Board of Directors

Kimberly Hudolin, Board President   Cass Community Social Service 

Geaneen Arends  I  Butzel Long

Michelle Crockett  I  Miller Canfield

Lysa Davis  I  Compliance and Community Consultants

Margaret Dewar  University of Michigan, Taubman School of Architecture & Urban Planning

Christopher Dine  Bodman PLC

Derek Edwards  I  Invest Detroit

Laurie Horvath  I  Baker Tilly

Rochelle Lento  I  Dykema Gossett PLLC

Thomas Linn  I  Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone PLC

Marilyn Mullane  I  Michigan Legal Services 

Andrew Pride  I  Ford Motor Company

Khalilah Spencer  I  Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohan LLP

Elliot Spoon   I  Michigan State University, College of Law

Glen Zatz  I  Bodman PLC

Robin Luce-Herrmann  I  Director Emeritus 

Sally Schwartz  I  Director Emeritus

Staff

Jill Ferrari   I   Chief Executive Officer

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Jill Ferrari has over 19 years of experience in catalyzing urban redevelopment.  Her background includes community development, private real estate acquisition and development, legal practice and consulting.  As the Chief Executive Officer of Michigan Community Resources, her current mission is to provide legal, technical and educational resources to community based organizations working in low-income areas throughout Michigan.  Formerly the Director of Community Development for Wayne County, she directed over $50 million dollars in state and federal funds dedicated toward neighborhood stabilization throughout Wayne County that has leveraged over $200 Million in private investment.

As an attorney and private real estate developer, she has managed complex Brownfield Redevelopment projects in multiple states.  She is a former member of the Board of Directors of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Detroit (2001 and 2013) and a returning judge for the annual CREW Real Estate Impact Awards (2011-2014).  She is the former Chairman of the Board of CreateDetroit, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to promoting the creative class in Detroit.    She has also held advisory council and committee positions at The Heidelberg Project and the Detroit Opera House and has participated in coordinating successful events in Detroit such as The National Summit (2009), the Creative Cities Summit (2008) and BravoBravo! (2004-2007).

Jill is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and is currently a member of the Executive Committee for the Urban Land Institute – Michigan Council, where she co-chairs the Women’s Leadership Initiative.

 

Shamyle Dobbs   I   Chief Program Officer

Shamyle Nesfield_MBShamyle Dobbs is the Chief Program Officer for Michigan Community Resources. A native New Yorker and graduate of New York University, Shamyle moved to Michigan in 2001 to complete her masters in Social Work at the University of Michigan, and went on to receive a Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University.  Shamyle has over 16 years of experience in nonprofit management and has been with MCR for 7 years.  Shamyle has extensive experience in Program Development, Project Management, Grant Writing, Strategic Planning, Community Or­ganizing and Engagement. Her passion for social justice and addressing systemic issues facing communities of color motivates her daily.

 

 

 

 

Ji Sook Sandy Lee   I   Operations Manager

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Ji Sook Lee joined MCR in 2012. Originally from New York, she has been a resident and homeowner for the past eight years in the Boston-Edison neighborhood of Detroit, where she voluteers and serves as the secretary of its radio patrol. Ji has been in the nonprofit administrative and operations field for over 15 years. Ji has worked for such organizations as the Trust for Public Land; the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, as its Manager of Governance and Special Projects; and Children’s Hospital of Michigan, as a senior executive secretary in the Development Department. While in New York, she served on the Board of the Korean American League for Civic Action (KALCA), an organization that works to promote civic awareness, involvement
and engagement in the Asian-American community through education. In Detroit, she has volunteered with the Michigan Humane Society and Recycle Detroit.

 

 

 

Amanda Gregory   I   Legal & Policy Program Manager

Amanda GregoryAmanda Gregory is an attorney admitted to practice in Michigan and New York.  Her legal career has been focused on service.  As the Legal & Policy Program Manager for Michigan Community Resources (MCR), she is dedicated to helping connect nonprofit organizations in need of legal counsel with volunteer attorneys seeking service opportunities.  Formerly serving as Officer in Charge of Legal Assistance for the 26 state Eastern Recruiting Region of the U.S. Marine Corps, she was in charge of the provision of legal aid to Marines, retirees, and their families in over 15 areas of legal need.  Prior to joining MCR, she created the Sunday Street Market at Detroit’s historic Eastern Market, creating a stable retail platform with a low barrier to entry for metro Detroit entrepreneurs and a vibrant local alternative to the shopping mall for Detroit residents and visitors.

Her primary scholarship focuses are food law, public education policy, public service law, and military law.  In addition to her work at MCR, she is a Major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves serving as Regional Judge Advocate for the Great Lakes Region and an adjunct professor of law at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.  She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Animal Law, Food Law, and Military Law sections and a council member for the Agricultural Law section.  She is a Veteran’s Administration (VA) authorized attorney.

 

 

Alisha Opperman   I  Senior Program Manager

Alisha_MBAlisha has worked in community development in Detroit for the past 5 years, with a focus on community organizing & planning, business organizing, and healthy food access & physical activity. Prior to joining MCR, she most recently served as the Community Engagement Director for Warren/Conner Development Coalition. While there, she focused on the implementation of the Lower Eastside Action Plan (LEAP), a community-driven plan for vacant land re-use and neighborhood stabilization. In addition, she has held positions at Creekside Community Development Corporation, the Jefferson East Business Association, and Nonprofit Enterprise at Work. Alisha has a Master of Social Work in Community Organization and a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan.

