Board of Directors

Community Action is more than a job to us. It’s a cause we’re honored to get behind.

 

John Stephenson, President

John Stephenson is the Executive Director of Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency (NMCAA), the Community Action Agency for the 10 Counties of Northwest Lower Michigan. He is a graduate of Kent State University in sociology and psychology. John has been the Executive Director of NMCAA since 2002. For the preceding 25 years he was the agency’s Community Services Department Director, where he was responsible for housing, food, emergency, and financial assistance programs, and the Head Start program’s Social Services, Parent Involvement and Health components. NMCAA operates over 100 different grants and contracts, employing some 400 people, and is dedicated to improving low-income individuals’ and families’ economic security, self-sufficiency and independence through linking programs, resources and opportunities. Among many state and local leadership activities, John served on the Michigan Head Start Association Board for over 15 years including 2 years as President, the Michigan Community Action Association Board for over 10 years where he currently serves as President, and chaired the Governor-appointed Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity for 3 years. Active in numerous community endeavors he currently serves on the Steering Committee of the Northern Michigan Community Health Innovation Region (CHIR) and the Steering Committee of the Northern Michigan Health Coalition, and is a member of the Networks Northwest Board of Directors and serves on its Prosperity Index Committee.

Executive Director, Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency

John Stephenson

Louis Piszker, Vice President

Named CEO of Wayne Metro Community Action Agency in 2007, Louis D. Piszker upholds the agency's mission to empower low-income people and strengthen communities through diverse services, leadership and collaboration. Leading the programmatic, financial and information systems and economic development activities for the community action agency serving low-income persons in 43 communities in Wayne County, Mr. Piszker oversees a budget exceeding $38 million annually. Louis manages the agency's senior leadership team providing direction and support, driving the overall growth and development plan, and reports to a Board of Directors comprised of 21 community leaders, corporate citizens, and elected officials. Louis has served as an officer on the Michigan Community Action Board of Directors, is a Downriver Chamber of Commerce Board Member, and holds an undergraduate degree in Accounting and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Michigan.

Chief Executive Officer, Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency

Louis Piszker

Jill Sutton, Secretary & Treasurer

Jill Sutton has served as the Executive Director for Mid Michigan Community Action, a private non-profit organization, since 2009. The Agency utilizes $10 million in federal and state funds to support services for low-income families in Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Mecosta, Midland and Osceola Counties. Ms. Sutton has been with the agency for 27 years serving in other administrative roles. She was recently elected to serve as the Chairperson of the Commission on Community Action & Economic Opportunity in which she was appointed by Governor Snyder in 2012. She also serves as the Secretary & Treasurer of the Michigan Community Action Agency Association and previously as the Lower Peninsula Rural Officer. Jill holds a Master’s degree in Community Agency Counseling and Bachelor’s degree in Human Development/Psychology. She previously served as an adjunct professor at Central Michigan University for 21 years teaching courses in child development, family studies and counseling education.

Executive Director, Mid Michigan Community Action Agency

Jill Sutton

Toby Berry, At-Large Officer

Toby Berry is the CEO of Community Action Agency (CAA) and has been with the organization for 17 years. Prior to becoming the CEO in 2012, Toby was the agency’s Community Development Director managing the Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) activities of CAA for the City of Jackson and MSHDA; the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 3 for Jackson County; and the agency’s asset development and homeless programs. Toby has a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from Wayne State University and a B.A. in Psychology from Kalamazoo College.

Chief Executive Officer, Community Action Agency

 Toby Berry

Kerri Duff, Upper Peninsula Officer

Kerri Duff was appointed to the MCA Board of Directors as Upper Peninsula Rural Officer in 2014 to fulfill the term of retiring Earl Hawn of Community Action Alger Marquette. She is currently the executive director of member agency Gogebic Ontonagon Community Action Agency, following her appointment on January 1, 2013. As executive director, Kerri oversees a multi-million dollar budget and is responsible for all administration, programmatic, and fiscal operations. She ensures collaboration and communications among agency staff, clients, and community partners. Prior to her appointment as GOCAA’s executive director, Kerri served as the agency’s head accountant since 2006. In addition to her work at GOCAA and as a member of the MCA board, Kerri has served on the board of the Upper Peninsula Community Action Network (UPCAN), as secretary-treasurer and as president. She received her BS in Accounting from Northern Michigan University and maintains her license as a certified public account.

