Providing leadership and resources needed to connect complex community challenges with high impact solutions in Macomb County.
Each member of Advancing Macomb’s board of directors has a professional or personal connection to Macomb County and a professional or personal leadership role in the broader Detroit Region.
The community benefits provided by Advancing Macomb are made possible because of our dedicated partners. These organizations are champions within the community.
Connect to valuable resources for nonprofits, volunteers, fundraising, and community collaboration.
The Roundtable meets virtually every other Wednesday at 1:00 pm with some in-person meetings throughout the year – please see the schedule for specific dates.
Our highly invested board of directors and our experienced staff leverage their collective leadership and regional relationships to foster collaboration and to connect resources to communities, programs, and projects in need.
Executive DirectorRead Bio
Growing up in Mount Clemens, Michigan, Phil showed an interest in both the arts and civic engagement. As an aspiring artist, he enjoyed the act of creating through ceramics, photography and music. These interests continued as he began studies at Northern Michigan University where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts and became involved in student organizations that promoted the arts. Following graduation as an avid photographer, Phil gained employment at Wayne State University, where he spent much of his early career as an administrator of simulation facilities at the School of Medicine while continuing to make photographs and exhibit them in the Detroit region.
After obtaining a Master of Public Administration at Wayne State University, Phil went on to work with nonprofit organizations and became Executive Director of the Anton Art Center, where he worked to expand programming, increase accessibility, and grow the visibility of the organization. Now with Advancing Macomb, he is excited to play a part in creating a more vibrant and sustainable nonprofit and philanthropic community in Macomb County.
Phil has served in leadership roles in local organizations, helped to found new nonprofit Macomb County Pride, and serves on the board of regional arts & culture organization CultureSource. Phil is an appointee to the Macomb County Art Institute Authority where he serves as Chair, and to the Mount Clemens Downtown Development Authority, also serving as its Chair. In 2021, he received Sterling Heights’ Diversity Distinction award, and recognition from Crains Detroit Business as a Notable LGBTQ in Business. As a proud Kiwanian, Phil was recognized in 2023 for his contributions to the Kiwanis Club of Mount Clemens with the George F. Hixson Fellowship.
Program ManagerRead Bio
Angela Lenda serves as the Program Manager for Advancing Macomb. She is actively engaged in development, programming, and community engagement for the organization’s initiatives. Her nonprofit experience is well utilized in leading Advancing Macomb’s Nonprofit Roundtable and in developing collaborations with local, state, and regional groups. She promotes the efforts of Advancing Macomb as well as Macomb County’s assets through her participation in many community events, partnerships, and coalitions.
Her career has taken her through the nonprofit, public, and corporate sectors, and she brings more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit administration, program/project management, social impact, community development, and communications. Prior to formally joining the Advancing Macomb staff in 2018, she volunteered for the organization since its early days in 2015.
Angela is a Macomb County native and enjoys taking advantage of the many community and cultural events that the county has to offer. She holds a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Michigan. She is an active volunteer in the community and was a Community Engagement Fellow with the Michigan Community Service Commission.
Social Media CoordinatorRead Bio
Social Media Coordinator
Autumn Colombo serves as the Social Media Coordinator for Advancing Macomb. She handles all social media for the organization, including the planning and execution of campaigns and intent-driven content. Since taking on this role, Autumn has implemented many new series to Advancing Macomb’s social media platforms including Meet the Faces Behind Advancing Macomb, Thankful Thursdays, Things To Do in Macomb County, and Loving Where You Live: Community Spaces. These projects have garnered great support from those within the Macomb County community.
Autumn is a Macomb County native and has a passion for bettering her community both through her work at Advancing Macomb and in her personal life. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Oakland University in communication.
Each member of Advancing Macomb’s board of directors has a professional or personal connection to Macomb County, and a professional or personal leadership role in the broader Detroit Region. Their mission is to provide thoughtful civic leadership to Macomb County, empower community development and provide a deeper connection to the region at large.
Kapnick Insurance Group
Kapnick Insurance Group
Brian is a Senior Vice President of Commercial Insurance and Risk with Kapnick Insurance Group. At Kapnick, Brian partners with organizations to place minimize risk and reduce cost.
Founded in 1946, Kapnick Insurance is an independent advisory firm with Michigan roots and a global reach. Our 180+ colleagues provide expert guidance and creative problem-solving pertaining to business insurance, risk solutions, employee benefits, worksite well-being, and personal insurance to a vast and diverse base of clients worldwide. For over 76 years, companies and individuals have looked to Kapnick as a trusted advisor, providing solutions that protect their operations and employees.
