Michigan 2-1-1 is governed by a Board of Directors that oversees 2-1-1’s operations and development. It is a working board that actively engages in public policy work, promoting the passing of the Calling for Michigan 2-1-1 Act that would authorize federal funding for Michigan 2-1-1.
The Michigan 2-1-1 Board also oversees the Michigan 2-1-1 Operating Council, comprised of 2-1-1 Program Directors from each regional call center and representatives from the Michigan 2-1-1 Resource Managers Workgroup.
Its members may serve up to three, two-year terms before rotating off the Board.
Christine Robere, President
United Way of the Lakeshore
Christine Robere, current President of the Michigan 2-1-1 Board of Directors, has served on the 2-1-1 board since 2007. A 21-year United Way professional, Robere is the President/CEO of the United Way of the Lakeshore and previously served United Ways in Midland and Gaylord. In her current United Way role, she oversaw a successful fundraising drive that raised nearly $3 million for investments in services for children, families and individuals facing challenges in their communities.
Robere is a passionate, life-long champion for helping people access health and human services. Having grown up in poverty, she experienced first-hand the struggles families endure to become self-sufficient. Robere is a founding member of the 2-1-1 taskforce in Michigan that successfully secured legislation in 2000 to set aside 2-1-1 for information and referral services. She later joined the board to help with statewide implementation of the service.
“Creating greater access to services is the important beginning step to becoming independent,” she said. “I am very proud of the progress made in Michigan to improve access to help through 2-1-1.”
Robere is the board secretary to Access Health and chairs the local multi-purpose collaborative body known as the Community Coordinating Council, both in her home county of Muskegon.
A Michigan native, Robere earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy Analysis from James Madison College at Michigan State University (MSU) and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from MSU in 1998. She and her husband, Marvin, have three boys, Sean, Matthew and Erin Christopher.
United Way for Southeastern Michigan
Bartek is the director of the United Way for Southeastern Michigan. His service started in November 2009, when he facilitated the Food Initiative project, which has now grown to be a critical component United Way’s work in the region. In May 2010, Bartek was offered the opportunity to steward the United Way for Southeastern Michigan 2-1-1 regional call center located in Detroit. He led the operation of more than 30 staff, consisting of Community Care Advocates (Information and Referral specialists), Homeless Outreach Advocates (2-1-1 OTG!), Resource Specialists, as well as AmeriCorps and RSVP volunteers.
Bartek currently serves as Chair for the 211 US Steering Committee, a position he assumed in January 2013, after serving as Vice Chair in 2012. In addition to providing wider strategic support for the 2-1-1 state and national systems, Bartek also has local responsibilities which include process improvement, project management and training consultation with United Way for Southeastern Michigan.
His background includes 15 years managing and directing field, call center and professional/technical teams in a variety of disciplines plus more than 20 years experience in consultative, supervisory and training positions for call center operations.
Bartek has been married to his wife Beth for 27 years. They have three adult children, Becca, Jenny and David.
Scott Dzurka, Secretary-Treasurer,
Michigan Association of United Ways
Scott Dzurka, President and Chief Procurement Officer for the Michigan Association of United Ways in Lansing, represents 62 local United Way organizations statewide with a combined budget of more than $100 million. Dzurka joined the Michigan 2-1-1 Board of Directors in 2007 and has served as its Secretary-Treasurer since 2009.
"In a time when it is critical to utilize resources effectively, 2-1-1 is the one place where ALL the resources can work together," Dzurka said. "It doesn't matter if it's nonprofit, government or faith-based; federal, state or local. Call specialists know how to put various means together to solve probles for individuals and families."
Dzurka is a 20-year veteran of nonprofit management, having served as the associate director of the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards, overseeing member services and public relations, and as a legislative coordinator on judiciary and human services for the Michigan Association of Counties.
Dzurka earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Northwood University and a Bachelor of Science degree in public administration from Michigan State University.
Dzurka grew up in Auburn, Michigan where he was elected to the City Council at the age of 18.
PVS Chemicals, Inc.
Joan Gehrke is a part-time consultant for Detroit-based PVS Chemicals, Inc. A seasoned volunteer, she has served on more than a dozen civic and non-profit boards in the Detroit area, ranging from health-care and education to community development and social services. She has served on a wide variety of committees for non-profit organizations and has provided support to city, state and national governmental entities.
A past member of the board of United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Gehrke has been a member of that organization’s 2-1-1 advisory council since its inception in 2005. She joined the Michigan 2-1-1 Board in 2012. She believes that 2-1-1 programs have enormously underutilized potential to serve our communities.
Gehrke earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Creighton University in Nebraska.
Dow Chemical Company
Susan Lewis, a renowned chemical engineer and senior leader with Dow Chemical Co., joined the Michigan 2-1-1 Board of Directors in 2011 and has been an advocate for 2-1-1 across the country. On a visit to a 2-1-1 center in Houston, she met returning U.S. veterans from the Middle East and witnessed first-hand the important role 2-1-1 serves with military veterans and their families. “2-1-1 fills a much needed space in our communities and makes a real difference in people’s lives,” she said.
Lewis works as the Operations Director for Dow’s Houston Operations in south Houston, Texas. She is a founding member of the Campbell Institute of the National Safety Council and a member of the Society of Women Engineers. She serves on the board for the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering and the industry board for Michigan Technological University (MTU). Lewis was inducted into the MTU Presidential Council of Alumnae and named into the Academy of Distinguished Chemical Engineers. Lewis holds a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering from MTU.
