OUR STAFF

Shamyle Dobbs
Chief Executive Officer
sdobbs@mi-community.org
(313) 969-7128

Shamyle Dobbs is Chief Executive Officer for Michigan Community Resources. A native New Yorker and graduate of New York University, Shamyle moved to Michigan in 2001 to complete her Master of Social Work at the University of Michigan, and went on to receive a Juris Doctor from Wayne State University.

Shamyle has over 20 years of experience in nonprofit management and has been with MCR for over 10 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 Lee has worked in the administrative and operations field for 20 years, mainly in the nonprofit sector. Ji currently serves as Chief Operations Officer at Michigan Community Resources, overseeing all operational matters for the organization. Prior to joining MCR in 2012, she served as the Senior Executive Secretary in the development department of Children’s Hospital of Michigan, and as Manager of Governance and Special Projects for the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.

Originally from New York City, Ji lives in the Boston-Edison neighborhood of Detroit where she has been a resident for the past 13 years. She has a background in the visual arts and finds immense satisfaction in her current field, supporting her team in the amazing work they do to further MCR’s mission.

Ji Sook Sandy Lee
Chief Operations Officer
jlee@mi-community.org
(313) 969-7142

Alisha Opperman
Chief Program Officer
opperman@mi-community.org
(313) 600-1117

Alisha Opperman has worked in community development in Detroit for over 10 years, with a focus on Capacity Building for community-based organizations and Community Organizing & Planning. Alisha currently serves as Chief Program Officer at Michigan Community Resources, overseeing all programming at the organization. In her prior role as Senior Program Manager at MCR, Alisha managed Neighborhood Exchange, a platform to provide community-based organizations with resources and a support network for groups to learn, share, and connect with one another.

Prior to joining MCR in 2014, 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.

Staff and Board

Maureen Krasner currently serves as Senior Program Manager and Attorney at Michigan Community Resources, overseeing all aspects of the Legal Pro Bono programs including consulting with Legal Clinics, the Pro Bono Legal Referral Program, Direct Legal Counseling and Office Hours. Maureen develops and implements MCR Legal Workshops and Legal Publications and Toolkits. In her current role, Maureen enjoys working with individuals and community groups living in underserved communities throughout Michigan by providing high quality legal resources and trusted guidance to help build strong communities. Maureen is dedicated to providing business pro bono opportunities to Michigan attorneys so they can effectively share their expertise with nonprofits, enabling the nonprofits to focus on their missions.

Prior to joining MCR in April 2018, Maureen practiced high stakes corporate litigation with Detroit-based offices of national law firms and worked as in house counsel at a large automotive company. Maureen has a Juris Doctor from the Michigan State School of Law (f/k/a Detroit College of Law) and a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Michigan State University. Maureen is an active member of the State Bar of Michigan.

Maureen Krasner
Senior Program Manager & Attorney
mkrasner@mi-community.org
(313) 969-1208

Janai Gilmore
Senior Program Manager
jgilmore@mi-community.org
(313) 969-7039

Janai Gilmore rejoined Michigan Community Resources as a Program Manager in 2018. Her responsibilities range from managing collaborative projects—including the New Economy Initiative’s Neighborhood Business Initiative and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Nonprofit Referral System—to providing one-on-one technical assistance to community-based organizations.

Janai’s diverse experiences working in community development have included working as an intern, Program Associate and Program Manager with MCR. Prior to joining MCR, she was exposed to community development as a community organizer with the AmeriCorps Urban Safety Project, and as an intern with the Duisburg Development Agency in Duisburg, Germany. She has a Master of Science in Inequalities and Social Science from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs from Wayne State University.

Amber Umscheid joined Michigan Community Resources as an intern in 2016 and has since been promoted to Program Manager. Amber manages Office Hours, a program that offers free one-hour consultation to community groups and nonprofits across Detroit to discuss a variety of organizational needs and concerns. In addition, Amber provides technical assistance and capacity building to Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit (KIP:D) grantees.

Prior to MCR, Amber was a Michigan Voice Urban Policy Institute Fellow, where she learned how to inform and empower community groups to create change through their local and state governments. Amber has been involved with several nonprofit groups in Wayne and Oakland Counties, with focuses on youth and mental health. Her passions are in advocacy, social justice, and arts and crafts. She holds a Master of Social Work in Leadership and Policy from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Western Michigan University.

Amber Umscheid
Program Manager
aumscheid@mi-community.org
(313) 949-7902

Jamii Tata
Program Manager
jtata@mi-community.org
(313) 969-5664

Jamii Tata is serving as a Program Manager at Michigan Community Resources. Jamii comes to MCR with 15 years experience in the nonprofit field. Prior to MCR, he has held positions with educational institutions, agricultural organizations, community development corporations and arts & culture groups across Detroit. Jamii is an avid literacy educator and runs literacy initiatives through a community organization he founded, Know Allegiance Nation (KAN), which seeks to educate young people through alternative models of learning, pedagogy and non-traditional schooling. Programs Jamii runs through KAN include the Illuminate: Literacy Entrepreneurs program and the KAN Books bookstore. Jamii also leads the Oakland Avenue Artists Coalition (OAAC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, in its work to establish an art corridor on Oakland Avenue in Detroit’s North End.

As Program Manager at MCR, Jamii supports the Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit (KIP:D) initiative by providing coaching to individual grantees and leading cohorts of grantees. He comes to this work as a previous KIP:D grantee, having received a grant for OAAC during KIP:D Round 3 in 2017. Jamii is passionate about building the capacity of Detroit residents to reclaim and sustain thriving neighborhoods.

