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Don Hoaglin

Don Hoaglin’s job description calls for more than the average school principal. Community engagement is key to his everyday activities at Prairieview Elementary School, a school that stemmed from the Developing a Community School Project. Through hard work and a proactive approach, he has the involvement of Battle Creek business leaders, service agencies, clergy members and more.

Ruth Lumpkins

Ruth A. Lumpkins, executive director of Jubilee Jobs, has a strong desire to help the underserved and a vision to inspire all of her students not only to have dreams, but to realize them and be serious about their education and their future.

Melanie Knoll

Melanie Knoll is co-executive director with Cara Graninger of Living Arts, an arts and community development group serving the southwest Detroit community with arts-infused education and dance programs. She grew up in the neighborhood she now serves and finds it very rewarding to provide opportunities to children just like herself. 

Randy Osmun

Randy Osmun, executive director of The Source in Grand Rapids, is a bridge builder. His organization brings together people in need of jobs with employers in need of services. The results: more stable families and satisfied employers. 

Cindy Ruble

As executive director of the Educators’ Task Force, former Lakeview superintendent Cindy Ruble connects and represents all of Battle Creek’s education leadership, including those at private schools, charters and colleges. The ETF manages programs designed to benefit and support children in their education – from birth through adulthood. 

Angela Reyes

As executive director of Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, Angela Reyes believes that failing schools and a lack of jobs create an environment ripe for youth to fall into crime or drugs – or simply lose hope. DHDC is changing the outlook for southwest Detroit youth and parents, and community members are becoming their own agents of change. 

Joseph Ferguson

Joseph Ferguson came to the world of federally qualified health centers from a career in the for-profit hospital field. His philosophy has always been that a great deal of leadership is about serving, and his role at Advantage Health Centers allows him to do that in a very efficient way. 

Michael Poma

As executive director of the Baraga Houghton Keweenaw Child Development Board, Michael Poma works to see that children keep up with their peers in school. However, what keeps him awake at night is wishing he could make his services accessible and affordable to more people, especially needy children.

Kari Walker

A vision for better outcomes for at-risk children drives Kari Walker, The Guidance Center’s president and CEO. His Downriver agency is both a catalyst for community change and a haven for local children and families. 

Kate Flores

Kate Flores, executive director of Voces, believes that building relationships can transform the Battle Creek community better than simply providing services. Flores works with limited English proficient families to improve their health and quality of life through interpreter services, language classes, playgroups, immigration assistance, and women and youth groups.

Darel Ross II

Darel Ross II became Co-Executive Director of LINC in 2008, after serving as the board treasurer for LINC for six years. Ross leads LINC’s efforts to revitalize neighborhoods by engaging residents, developing business and housing opportunities, and securing over $42 million in funding in the same neighborhood in which he grew up. 

Gilda Z. Jacobs

Gilda Jacobs once worked as a Michigan state legislator. In her current position as president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy, she believes she’ll make more of an impact on the lives of vulnerable children and families. 

W. DeWayne Wells

DeWayne Wells, president of Gleaners Community Food Bank, not only measures progress by number of meals distributed to hungry people, but also by how much the community is engaged and working from a common front. Under his leadership, Gleaners projects to distribute 45 million pounds of food in 2012.  

Dennis West

Dennis West and his staff at Northern Initiatives help businesses obtain the capital they need to start and expand their operations. This, in turn, helps to create jobs and wealth, which ultimately strengthens local families living in rural northern Michigan.

Martha Thawnghmung

Martha Thawnghmung connects to the Burmese refugees in Battle Creek not simply as clients, but as her brothers and sisters. Through the Burmese American Initiative she helps Burmese adults and children overcome language and cultural barriers and navigate government and agency systems to access resources for their health and education. 
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