Jonathan Mead, a life-long resident of the Upper Peninsula, has served on the Michigan 2-1-1 Board of Directors since its inception, helping to shepherd the information and referral system through its many challenges. “To be involved with something from its very beginning is always exciting,” he said. “It’s a product I believe in. It helps so many people who are experiencing difficulties in their lives and trying to access services.”
Since 1988, Mead has served as President/CEO of UPCAP Services, the regional nonprofit that serves the 15 counties of the Upper Peninsula and 2-1-1’s chief sponsor in the area. He oversees a staff of 100 and an organizational budget of more than $18 million there.
Mead is inextricably involved in leadership positions across many nonprofits, including service as the Administrator for the U.P. Association of County Commissioners, Director of the U.P. Area Agency on Aging, Vice Chair of the Michigan Long Term Care Advisory Commission, Board Member of the Michigan Area Agencies on Aging Association, Secretary for the U.P. State Fair Authority, and Secretary for the U.P. 9-1-1 Authority.
Mead earned a Master's in Public Administration from Northern Michigan University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Western Michigan University.
He is married with two adult children.
Vincent Pepper, a member of the Michigan 2-1-1 Board of Directors since early 2013, is motivated by the organization’s mission to help people locked in the grips of poverty find the help they seek. “In a land of so much plenty, it is a shame we have so many people struggling with the very basic necessities for life,” he said.
Pepper works as the director of Customer Operations Support for DTE Energy, a diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services. Prior to joining DTE Energy, he was the director of Service Operators Support for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan where he played a pivotal role in helping the company achieve the status of Top Plan for the entire Blue Network of Plans.
Pepper earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Villanova University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Maryland.
He is actively involved in volunteer work at local food pantries. He is a former advisory board member of the Southeast Region of the Salvation Army, and has worked with the United Way in Denver, Colora
United Way of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region
Chris Sargent, Executive Vice President and COO of the United Way of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region, has served on the Michigan 2-1-1 Board of Directors for nearly two years. In that time, he has helped lead the merger between Hands On Battle Creek 2-1-1 and the local United Way while also helping to ecure significant grant support for the operations of the local contact center.
Sargent values his work with 2-1-1 because of the service’s great commitment to helping people in critical need connect with basic services in an effective and efficient manner. Last year, he spent time observing contact center operations. “It was a very good experience that reinforced the important work and service of 2-1-1,” he said.
Sargent is dedicated to helping individuals as demonstrated by his 14 years in the nonprofit world. Before coming to the United Way of Greater Battle Creek in 2004 as a Resource Development Consultant and then the Vice President of Resource Development, Sargent gained experience in the United Way system through positions with the Heart of West Michigan United Way in Grand Rapids, and the Gratiot County United Way in Alma.
Sargent serves on other local boards and committees including Legacy Scholars, and the Humane Society of South Central Michigan.
In addition to his extensive nonprofit work, Chris has had a successful career as a realtor in Battle Creek. He is a 2009 graduate of the Battle Creek Leadership Challenge, and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Business from Alma College in 1997.
Sargent and his wife of 13 years, Kimberly, make their home in the Battle Creek area.
Muskegon Community Health Project
Vondie Moore Woodbury has been Director of the Muskegon Community Health Project since October 1995. The Health Project is one of the nation’s oldest community health networks. It has been credited with developing Access Health, one of the most innovative and successful community programs for the working uninsured. Woodbury is co-author of “Out of the Box and Over the Barriers,” a book describing Muskegon’s community driven process.
In 2011, Woodbury was appointed Director of Community Benefit for the Trinity Health System, whose division, Mercy Health Partners, acquired the Health Project in 2008. Today the Health Project serves as the local community benefits program office for Mercy Health in West Michigan and as an incubator site for community benefit innovation for the larger Trinity system.
Prior to joining the Health Project, Woodbury spent 14 years on the staff of former U.S. Senator Donald Riegle. She served as statewide Campaign Manager for Riegle’s 1988 Michigan Campaign and has managed/assisted other statewide political campaigns in Michigan.
Woodbury has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University. In 2006, she was recognized for her work in health policy by GVSU and awarded the University’s Distinguished Alumna Award.
Tom Page, Executive Director
Tom Page is the Executive Director of Michigan 2-1-1, supporting and coordinating the work of eight call centers providing statewide 2-1-1 service. He has been active in the 2-1-1 movement since 2003. He previously served as Executive Director of Washington Information Network 2-1-1, where he managed the successful plan, design, and implementation of Washington State’s 2-1-1 system, and also served as director of the 2-1-1 Maryland system. In these roles, he has been actively involved with 2-1-1 development nationally as a co-founder of both the 2-1-1 State Directors Association and 2-1-1 US.
From 2007-2010 Tom worked as a planning and development consultant, including 2-1-1 clients in 10 states and Ontario, Canada before returning to Michigan in February 2013. His other experience includes guest lecturing on public policy development and advocacy at the University of Washington Information School, working in customer service at a national insurance company call center for five years and spending four months on a crab boat in Alaska. He has served on the boards of several national and international organizations and holds a Master’s Degree in Not-For-Profit Leadership from Seattle University.