Matthew Schmitt joined MCR as a Program Manager in January 2019 working to support MCR’s work with the Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit (KIP:D) Rounds 4 & 5 grantees. Alongside the exciting and critical work of supporting The Kresge Foundation’s grantees in carrying out their projects in Detroit neighborhoods, Matthew is an activist, writer, musician, and co-founder of The Table Setters, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting vulnerable and transformative discussions across division.

Immediately prior to joining the MCR team, Matthew was a Challenge Detroit Fellow serving at Teen H.Y.P.E. as the Manager of Mission Advancement. He grew up in the metropolitan area at 13 Mile and Southfield, and gained experiences in community activism, education, ministry, and the music business around the country before moving to Pingree Park on Detroit’s East Side with his family. Most significantly, he taught sixth grade in New Orleans through Teach For America, and led DOOR Los Angeles, a nonprofit that worked to intersect the traditional mission trip with social justice, anti-racism, and anti-classism exposure and education. For eight years, Matthew sat on the advisory board of the Prison Creative Arts Project at the University of Michigan, his alma mater, and currently sits as a director on the Race Relations and Diversity Task Force of Birmingham.

Matthew Schmitt
Program Manager
mschmitt@mi-community.org
(313) 969-0149

Hannah Colborn
Marketing & Communications Manager
hcolborn@mi-community.org
(313) 949-6837

Hannah Colborn serves as Marketing & Communications Manager for MCR. Hannah came to the role after serving with MCR as a LISC AmeriCorps Member in 2017-2018, where she gained an understanding of and experience with MCR’s programs for nonprofit and grassroots organizations.

Before coming to MCR, Hannah worked with the HOPE Village Initiative, a comprehensive community development initiative targeting the square-mile community around Focus: HOPE‘s campus in central Detroit. Hannah was a founding member of the Young Professional Board at Covenant House Michigan, a nonprofit organization serving young adults experiencing homelessness in Detroit. Hannah has a Master of Community Development from the University of Detroit Mercy and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Loyola University Chicago. Hannah grew up in the metro area and has lived and worked in Detroit for the last five years.

Albert Pak serves as a Program Associate, Attorney and Skadden Fellow at Michigan Community Resources. He comes to MCR with experience in business, law, and nonprofit management, as well as a passion for empowering underserved communities.

Albert graduated with a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was a Toll Public Interest Scholar, and a Master in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. Before graduate school, Albert worked as a management consultant for Oliver Wyman, where he specialized in the financial services industry. He then went on to help launch  12+, a nonprofit start-up that creates college-going cultures in Philadelphia high schools, where he served as COO and CFO. During his career, Albert has also worked for Able Lending, Covington & Burling LLP, and the Community Investments Team at Rock Ventures.

Albert Pak
Program Associate, Attorney & Skadden Fellow
apak@mi-community.org
(313) 969-0194

Alexis Davis
Client Management Associate & Paralegal
adavis@mi-community.org
(313) 969-0124

Alexis Davis serves as Client Management Associate and Paralegal for Michigan Community Resources. Her role entails engaging with community partners to best connect them to pro bono services and legal advice. Alexis is a Cincinnati native whose passion for youth and service brought her to Detroit. After her fellowship year with Challenge Detroit, she was eager to continue working in the public sector. Alexis is a current Master of Community Development student at Detroit Mercy where she hopes to expand her knowledge of organizational and nonprofit governance. Alexis is also a proud alumna of North Carolina A&T State University, where she earned degrees in both psychology and political science. She is fiercely committed to creating more equitable outcomes for marginalized communities through advocacy, policy, and legal reform.

Carolyn Pruitt is a Program Associate on the team supporting the Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit (KIP:D) grantees. Carolyn has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Master of Arts in Social Justice from Marygrove College.

A native Detroiter, Carolyn is passionate and committed to cultivating and empowering communities throughout the city and state with hopes of broadening reach throughout the world. She brings a wide range of experience including administrative operations, community organizing, youth development and resident-led community change. In her free time, Carolyn enjoys traveling, both domestically and abroad.

Carolyn Pruitt
Program Associate
cpruitt@mi-community.org
(313) 969-3067

Tawana Fultz
Program Associate
tfultz@mi-community.org
(313) 938-2653

Tawana Fultz has accumulated over 20 years of customer service experience primarily in the legal field as a paralegal and legal advocate. A Detroit native and graduate of Baker College specializing in Paralegal Studies and Business Marketing, Tawana has served in various law firms involving civil law, disability appeals, bankruptcy, and real estate law practices.

Tawana currently serves Michigan Community Resource as an Program Associate through the AmeriCorps Public Allies program. She is passionate about serving the community and hopes to one day live a life that is a prime example of unconditional love, compassion, and servitude to the human race, while gathering with organizations to make a positive impact.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Michelle Crockett, Board President   |   Miller Canfield

Khalilah Spencer   |   Honigman, Miller, Schwartz & Cohn LLC

George Adams, Jr.   |   Synergy Syndicate, LLC

Katy Chapman   |   KPMG LLP

Derek Edwards   |   Invest Detroit

Laurie Horvath    |    Baker Tilly

Denise Kennedy   |   Consultant

Charlene McNary   |   Bright Path, LLC

Marilyn Mullane   |   Michigan Legal Services

Jayesh Patel   |   Talati & Patel LLP; Street Democracy

Sonia Plata   |   Flagstar Bank

Quadri Owoiya   |   Deloitte Consulting LLP

Glen Zatz   |   Bodman PLC

Robin Luce-Herrmann   |   Director Emeritus

Sally Schwartz   |   Director Emeritus