Our Board of Directors is made up of community leaders with expertise in a wide range of areas unified by their passion for our mission and their commitment to our vision of full community inclusion for everyone. The Board of Directors supports MOKA by providing strategic and financial leadership and acting as ambassadors for the organization.
April 26, 2023
6:30pm- Corporation Board
The Foundation Board will meet following the Corporation meeting.
Know Honesty, Marne, MI
Patricia serves as the Emergency Preparedness Specialist for the Kent County Health Department. Her areas of expertise included preparedness education and training. Patricia’s career highlights include the response to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic and the 2020-2021 COVID-19 pandemic as well as several local public health emergencies. Patricia also worked to develop and implement the Kent County Inclusive Preparedness Program. She is passionate about bringing experts from various sectors to the table to bring fresh perspectives to community wellness and safety. She is inspired by MOKA’s dedication to inclusion and shared community. Patricia earned her BS in Health Studies/Emergency Management from Walden University and her Professional Emergency Manager Certificate from the Michigan State Police.
Richard Cornell, Jr.,
Rick served as Corporate Counsel/Director of Administration at the Community Foundation for nearly nine years. His areas of expertise include business, tax, estate planning/settlement and real estate law. In the past, Rick has worked at two private law practices and was the Owner/Operator of GNC stores before landing at the Community Foundation. He is personally and professionally passionate about seeing the positive growth and development of the greater Muskegon community. Rick believes that efforts to make the downtown welcoming and accessible to all people, strategies to provide quality education to all children, and economic redevelopment opportunities all make Muskegon a great place to live and work. He feels inspired by MOKA’s mission to help people to become self-sufficient, independent members of the wider community. Rick received his BA from Michigan State University and his Juris Doctor from Wayne State University Law School.
Board meetings are held on the 4th Wednesday of January, April, July, and October.
(At the time and location as listed above unless otherwise noted.)
Judi is a Special Education Teacher at Lincoln School in Grand Rapids. Previously, she served as Assistant Coordinator for Handicapped Services at Grand Rapids Community College. Her areas of expertise include autism and transition. Judi’s passion for special education is evident in her personal and professional life. She understands that her work is making a positive impact in helping each individual grow, gain skills and work towards independence. Judi strives to teach her student’s skills that will be used in their journey once they are finished with their schooling and to assist in building the bridge from school to community that is beneficial for both students and parents. Judi is inspired by MOKA’s culture. MOKA is deeply rooted in its values and believes in helping others live their best life by becoming more independent and confident in their abilities. Being on the MOKA Board has allowed her to be part of something bigger, seeing the individuals that we serve become part of a family and community. Judi earned her BS (endorsements: Gen Ed/EI/MI/ASD) from Grand Valley State University and her Masters in Administration/Education from Grand Valley State University and Oakland University.
Julie is a Senior Strategist at Brightly Interactive. Her background is in Advertising and Design, she spent many years freelancing in Chicago before moving to Grand Rapids and opening her own branding agency, BOXBOOM.creative. She pivoted two years ago into technology where she is currently enjoying doing UI/UX strategy. In her current role, Julie’s job is to uncover what people want or need. In everything she does, she is always trying to understand the human behavior around it. Building successful brands for companies and then watching them flourish, grow, and succeed is the greatest reward she could ever have. Julie is passionate about people; human connection is at the heart of everything she does. She loves her community and is passionate about contributing to its diversity, opportunities, and authenticity. Julie believes that MOKA gives strength, dignity, and human connection to an underserved community. People with disabilities deserve these things, just like everyone else does, and MOKA is a home where joy and pride are felt. Julie earned her BA in Advertising from Michigan State University and went on to study Art Direction at Brainco, Minneapolis School of Advertising.
Mary spent nearly 30 years championing the individualized planning and respect of persons with chronic and persistent mental illness, substance abuse, and/or intellectual deficits. In her roles, Mary was able to develop expertise in the field of corporate compliance including accreditation, financial fraud and abuse, ethics, policy development, records management. Alongside of that career, she also worked to foster healthy and thriving families formed through adoption (both domestic and international). Mary’s passion includes individualized planning and support, reduction of stigma, community inclusion, ethical organizational operations, and adoption of children with special needs into families.
When asked what inspires her about MOKA, Mary had this to say, “About 30 years ago, I happen to be in a MOKA home on two separate occasions when two different men moved in from the state institution. Both those gentlemen are still living in that home all these years later. MOKA was able to provide them with continuity, sameness, and consistency for over three decades. That level of commitment is truly inspiring. I am proud and honored to be able to serve an organization that has so well served my fellow humans.” Mary earned her BS from the University of Michigan and her Masters in Community Health Psychology from Western Illinois University.
Mittie Den Herder
Mittie is an Adjunct Professor of Communication at Calvin University. Before moving to West Michigan, she served as a Professor for 31 years at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. She was also the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Education and the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Mittie’s areas of expertise include public speaking, interpersonal communication, and health communication. She is passionate about education, music, theatre, literature, and animals. There are many characteristics that inspire her about MOKA, however, these can be summed up in MOKA’s intentional mission of seeing every client as an individual and helping that individual reach his or her potential. She is also inspired by and appreciates all of the employees at MOKA, especially those on the frontline, for their conscientious care and respect. Mittie earned her Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. in Speech Communication from the University of Southern Mississippi, the University of Illinois, and the University of Florida, respectively.
Zachary serves as a Personal Counselor at Aquinas College. His expertise is in working with older adolescents and young adults to address the specific struggles that occur during that transition into adulthood. He also has expertise in assisting those with trauma work through the past to decrease its negative influence on the present. More recently he has been focusing on assisting novice masters-level counselors to become licensed and to focus on utilizing their strengths for the betterment of their craft.
Zachary is passionate about improving mental health awareness, decreasing mental health stigma, and advancing mental health services for marginalized and underserved populations in West Michigan. MOKA inspires Zachary through their genuine interest in investing in those MOKA serves and its community of employees and volunteers. Zachary received his BS in Psychology from Central Michigan University and his Masters of Arts in Counseling from Spring Arbor University.
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