Shamyle Dobbs, MSW JD I Chief Executive Officer
Shamyle 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 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 Sook Sandy Lee I Chief Operations Officer
Ji 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.
Alisha Opperman, MSW I Chief Program Officer
Alisha has worked in community development in Detroit for the past 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.
Maureen Krasner I Senior Program Manager and Attorney
Maureen currently serves as Senior Program Manager and Counselor at Law 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.
Janai Gilmore I Senior Program Manager
Janai 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 I Program Manager
Amber joined Michigan Community Resources as a Neighborhood Exchange Intern in 2016 and has since been promoted to Program Manager. Amber manages Office Hours, a program that offers free one-hour consultations for community groups and nonprofits across Detroit to discuss a variety of organizational needs and concerns. In addition, she 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 county, 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.
Jamii Tata I Program Manager
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 I Program Manager
Matthew joined Michigan Community Resources as a Program Manager in 2019 working to support the Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit (KIP:D) initiative in providing resources to grassroots organizations throughout Detroit’s neighborhoods. Alongside this exciting and critical work, 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. Matthew 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. Matthew taught sixth grade in New Orleans through Teach For America, and led DOOR Los Angeles, a nonprofit that works to intersect the traditional mission trip with social justice, anti-racism, and anti-classism exposure and education. Matthew also sat on the advisory board of the Prison Creative Arts Project at the University of Michigan, his alma mater, for eight years, and currently sits as a director on the Race Relations and Diversity Task Force for the city of Birmingham, Michigan.
Hannah Colborn I Marketing & Communications Manager
Hannah came to Michigan Community Resources as a LISC AmeriCorps Member in 2017 before stepping into her current role as Marketing & Communications Manager. Previously, Hannah worked at Focus: HOPE on its HOPE Village Initiative, a place-based, holistic community development effort focused on the 100-block neighborhood surrounding Focus: HOPE’s campus in central Detroit.
In her Marketing & Communications role at MCR, Hannah is excited to be using her undergraduate degree in Communications Studies and to be building on her current study toward a Master of Community Development at the University of Detroit Mercy. In her spare time, Hannah supports Covenant House Michigan as a member of their young professional board. After growing up in the metro area, Hannah has lived and worked in the city of Detroit for the last five years.
Albert Pak I Program Associate, Attorney, and Skadden Fellow
Albert serves as a Program Associate, Attorney & Counselor at Law 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 Juris Doctor 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.
Alexis Davis I Client Management Associate and Paralegal
Alexis serves as the Client Management Associate for Michigan Community Resources. Her role entails engaging with community partners to 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 the University of 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. Alexis is fiercely committed to creating more equitable outcomes for marginalized communities through advocacy, policy, and legal reform.
Carolyn Pruitt I Community Outreach & Engagement Specialist
Carolyn is serving with Michigan Community Resources as a LISC AmeriCorps Member. She operates as the Community Outreach & Engagement Specialist. Carolyn has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and 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, to list a few. In Carolyn’s free time, she enjoys traveling both domestically and abroad.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Michelle Crockett, Board Chair I Miller Canfield
Katy Chapman I KPMG LLP
Derek Edwards I Invest Detroit
Laurie Horvath I Baker Tilly
Charlene McNary I Bright Path, LLC
Marilyn Mullane I Michigan Legal Services
Quadri Owoiya I Deloitte Consulting, LLP
Jayesh Patel I Talati & Patel PLLC
Sonia Plata I Flagstar Bank
Khalilah Spencer I Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP
Glen Zatz I Bodman
Robin Luce-Herrmann I Director Emeritus
Sally Schwartz I Director Emeritus