About North Kent Connect

North Kent Connect is the one-stop resource hub in rural northern Kent County, providing food, clothing, financial assistance for housing and utilities, training and education, and offering resources for a pathway out of poverty.

Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles of North Kent Connect


Vision


A Community of Thriving People

Mission


North Kent Connect is a Christian organization committed to improving the lives of all people in northern Kent County by providing access to basic needs and promoting economic independence.

Guiding Principles


  • All people are created in the image of God. All people are precious to God.
  • We care for those in need with love and grace.
  • We believe in neighbors helping neighbors through partnerships.
  • We celebrate the diversity of people and treat everyone with compassion, dignity and respect.
  • We empower people to make positive changes in their lives.
  • We are good stewards of our resources.

Meet the Team


Board of Directors


Every board and committee member offers unique skills, talents and life experiences, making North Kent Connect a stronger organization.

Board and Committee Members

The NKC Board of Directors and committees are comprised of individuals living and/or working in Belmont, Cedar Springs, Comstock Park, Grand Rapids, Newaygo, Rockford, and Sparta. Every board and committee member offers unique skills, talents, and life experiences, making North Kent Connect a stronger organization.

Executive Committee

  • Cheryl Scales, PE (President) – Retired, Principal, Progressive AE
  • Lisa Cooper (Vice President) SHRM-CP, PHR – Founder & Chief People Officer, Cooper People Group
  • Ben O’Hearn (Secretary) – Attorney and Litigation Director, Migrant Legal Aid
  • Dan Triezenberg (Treasurer) – Chief Financial Officer, Wolverine Gas and Oil Corp
  • Ben Taylor (Clergy Representative) – Pastor, Sparta Baptist

Board of Directors

  • Jen Bellamy – VP Commercial Lending, ChoiceOne Bank
  • Andrew Blackmore  – Chief Executive Officer, Display Pack
  • Crystal Bravo – Community Development Specialist, Mercantile Bank
  • Cathy Cooper – Sr. Director, Community Partnerships & Giving, Meijer
  • Greg Doerr – Owner, Hurst Mechanical
  • Joshua Grimes – Pastor, Blythefield Christian Reformed Church
  • Ellen Nyblad – Director, Mamrelund Church Food Pantry
  • Mary Rangel – Chairperson, Sparta Area Migrant Resource Council
  • Adriane Schrauben – Shareholder, Hungerford Nichols
  • Dean Whittaker – Corporate Treasury Manager, Spectrum Health

Our Team

Leadership Team


member

Claire Guisfredi

Executive Director


[email protected]

member

Aimee Baskovic

Director of Communications


[email protected]

member

Scott Christie

Director of Donor Engagement


[email protected]

member

Catherine Landers

Director of Client Services


[email protected]

member

Patty VanderWall

Director of Finance and Operations


[email protected]

Client Services


member

Nikki Anderson

Food Programs Assistant



member

Beverly Bouma

Food Programs Manager



member

Dinora Quintanilla

Case Manager



member

Dawn Murray

Case Manager



Thrift Store


member

Helena Cary

Donation Assistant



member

Kathy Hartigh

Sales Associate



member

Amanda Hough

Sales Associate



member

Jessica King

Donation Attendant



member

Taylor Ronk

Merchandise Processor



member

Virginia Souders

Store Manager



member

Cyndy Westfield

Sales Associate



Volunteer/Operations


member

Kristen Gravelle

Volunteer Coordinator



member

Dave Karamol

Facilities Manager



member

Lisa Millard

Receptionist