PRESIDENT

Elaine Tingle, Executive Director – Human Resources and Community Affairs, Bridgewater Interiors

SECRETARY

Heidi Naasko
Pro Bono and Diversity Counsel, Dykema Gossett

TREASURER

June Nicholas, HR Works, LLC

MEMBER AT LARGE

Kathleen Cronin, Philanthropist

MEMBERS

  • Genelle M. Allen, Esq., Cheif Operating Officer, Wayne County, Michigan
  • Jay Bonnell, Philanthropist
  • Jerome Espy, Sr., Owner / President, Nfinit Integrated Communications
  • Jeffrey Gielniak, Design Manager, Christman
  • Carla O’Malley, Chief Development Officer, Autism Alliance of Michigan & President, Partners in Philanthropy of Michigan
  • Karen Mazo, Community Volunteer / Former Major of Woodhaven
  • Karen Wilson Smithbauer, President, Karen Colina Wilson Foundation
  • Wendy Woodward, AAMS® Financial Advisor, and Owner GPS Financial
  • Beckie Thompson, Director of External Affairs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

First Step Key Staff

  • Lori Kitchen-Buschel, Executive Director
  • Ilene Hogan, Director of Operations
  • Theresa Bizoe, Director of Philanthropy and Capital Projects
  • Desiree Herrick, Director of Programs
  • Wanda Merriweather, Director of Programs
  • Lynda Leibrock, Director of Finance
  • Sally Coder, Program Coordinator / Survivor Advocate
  • Hilary Hitte, Program Coordinator / Survivor Advocate
  • Jeni Hooper, Program Coordinator / Survivor Advocate
  • Laura Markward, Program Coordinator / Survivor Advocate
  • Catherine Stratford, Program Coordinator / Survivor Advocate
  • Samantha Straub, Program Coordinator / Survivor Advocate