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


The NKC Board of Directors is 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 Center Church

Board of Directors

  • Jen Bellamy – VP Commercial Lending, ChoiceOne Bank
  • Andrew Blackmore  – Chief Executive Officer, Display Pack
  • Crystal Bravo – Real Estate Development Associate, ICCF Community Homes
  • Cathy Cooper – Executive Director, Meijer LPGA Classic
  • Greg Doerr – Retired, Owner, Hurst Mechanical
  • Joshua Grimes – Pastor, Blythefield Christian Reformed Church
  • Ellen Nyblad – Director, Mamrelund Church Food Pantry
  • Adriane Schrauben – Shareholder, Hungerford Nichols
  • Dean Whittaker – Corporate Treasury Manager, Corewell Health

Our Team

Leadership Team


Claire Guisfredi

Claire Guisfredi

Executive Director


[email protected]

Aimee Baskovic

Aimee Baskovic

Director of Communications


[email protected]

Scott Christie

Scott Christie

Director of Donor Engagement


[email protected]

Catherine Landers

Catherine Landers

Director of Client Services


[email protected]

Patty VanderWall

Patty VanderWall

Director of Finance and Operations


[email protected]

Client Services


Beverly Bouma

Beverly Bouma

Food Programs Manager



Connie Howe

Connie Howe

Food Programs Assistant



Dawn Murray

Dawn Murray

Case Manager



Dinora Quintanilla

Dinora Quintanilla

Case Manager



Maddie Strom-Coyer

Maddie Strom-Coyer

Lead Case Manager



Thrift Store


Amanda Hough

Amanda Hough

Lead Sales Associate



Jessica King

Jessica King

Donation Attendant



Virginia Souders

Virginia Souders

Store Manager



Cyndy Westfield

Cyndy Westfield

Sales Associate



Volunteer/Operations


Kristen Gravelle

Kristen Gravelle

Volunteer Coordinator



Dave Karamol

Dave Karamol

Facilities Manager