Executive Director, Gogebic-Ontonagon Community Action Agency

 

Art Fenrick, Lower Peninsula & Rural Officer

Art Fenrick has been the executive director of Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency since 1999, serving Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties. After retiring from the US Air Force in 1990, he worked as an executive director for a local homeless shelter and as a district representative for US Congressman Fred Upton. This is Art’s second go-round on the MCA board after having served from 2000-2005 before his re-election as Lower Peninsula-Rural officer in 2015. He also served as the chair of the association’s Weatherization Committee for 10 years. At SMCAA, he led the agency to its successful completion of the federal Organizational Standards, produces a string of consistently clean fiscal audits, and has recently completed the requirements to attain the Certified Community Action Professional designation.

Executive Director, Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency

 Art Fenrick

Rhonda M. Powell, Urban Officer

Rhonda Powell has been director of Macomb Community Action since 2014, when she returned to her hometown of Macomb County after working with the State of Michigan as deputy director for what is now the Aging and Adult Services Agency. Prior to that time Rhonda received a historic appointment as the first African American woman appointed as Director by the newly elected and first ever Macomb County Executive, Mark Hackel. Prior to serving in leadership roles with county and state government, Rhonda worked in homeless services in both Macomb and Oakland Counties as Director of MCREST and as Associate Director of South Oakland Shelter. She also worked as business manager for the public private education venture, Mount Clemens Secondary Academies. As a lifelong resident of Macomb County Rhonda has been committed to the work of equity and inclusion, education and human services for over 20 years. She is a firm believer in organizational structure, leadership development and collective impact. She holds a graduate degree in Human Services from Capella University and a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Siena Heights University. As a former student in Macomb County’s Head Start program, which she now oversees, Rhonda fully understands the responsibility of leadership on difficult issues such as equity, inclusion and poverty.

Director, Macomb Community Action

 Rhonda Powell

Matthew Purcell, Directors Council Chair

Matt Purcell is a lifetime resident of Michigan’s Genesee County. Devoting his adult life serving the residents of Genesee County shows his dedication and commitment to his community. He has demonstrated this devotion by working with the Genesee County Community Action Department for over 23 years. Matt has 19 years of programming experience, working as a director in all areas of programming within GCCARD; finance director, nutrition services, neighborhood services, weatherization, and commodity foods. Matt has demonstrated an ability to analyze existing program processes and procedures, to redesign and develop methods that increase efficiencies in an effort to meet desired program objectives and outcomes, and an understanding and compassion for the issues faced by individuals and families experiencing and struggling with the effects of poverty. The nature of his chosen career has allowed him to be involved in various community service acts, such as; community cleanup projects, painting projects, neighborhood park cleanup and completing chores to help service the seniors in the Flint community. Matt is reliable; actively involved in church activities, leads a faith filled life, trustworthy, dependable and will always provide an honest, fair and objective point of view. As GCCARD’s executive director, Matt plans on continuing to make great changes in Genesee County. He believes that through effective, impactful, and compassionate programming and interactions, we can positively affect an individual, thus positively affect a family, and thus positively affect our community.

Executive Director, Genesee County Community Action Resource Department

 Matt Purcell

Eric Schertzing, Community Action Agency Governing Board Representative

Eric Schertzing holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University’s James Madison College (JMCD ’85) and a Masters of Public Administration from Western Michigan University (’00). Mr. Schertzing has been the elected Ingham County Treasurer since 2000. His prior public service includes 8 years as Chief Deputy Drain Commissioner and 9 years as Special Assistant to Congressman Bob Carr (D-MI). In 2005, Mr. Schertzing led the creation of the Ingham County Land Bank Fast Track Authority, the second County authority in Michigan, and serves as Chair. The Land Bank is a significant public developer. Innovative approaches to demolition, community building, business incubation, land reutilization, and Place Making efforts are a few of the organization's specializations. Over 200 families have realized the dream of home ownership in a Land Bank home. Mr. Schertzing has been a leader in the tri-county area for foreclosure prevention and consumer financial literacy. He serves on the Capital Area Community Services Board of Directors as the 1st Vice President. He is also a Board member of Michigan Community Action. The Schertzing family resides in East Lansing. Mr. Schertzing and his wife Nancy are proud parents of three teenagers. They enjoy travel, reading and gardening. Professionally, Mr. Schertzing is a member of the Michigan Government Finance Officers Association (MGFOA), Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM), the Urban Land Institute, the Michigan Sense of Place Council, and many other financial and development organizations.

1st Vice President of the Board of Directors, Capital Area Community Services

 Eric Schertzing