Brian is a proud graduate of Central Michigan University, where he completed his undergraduate degree and Walsh College, where he completed his Masters of Business Administration. Brian is actively involved in community organizations: Advancing Macomb, Walsh College Foundation Board, Walsh College Trustee.
First State Bank
First State Bank
Kelly Walters serves as the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of First State Bank. She is responsible for assessing and mitigating risks, overseeing collections, managing litigation and all aspects of banking and finance law. She also oversees regulatory, compliance, examination, privacy and other statutory requirements. Kelly grew up and was raised in Oakland County where she remains active in the community, including with her alma mater Marian High School, and at St. Hugo Parish. She graduated third in her law school class at the University of Detroit Mercy, all while supporting her husband’s business and raising her children. Her proudest accomplishments are her eight children, all of whom live locally.
Her legal profession started in labor and employment at Dykema Gossett, but she changed courses during the recession and accepted a job at First State Bank in 2009. Her most rewarding accomplishment in her legal profession was being a part of the team at First State Bank that worked with struggling borrowers and successfully found a way to allow most of them to stay in their homes – retaining their dignity and integrity.
USI Insurance Services
USI Insurance Services
Mark Cullen is a Senior Vice President at USI Insurance Services. He and his wife Julie have recently made Macomb their home. In addition to his background in commercial construction, development and real estate, Mark brings his talents in marketing and sales as well as his regional connections to the Advancing Macomb board.
Biewer LumberRead Bio
Mick Brody is the Chief Financial Officer of Biewer Lumber. Mick has extensive experience covering all aspects of finance and accounting throughout his thirty years of experience. Mick is a highly motivated financial professional with deep experience in all aspects of finance and overall management.
Mick was born and raised in Macomb County and remains a committed resident, where he and his wife are raising their two daughters. Mick is a proud member and volunteer at St. Paul of Tarsus Parish in Clinton Township.
Consumers EnergyRead Bio
Lauren Brosch is a Community Affairs Manager for Consumers Energy, serving Macomb and St. Clair counties. She works with key stakeholders, local governments, and customers to build relationships and foster partnerships between the company and communities in Southeast Michigan.
Lauren is an active community member and advocate. She sits on the Board of Directors for NAMI Michigan and the Macomb County Chamber of Commerce as well as serving on the Detroit Economic Club Young Leaders Board. She enjoys volunteering her time and supporting various nonprofit organizations including ALS of Michigan, NAMI Michigan, Bark Nation and more. She is originally from Clinton Township and currently resides in Shelby Township.
Warner Norcross + JuddRead Bio
Warner Norcross + Judd
Matt Casey is a partner at Warner Norcross + Judd, one of the largest law firms in Michigan with eight Michigan offices and more than 200 attorneys. While his practice is business based, he has a specialized focus in representing financing institutions in the documentation of commercial loans as well as the workout of troubled loans. Active in the community, he is a board member of the Macomb County Chamber of Commerce, the St. John Providence Foundation Board and the Macomb Community College Foundation Board. He is a magna cum laude graduate of the Wayne State University School of Business Administration and has a juris doctorate degree from Wayne State University Law School. Casey is a lifelong Macomb County resident and has practiced law in the county for nearly twenty-five years.
Fifth Third BankRead Bio
Fifth Third Bank
David Girodat is president and chief executive officer of Fifth Third Bank for Eastern Michigan. His first job in the industry was in 1988 when he worked as a junior loan officer for First National Bank. Since then, the bank transitioned to Old Kent Bank and then Fifth Third. Over the years, Girodat held positions of increasing responsibility including regional loan officer, middle market banker, chief of real estate and senior commercial banker. He became president in 2007. He also serves on the boards of Walsh College Foundation, Detroit Regional Chamber, New Detroit and Henry Ford Macomb Hospital. Girodat grew up in Warren and attended classes at Macomb Community College. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in finance from Walsh College. David served as Advancing Macomb’s board chair from the organization’s inception through 2020.
Goodwill of Greater DetroitRead Bio
Goodwill of Greater Detroit
Gayle Joseph is Vice President of Communications, Marketing and Government Affairs for Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit. She is an award-winning communications leader and experienced brand journalist skilled in organizational change, corporate and executive communications and multi-media storytelling. Over the years, Gayle has held leadership positions working with many notable brands, including Microsoft, the Rock Ventures Family of Companies, Guardian Industries, General Motors, Kelly Services, Sprint, Wahlburgers and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
A lifelong Macomb County resident, Gayle is active in her community. She serves on the board of Advancing Macomb and is a member of Macomb County Chamber, Inforum, Detroit Regional Chamber, Detroit Economic Club and Public Relations Society of America. Gayle earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and public relations from Northern Illinois University. She is currently enrolled in the Fine Art program at Macomb Community College.
