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Ryan Friedrichs was appointed Chief Development Officer in January of 2015 and leads the Office of Development and Grants. Mr. Friedrichs has worked with the nation’s largest foundations while serving as chief executive of several national organizations, most recently the civic technology organization State Voices, opening its offices in sixteen states. He has a BA from the University of Michigan and Master in Public Policy from Harvard University, focused on urban planning and civic engagement. Mr. Friedrichs is also a combat veteran who served as a paratrooper and an intelligence and infantry team leader in Afghanistan with the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
Sirene Abou-Chakra serves as Deputy Chief Development Officer and leads the development team’s matching of City priorities with public, philanthropic, and corporate investment. A Michigan native and University of Michigan alum, Ms. Abou-Chakra served for ten years as a Manager and Account Executive at Google, working internationally on media strategy, messaging, and fundraising for election campaigns the company advised on, as well as leading groundbreaking digital strategies across the Google and YouTube platforms to creatively amass grassroots donors. She also served as Google’s liaison to Detroit and in 2017 as a leader in Google’s Global Customer Care team. Ms. Abou-Chakra is the founder of Doors of Opportunity, a nonprofit that works to increase the enrollment of disenfranchised students at top universities.
Katerli Bounds serves as the Director of Grants and leads the grants team’s implementation and monitoring support for all funds awarded in support of City initiatives. Ms. Bounds has worked in municipal government for over a decade in New York City and Detroit and raised millions in public and private funds to support essential programs and projects. She has a BA in International Relations and a BA in Philosophy from the University of Southern California and an MS in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute.
Brandi C. Shelton has dedicated her life to the development of people. Ms. Shelton graduated from University of Phoenix with a double Bachelor in Business Management and Administration and has over 15 years of active experience in a variety of professional settings. Ms. Shelton’s background offers a solid foundation in planning and executing team strategies that uses unified goals for true business development while boosting employee morale and organizational sustainability.
Monique Phillips serves as a Development Officer for the City of Detroit, and is responsible for creating and strengthening corporate relationships and securing investments to support city initiatives. Ms. Phillips is currently in pursuit of her PhD in Political Science from Wayne State University, holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Clark Atlanta University, and has a BA in Journalism from Oakland University. Additionally, Ms. Phillips is in the process of securing a Certified Fundraising Executive certification, has received a Certificate in Advanced Nonprofit Fundraising from the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, and remains an active membership with the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Karen C. Brown has played key executive, fund development and board leadership roles in Detroit’s community development sector throughout her career. As the Detroit Public Safety Foundation’s Director of Grants from 2011-2016 she was instrumental in helping the City of Detroit's Police and Fire Departments secure $62 million in government grants. A summa cum laude graduate of University of Detroit Mercy, Ms. Brown serves as adjunct faculty in its Masters in Community Development program where she teaches organizational development and grant writing. In 2009 Ms. Brown was honored with a Spirit of Detroit Award in acknowledgement of her Outstanding Community Leadership. She's the mother of two daughters and a proud 30 year resident of Detroit's Greenacres neighborhood.
Hasumati Patel serves as Assistant Director of Grants, and provides leadership and direction in the management of programs funded by federal, state and private grants. She and her team are tasked with integrating and supporting City departments to ensure that program staff have maximal success and impact in executing grant-funded initiatives. Ms. Patel has worked in municipal government for over thirty years, including planning, coordinating, administrating and managing business activities for both the City of Detroit and County of Wayne. She has a master’s degree in Accounting/Finance, as well as twenty five years’ experience and training as an Agency CFO for the City of Detroit and County of Wayne.
Kennedy Shannon serves as Assistant Director of Grants, and is responsible for grant reimbursement, close-out and audit support for grant-funded projects for the City of Detroit, with a special emphasis on housing-related projects. Ms. Shannon has over 8 years of experience in non-profit and grant management with a focus on Community Development. Ms. Shannon graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Public Policy, has a M.S. in Intelligence Analysis from University of Detroit Mercy, as well as a J.D. from The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Ms. Shannon is a licensed attorney, a lifelong Detroiter and has taken pride in being a small part of Detroit's revitalization.
Sajjiah Parker serves as Assistant Director of Grants. In this capacity, Ms. Parker and her team coordinate the planning and administration of federal, state and private grants, as well as tracking donations, sponsorships and other private investments that enhance the quality of life for Detroit residents. Ms. Parker and her team are fervent in efforts to achieve the city’s vision of innovative and effective Grants programming and cross-program alignment of funding to expand impact, and are making great strides. Ms. Parker comes to the city with over 7 years of professional managerial experience in program implementation, grants management, and in leading systemic change initiatives in the non-profit sector. Prior to working for the City, Ms. Parker worked at Southwest Solutions as the Manager of the Coordinated Assessment Model (CAM) for the Detroit Continuum of Care. In this role Ms. Parker was instrumental in leveraging resources, and fostering the cooperation and coordination of all community partners to achieve the goal of improving how homeless households are served. While she served the Supportive Services for Veteran’s Families (SSVF) grant program, the agency was nationally recognized and designated as a Mentor Agency for Best Practices in the veteran homeless program delivery.
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