Mentoring Program

The Council of Michigan Foundations is deeply committed to ensuring a pipeline of diverse professionals receive the tools, strategies and resources needed to advance into leadership roles in philanthropy.

The CMF Mentoring Program is an opportunity for those who have recently entered the field to grow in their work in partnership with an established professional, though mentors often say they find the experience equally rewarding.

The six-month experience includes executive coaching aimed at developing a personalized career plan for the mentee, beginning with a 360-degree leadership assessment. The program features curriculum-based professional and personal development on topics ranging from emotional intelligence and balancing home-work life to developing a personal brand. Each mentee also designs and completes a capstone project that advances the field and their professional growth. In addition to one-on-one meetings between mentors and mentees, the program includes in-person peer learning and sessions conducted via webinar for the entire cohort, allowing participants to interact with both established and emerging philanthropic leaders from across the state.

Mentoring Program participants:

  • CONNECT: Through monthly engagements, foster long-lasting business relationships and share your knowledge
  • DEVELOP: Through webinars and personalized sessions with an executive coach, develop your leadership style
  • LEARN: Through in-person meetings, webinars and 1:1 interaction, learn from those who have deep expertise in philanthropy
  • GROW: Through intentional engagement, expand your leadership skills and broaden your professional network

“My mentee has been a joy to work with! I think we have both benefited professionally from the tools shared by the CMF team and fabulous consultants during our statewide webinars and group meetings. I have had the opportunity to expand my own professional network in the interaction with our cohort."

-Martha Gonzalez-Cortes, vice president, community investment, Kalamazoo Community Foundation

Forging a New Future for our Mentoring Program

CMF’s Mentoring Program fosters deep connections among emerging leaders and established professionals in the field, helping them to expand their network and advance their leadership. The program helps to build long-lasting professional relationships through strategically designed 1:1 engagements and in-person peer-to-peer learning opportunities.

As we look ahead to the future of our Mentoring Program, it is critical we continue offering this high value and unique networking and leadership curriculum to ensure a pipeline of diverse professionals receive the tools, strategies and resources needed to advance into leadership roles in philanthropy. We want to do so with great intentionality around the program design to maintain the quality and value that past mentees and mentors have experienced, and unfortunately a virtual environment doesn’t fully enable that experience.

With that in mind and with the duration of the pandemic unknown, we have decided that instead of launching a new cohort that would kick off in November 2020, we’ll take this time to enhance the format of the program, strengthen our alumni network development and explore interim opportunities to support emerging professionals. CMF will look to welcome our next Mentoring Program cohort the following year.

Honoring CMF's Mentoring Program 2020 Cohort 

On June 5, CMF hosted a virtual graduation to honor our Mentoring Program 2020 cohort. We are appreciative of our mentors and mentees for their dedication to the program and the advancement of their leadership during these uncertain and challenging times. Providing a space to foster connections for personal and professional support, growth and development is more important now than ever to ensure our community of philanthropy has the tools and resources to lead in turbulent times and beyond.

Throughout the six month program, the 2020 cohort engaged in meaningful networking opportunities and interactive workshops. Together they explored leadership through the lens of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Once the pandemic began to unfold the program shifted to a virtual format providing programming for mentees and mentors on emotional intelligence and how to authentically lead in crisis situations, among other experiences.

To our mentors and mentees, we are deeply grateful for your time, dedication and your exceptional demonstration of leadership to our field. 

The Mentoring Program continues CMF's commitment to ensure a pipeline of diverse professionals receive the tools, strategies and resources needed to advance into leadership roles in philanthropy. We are thankful for our mentors. This program would not be possible without their leadership, deep expertise from the field and passion for philanthropy. We look forward to sharing information about the application process for our next cohort soon. 

A special thanks to the Non-Profit Personnel Network for sponsoring the Mentoring Program.

Meet Our 2020 Cohort of Mentees and Mentors


  • Lenzi Abma, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
  • Ammara Ansari, CMF/The Skillman Foundation
  • Lindsey Barrett, CMF/The Skillman Foundation
  • Danielle Nelson Beard, Michigan Municipal League Foundation
  • Derek Daly, Community Foundation of St. Clair County
  • Sarah Ford, Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation
  • Jocelyn Hines, Community Foundation for Muskegon County
  • Veronica Marchese, William Davidson Foundation
  • Erin Marie McDonald, Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation
  • Connor McLaughlin, The Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation
  • Laura Montoye, Greenville Area Community Foundation
  • Tim Niyonsenga, Michigan Health Endowment Fund
  • Jonathan Pulley, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Jennifer Ruud, CMF
  • Audrey Sochor, Community Foundation of St. Clair County
  • Angela Williams, Startup Space


  • Heidi Alcock, McGregor Fund
  • Annette Chapman, Battle Creek Community Foundation
  • Cris Doby, Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation
  • Natalie Fotias, The Skillman Foundation
  • Maria Gonzalez, Fremont Area Community Foundation
  • Angela Graham, The John E. Fetzer Institute
  • Lauren Grevel, Grand Haven Area Community Foundation
  • Audrey Harvey, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation
  • Hassan Jaber, Center for Arab American Philanthropy
  • George Jacobsen, William Davidson Foundation
  • Renee Johnston, Saginaw Community Foundation
  • Benita Melton, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
  • Sharon Mortensen, Midland Community Foundation
  • Monica Moser, Jackson Community Foundation
  • Surabhi Pandit, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
  • Randy Walainis, Metro Health Foundation
  • Lynn Williams, Community Foundation of Greater Flint