Kathleen Klein is a 30-year veteran of the environmental services industry in SE Michigan. She has been employed by WM (formerly known as Waste Management) since 2003 and serves as Community Relations Representative for WM’s Pine Tree Acres Landfill since 2008. She has provided environmental education to over 30,000 individuals over the last 14 years including Leadership Macomb participants and students at Macomb Community College.
Macomb County Chamber of CommerceRead Bio
Macomb County Chamber of Commerce
Kelley Lovati received her BSA and MSA degrees from Central Michigan University and a PhD in Management with a specialization in Leadership and Organizational change from Walden University. Kelley is an accomplished professional with a strong operations background who is well-connected throughout Macomb County. She has a wide spectrum of experience both in the public health and the corporate sector with experience in management, marketing, community outreach, event development and public speaking. Kelley has an active membership in the American Management Association; participated in the Leadership Macomb Class XVII (2014) and Multicultural Leadership Training (2014). Dr. Lovati is actively engaged with community groups to stimulate social change in equity for all individuals and is on the Board of Directors for Macomb Act (Active Cultural Togetherness). Kelley was born and raised in Macomb County and truly supports Making Macomb Your Home or workplace of choice. She is looking forward to leading the Macomb County Chamber of Commerce into its next chapter.
Chaldean Community FoundationRead Bio
Chaldean Community Foundation
Martin Manna is the President of The Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce and the Chaldean Community Foundation. The Chaldean Chamber of Commerce seeks to represent the estimated 15,000 Chaldean owned businesses in Michigan. The Chaldean Community Foundation provides social services to more than 18,000 annually. Martin is also one of the founders and publishers of The Chaldean News, a monthly magazine distributed to over 10,000 Chaldean households. Martin is involved in several civic and community affairs. Currently he is a Director for New Detroit and Advancing Macomb, one of the organizers and Board member of The Bank of Michigan, a Director for the Nineveh Council of America and an Advisor with In Defense of Christians.
Doeren MayhewRead Bio
Megan McCandlish is a shareholder with Doeren Mayhew. She has more than 12 years of experience in accounting and audit management, specializing in working with nonprofit organizations. She is an Impact 100 Metro Detroit member and serves on the audit committee for Leader Dogs for the Blind.
The Monahan CompanyRead Bio
The Monahan Company
John McGrath is the director of administration and growth for The Monahan Company, a provider of commercial construction management services. He oversees business administration and development activities in his role as director. He has a background in sales, marketing, strategy and logistics.
O'Reilly Rancilio P.C.Read Bio
O'Reilly Rancilio P.C.
John Nitz is a founding member of O’Reilly Rancilio P.C. and has served as a director and officer of the Law Firm. During his 40 years as a practicing attorney, Nitz has broad experience in many areas of the law. Nitz coordinated the work of several law firms in the drafting of the Charter for the County of Macomb, which was approved by the electorate in November 2009. The firm was general counsel for the Macomb County Charter Commission, and currently is special counsel to the Macomb County Executive, Mark A. Hackel. Active in the community, Nitz has served as a director and officer of many organizations including as a trustee, secretary and president of Warren Consolidated Schools, as a director of the Warren, Center Line, Sterling Heights Chamber of Commerce, president of the Warren Rotary Club, founder and past president of Leadership Macomb, trustee of the Warren Consolidated Schools Foundation, trustee for the Utica School Foundation for Educational Excellence, and director and president of Friends of the Octagon House.
DTE EnergyRead Bio
Tomara Nolen is a Public Affairs Manager at DTE where she oversees their DTE Care Force volunteer program. She is a resident of Macomb County and is well connected in the region. She also has a close relationship with the DTE Foundation.
Great Lakes Cremation & Burial CareRead Bio
Great Lakes Cremation & Burial Care
Jon O’Hara is the CEO of Great Lakes Cremation & Burial Care, a new funeral home scheduled to open later this year in Chesterfield Township. He is also the founder and CEO of Great Lakes Partnership, a Macomb County-based funeral home consulting business. He serves on the executive board of the Martha T. Berry Foundation, is the acting president of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association: District 6 and is a former board member of the Grosse Pointe Senior Commission.