 

 

 

 

Lydia Rae Levinson   I   Senior Program Manager

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Lydia Rae Levinson is a native Michigander and a proud resident of the City of Detroit. She has two Masters degrees, both from Iowa State University; one in Community and Regional Planning, and one in Sustainable Agriculture. Her graduate research focused on citizen-driven efforts to create sustainable farm and food systems through local land use regulations. Before returning to school, she worked as a real estate professional managing a property preservation company based in Detroit. Since joining MCR in 2014 her work has primarily concentrated on returning vacant spaces to productive uses that provide lasting environmental, social, and economic benefits to the community. Lydia is a member of the Urban Land Institute, Commercial Real Estate Women Detroit, and sits on the Board of Directors for Recovery Park. She’s passionate about civic agriculture, food sovereignty, and environmental justice. In her off hours she enjoys gardening, traveling, and hiking with her husband and their two border collies.

 

 

 

Brittany Foley   I   Planning & Technical Program Manager

Brittany's FavoriteBrittany Foley joined MCR in 2015 as a Planning & Technical Program Manager. Here she manages programs related to neighborhood commercial capacity development. Prior to joining MCR, Brittany was a Project Manager at Rock Ventures, an umbrella entity owned by Quicken Loans Founder Dan Gilbert’s that focuses on economic and real estate development. In this capacity, Brittany was responsible for overseeing the implementation of a multi-million dollar placemaking strategy in Downtown Detroit and worked on a variety of projects related to real estate development finance for complex and mixed-use projects. A graduate of William & Mary School of Law, Brittany is a licensed attorney and also holds a masters degree in Urban Planning and graduate certificate in Real Estate Development from the University of Michigan. Brittany is chair of the Communications Committee and an Advisory Board member of the Urban Land Institute’s Michigan Chapter. She is a Deacon at Fort Street Presbyterian Church in Downtown Detroit, coach of Detroit PAL’s 10U Astros baseball team, and treasurer of the Parducci Society. Brittany lives with her husband, Ray, and two dogs, Virginia and Tank, in a home they are rehabbing in the North End of Detroit.

 

 

Andrea Perkins-Benson   I   Education & Outreach Program Manager

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Andrea Perkins-Benson joined MCR in May 2016 and currently serves as a Program Manager on the Education & Outreach team. Prior to joining MCR, Andrea worked in various capacities within the non-profit and public sectors, creating and leading programs that supported the development and stabilization of underserved neighborhoods in Detroit, New York and Mississippi. As a graduate from the University of Michigan and New York University, with a Master in Urban Planning, Andrea has concentrated her work and efforts in housing, community and economic development. From managing a housing incentive program that transferred over $2 million in subsidies to new and existing residents in Midtown Detroit to leading community engagement efforts that addressed limited access to recreational facilities and parks in West Harlem, Andrea is committed to leveraging community assets to improve social and economic growth in the communities she serves. When she is not working to encourage more people to stay or move back to Detroit, Andrea enjoys exploring other cities and strengthening her green thumb

 

 

Edward Peters     Legal & Policy Associate

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Ashley Street   I   Office Associate

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Before joining Michigan Community Resources in 2014, Ashely Street worked in banking. She is the official Office Spirit Captain and is currently pursuing a double major in Forensic Science and American Sign Language. When she is not working or in class, Ashley loves to travel. She has been to twenty-eight states on her way to completing her goal of visiting all fifty.

 

 

 

 

 

Kathleen Reilly   I   Planning & Technical Associate

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Katie Reilly joined MCR in 2015. Katie’s work has focused on the implementation of local business tools and community development. She recently received her Masters of Urban Planning from the University of Michigan in the spring of 2016. Katie has previous experience in transportation planning through her work with the City of Ann Arbor and environmental land use planning through a capstone project focusing on renaturalizing vacant land in Detroit. Katie is a published author with two pieces in Agora Journal of Urban Planning and Design. Katie has a B.A. in Political Science and Global and International Studies from Western Michigan University

 

 

 

 

Amanda Eisbrenner   I   Development Associate

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Prior to MCR, Amanda Eisbrenner worked at Wayne State University’s College of Engineering as a Development Associate, where she worked closely with the Major Gift Officer and Senior Director of Development on individual donor strategies, donor stewardship, donor recognition, and annual development events.

After earning her B.A. in Journalism with a minor in Political Science from Michigan State University, Amanda worked overseas for five years teaching English as a Second Language in South Korea, Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia. During her time at Saudi’s King Faisal University, Amanda taught in the Preparatory Year Deanship (PYD) program, led a team of six teachers, and ran a university-wide creative writing club that created a safe, supportive space for women students to share their experiences and develop digital literacy skills for sustained creative expression.

Today, Amanda is a Master’s Candidate in Wayne State University’s Master of Public Administration program. She is also a fellow in the 2016 cohort of the Marjorie S. Fisher Fellowship Program of AFP’s Greater Detroit Chapter, as well as member of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA).

Amanda is a Commissioner on the President’s Commission on the Status of Women (COSW) at Wayne State University and serves on its Gender and Equity Committee.

 

John Kalogerakos   I   Marketing & Communications Associate

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Before joining Michigan Community Resources, John Kalogerakos earned his MFA in Creative Writing from New York University’s Writer’s Workshop in Paris and worked as a freelance writer, working on projects for Booking Bug and the American Institute of Architects. He was the lead copywriter for the AIA’s mobile app, AIA Kinetic.

John, a lifelong metro Detroiter, graduated Magna Cum Laude with his bachelor’s degree in English from Wayne State University. While at Wayne State, he was the recipient of multiple honors, including the Longhead-Eldrege Endowed Scholarship in creative writing and the S. Mariciniak Annual Scholarship in Painting. He also served as the Fiction Editor of the Wayne Literary Review.