  • View full list of previous program participants*:

    *List only includes cohort participants who opted to be identified in CMF communications. Associated organizations were last updated Summer 2019.*

    • Raquel Robinson, Ruth Mott Foundation
    • Jaqueline Northrop (Baker), AARP, Washington DC
    • Danielle Williams, DMWilliams Consulting LLC   
    • Jonse Young, Grand Rapids Community Foundation   
    • Donna Murray Brown, Michigan Nonprofit Association   
    • LeAnda Hicks   
    • Rhonda Jordan    
    • Robert Morgan, LACERA   
    • Angela Wynn, OrganoGold   
    • Arielle Milton, C.S. Mott Foundation  
    • Carol Garder, State of Michigan   
    • Cheryl Williams   
    • Lynnette Ferrell, Frey Foundation   
    • Eboni Taylor (Wells), M.P.P, Mothering Justice   
    • Danielle Skoneski  
    • Katherine Asuncion, Center for Arab American Philanthropy  
    • Kelly Cleaver, FoodCorps   
    • LaNesha DeBardelaben, Northwest African American Museum   
    • Arelis Diaz, W.K. Kellogg Foundation  
    • Raphael Price  
    • Ronda Alexander, Boston Medical Center, Vital Village  
    • Stephanie Awalt, Foreign Links Around the Globe   
    • Andrew Tyus, R1 RCM  
    • Daniela Angevine, Tenneco, Coldwater, MI   
    • Ciara Coleman, W.K. Kellogg Foundation   
    • Alyssa Curran, Missouri Foundation for Health  
    • Christina Feldermann  
    • Jessica Ledesma, Ferris State University 
    • Chelsea Liddy, Center for Arab American Philanthropy  
    • Alana White, W.K. Kellogg Foundation  
    • Malia Xie, Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation  
    • Ebony White, Prosperity Now 
    • Meagan Dunn, Henry Ford Health System   
    • Amber Williams  
    • Adrian Walker, Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce
    • Benjamin Oliver, Grand Rapids Community Foundation   
    • Katelyn Videto, Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation   
    • Nichole Grein, DENSO North America Foundation   
    • Laura Otte, Aequitas Mobility Services   
    • Takia Nelson, W.K. Kellogg Foundation   
    • Lauren Grevel, Grand Haven Area Community Foundation   
    • Shelly Watts, Humble Design   
    • Kayla Roney Smith, Hazel Park Promise Zone and College Access Network   
    • Avery Eenigenburg, Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation   
    • Jacqueline Paul, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation   
    • Katie Byerly, The Kresge Foundation   
    • Kayleigh Roy, Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund   
    • Maurice Hogan, Quicken Loans   
    • Alycia Socia, Design for America    
    • Laura Scharphorn, HighScope Educational Research Foundation   
    • Karista Gallick, Workforce Intelligence Network   
    • Regina Bell, W.K. Kellogg Foundation   
    • Phoenix Asifa, W.K. Kellogg Foundation   
    • Julie Campbell-Bode, Campbell Bode Consulting    
    • Rebecca Chamberlain-Creanga, The Kresge Foundation   
    • Tryphena Clarke, Ruth Mott Foundation   
    • Katie Van Dusen, Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation   
    • Ariel Flaggs, Guidehouse    
    • Jessica Hill Riggs, University of Michigan   
    • Jennifer Hricik, Northwestern Michigan College Foundation   
    • Time Krause, Albion Community Foundation   
    • Chelsea Landry, Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation   
    • Sara Mahmood, AdCraft Club of Detroit   
    • Vanessa Miller, Wayne State University -Mike Ilitch School of Business   
    • Megan Murphy, Michigan Health Endowment Fund   
    • JacQuaye Payne, Community Foundation for Muskegon County   
    • William Sexton, The Skillman Foundation   
    • Richerd Winton, William Davidson Foundation   
    • Stephanie Johnson, Kresge Foundation   
    • Julie Bagley, The Kresge Foundation
    • Raven Britt
    • Jenna Brown, Consumers Energy
    • Brandy Doña, The Kresge Foundation
    • Zosia Eppensteiner, Community Foundation of Marquette County
    • Giuliana Estrada, Grand Rapids Community Foundation
    • Joann Farnham, Battle Creek Community Foundation
    • Gisgie Dávila Gendreau, MESSA
    • Marwa Harp
    • Juwon Harris, The Kresge Foundation
    • Olivia Henry, CMF
    • Steven Hernandez, Flagstar Bank
    • Aimee Lanciault , Taubman Asset Group
    • Olivia Lewis, CMF
    • Tory Martin, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
    • Elena Mireles-Hill, Kalamazoo Community Foundation
    • Kassia Perpich, Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation
    • John Slocum, Michigan Health Endowment Fund
    • Alexandra Zisser, The Skillman Foundation
    • Katharine Zurek , Northwestern Michigan College Foundation