Macomb Community CollegeRead Bio
Macomb Community College
Jim Sawyer became the sixth president of Macomb Community College on July 1, 2017. During his fifteen years at Macomb, he has served as the Dean of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Vice Provost for Career Programs, and Provost and Senior Vice President for the Learning Unit. Prior to joining Macomb Community College, Jim held leadership positions in engineering, quality, and operations at companies such as Chrysler, Dana, Ancor and New Haven Foundry. Jim is an American Society for Quality Certified Quality Engineer and he holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University, a Master of Science in Administration and Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Central Michigan University. Jim currently serves on the boards of Leadership Macomb, St. John Providence Hospital, Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development, Advancing Macomb, Michigan Design Council and the American Society of Body Engineers Foundation.
Barton Malow CompanyRead Bio
Barton Malow Company
Max Schuster is the director of project development for Barton Malow Company. He has been with Barton Malow in project management and engineering capacities for more than 17 years. He actively supports Turning Point Macomb and serves on the Michigan Energy Innovators Business Council Board. Schuster is a graduate of Fraser High School and currently resides in Fraser.
Maria has spent her career assisting businesses with HR and insurance. Over the past 26 years Maria has focused primarily on HR administration and being an advisor for businesses throughout the US. Maria spends her days meeting with business owners and corporate leaders. She truly enjoys these meetings, loves the stories and hearing about their successes, challenges and learning about how she can assist by providing them with a service model, that is specifically designed for them, which allows businesses to focus on their mission; their product, their service and increasing their market share. By Maria and her “partner PEOs” assisting their clients with “all things HR,” this frees up the business to focus on their mission.
Maria loves the challenges presented by each business and works hard to help them improve and progress through the vast and diverse services offered by her partner PEOs.
In addition to her career, Maria is very involved in her community and serves in the following capacity:
Board – Advancing Macomb
Executive Board – The Macomb Chamber
Board – Macomb Community College Foundation
Advisory Board – Families Against Narcotics
Advisory – Habitat for Humanity Macomb
When Maria is not at work, she is a voracious reader and loves the outdoors; everything from gardening, downhill skiing, bicycling, kayaking and golf, which she especially loves to play with her husband Craig Sherman and her two sons Dylan and Michael. The family is quite competitive with each other, and their outings are always interesting. Maria is also an artist and formed My Sister’s Jewelry in 2009. Maria and her jewelry can often be found participating in Fine Art Shows in Northern Michigan on the weekends and her jewelry is in several boutiques and artisan markets throughout Michigan as well.
RCO EngineeringRead Bio
Jeff Simek is the general manager of RCO Engineering, where he leads Aerospace and Automotive operations. He serves on the board of directors for the Aerospace Industry Association of Michigan (AIAM) and FIRST Robotics. Simek is passionate about efforts to build the talent pipeline and enhance Macomb County. RCO Engineering recently received the Macomb Business Award for a leader in Diversification.
Switalski LawRead Bio
Jodi Debbrecht Switalski served as an Assistant Macomb County Prosecutor then Magistrate of the 45th District Court before being appointed to the bench by the Governor of the State of Michigan where she served from 2010-2016. A nationally recognized speaker on the subject of addiction, mental health, violence and the law, she returned to the courtroom in 2016 by founding Switalski Law which specializes in family and criminal law, litigation, consulting and advocacy. She fluently understands substance abuse addiction and has become a zealous and unique advocate for individuals both in the courtroom and out.
Jodi has received numerous awards including the first-ever WMU Cooley Law School Integrity In Our Communities Award. She serves on the board of Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works. Jodi resides in Macomb County and is married to Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Mark S. Switalski (retired) and has two teenage children. Her personal motto is: Be The Change. Do Something.
Lipari FoodsRead Bio
Ellen Wood is the chief human resources officer of Lipari Foods. She is a highly skilled leader with expertise in human resources, organizational development and talent management. She previously held senior leadership roles at Thyssenkrupp and GM. She succeeds Thom Lipari, president of Lipari Foods, who served on the Advancing Macomb Board of Directors for eight years.
Connect MacombRead Bio
Stacy Ziarko serves as the President and CEO of Connect Macomb (formerly the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry). She brings a wealth of knowledge in the areas of fundraising, strategic planning, and non-profit management in addition to her relationships with a wide range of business, non-profit and community leaders. She is also a life-long resident of Macomb County.
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Photos Provided by Anne Nicolazzo
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