What is your current employment and what types of responsibilities do you most often fulfill for your career? What do you like about your career best?
Finance & Risk Director for Redford Township. I was appointed to this position after serving 6 years as an elected official. I manage and execute a $70M annual budget, negotiate contracts, and work with the chief administrator on long-term planning and development. I am an owner at the Coeus Creative Group, a marketing and training development company with a focus on understanding behavior. My work there also focuses on strategic planning and long-term thinking. I love seeing goals become reality.
What do you consider to be your three greatest assets?
Passion. Those who have worked with me know that I am deeply passionate about what we do in JCI and I am willing to share that passion with everyone I speak to.
Communication. I know how to build a team, manage personalities, and play to people’s strengths. I know how important it is to actively listen and act with intention.
Grounded. I know that decisions must be strategic, rooted in data, and made with a long-term view. I have the experience both in and out of the organization to do just that.
What is the most important role of the position you are running for?
Being the Leader. The state president sets the standard in many ways. How the Board of Directors operates, how the state interacts with both local chapters and local members, how the state is perceived by JCI USA and JCI, and how the state organization is perceived by our current and future external partners.
What would the role of the state board of directors be in your administration?
First and foremost, to be a highly-functioning team. We cannot be of support to anyone else if we are not a support to each other first. Our team retreat will be focused on brainstorming and coming together as one. Second, to be a resource. Our job as a state organization is to provide support, resources, ideas, inspiration, and guidance to the local chapter and the local members.
Are there any new ideas or programs you would like to implement?
To establish an annual Advocacy Day in Lansing. JCI USA partners with the UN Foundation every year to send members to our nation’s capital to advocate for the funding needed to eradicate malaria. I want to see us establish a similar program here in Michigan which will give our members the opportunity to meet with our elected officials to advocate on what matters most to us back home. It may start small, but I know we have the resources to pull it off.
What do you think is the greatest need of this organization right now?
Pre Covid-19? Membership. Post Covid-19? Membership. For recruitment, our focus should be on Generation Z – they will be turning 26 in 2021 and there are millions of them. For retention, we must find ways to provide more value than ever in a virtual setting due to COVID. Membership must be our focus, and as always, membership must have benefits. But what that means needs to be redefined for our new post-COVID reality and a new generation of rising leaders.
What inspired you to seek the position you are running for?
JCI has played a pivotal role in my life for nearly 20 years, and I have been fortunate to work side-by-side with many talented leaders who have helped make me become the person I am today. I want to pay it forward, by using my experience and knowledge to provide the same or even greater opportunities for future leaders in this organization.