Gregg Christenson, Flagstar Bank – Board Chair
Gregg graduated with honors from the Honors College at Michigan State University with a B.A. in accounting. He was a senior vice president at Huntington National Bank from 1992 to 2008, and became Senior Vice President and Director of Banking Support at Flagstar Bank in 2009.
He served as the Treasurer for the Michigan Bankers Association Board of Trustees from 2007 to 2008, and has served on the Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency, Venture, Inc. and the Holy Family Regional School boards. Gregg is currently the board president of the Opportunity Resource Fund.
Gehad H. Alawan, Islamic Center of America – Vice Chair
Having earned a bachelor’s degree in management from Central Michigan University, Gehad later pursued a master’s degree in financial planning from Walsh College of business in 2000. He has since served as a financial advisor for AXA Advisors/Equitable, and has previous management experience operating Nikola’s Restaurant Enterprises in Southfield, Mich.
Gehad volunteers with the Interfaith Outreach Education program, is a member of the Dearborn PTA, is a Dearborn-area Baseball and Soccer Youth Coach and serves as a WOW Board member. He has served as a member of the Opportunity Resource Fund Board since 2003.
Marianne Talon, Office of the Wayne County Corporation Counsel – Secretary
Marianne received a bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Michigan at Dearborn, and a J.D.degree from Wayne State Law School. She has been practicing law in the State of Michigan since 1983.
Since 1998 she has practiced in the Office of the Wayne County Corporation Counsel where she provides legal representation to Wayne County departments and elected officials on civil matters that affect county government. She has been married for 28 years and has two adult children. Marianne has previously served on the Board of the YWCA of Western Wayne County and on the Camp Council for Michigania, the University of Michigan alumni camp.
Sr. Margaret Alandt, IHM, Compassionate Companions
A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Ind., with a master’s degree in nonprofit institutional administration, Margaret has served as an elementary school teacher, regional director of religious education, financial manager for several Detroit non-profits and has provided accounting consultation to several nonprofits. She currently works with an adult guardian agency providing conservatorship services.
She currently volunteers on the Marygrove NP Housing Boards. She is also a member of the Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance and a member of her parish anti-racism team.
Marc Craig – Community Housing Network
A passionate advocate for providing homes for sustainable, inclusive communities, Marc Craig has been involved in the affordable housing sector for more than 25 years. In 1991, he founded Springhill Housing Corporation, a certified CHDO receiving HOME funds and a sponsor of HUD 811 grants, Federal Home Loan Bank programs, and others. He went on to become the founding President and CEO of Community Housing Network where he continues to lead. He has been proud to direct the rapid growth of the organization, from three staff members in 2001 to more than 70 today, a testament to the tremendous need for affordable housing in the region.
Marc leads a team that throughout the years has leveraged more than $25 million in resources to create and maintain the stock of affordable housing in southeast Michigan. Marc is active in numerous affordable housing, homelessness and disability service and advocacy organizations. He represents the Oakland County Taskforce on Homelessness and Affordable Housing on the Oakland County Human Services Community Collaborative Council, is a member of the Oakland County Community and Home Improvement Division Advisory Council, and serves as vice chair of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis Affordable Housing Advisory Council. He also serves as a board member, currently in the role of president, for the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM), and is on the board of trustees for the Opportunity Resource Fund. Marc is licensed as a Michigan Real Estate Broker and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Michigan State University as well as a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University. He has completed additional management courses, including the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program at the Harvard Business School. Marc enjoys spending time with his family, and serves as Scoutmaster for his son’s Boy Scout Troop.
The Rev. Elizabeth Morris Downie
Reverend Downie is a recently retired priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan. She served as a church musician for 21 years at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, East Lansing; and Christ Episcopal Church, Owosso, Michigan. Reverend Downie was ordained an Episcopal Priest in 1991 and served at All Saints’ Church, East Lansing for 1 and ½ years and St. Jude’s Episcopal Church, Fenton Michigan for 12 years until her recent retirement in September, 2004. She now serves as Sunday Associate at St. Christopher’s Church, Grand Banc, MI.
Reverend Downie has served on the Board of the Record (a Diocesan wide newspaper) for four years and is an alternate Vice-president Representative to the State Board of the ACLU. She has served on the boards and/or committees of both the Economic Justice Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan and the Michigan McGehee Interfaith Loan Fund since 1997. Reverend Downie was President of the National Episcopal Women’s Caucus and is a Council Member of Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission. She currently resides in Fenton, Michigan.
Cedric Flounory, Internal Revenue Service
Cedric graduated from Ferris State University with a B.S. in data processing. He has been employed by the Internal Revenue Service, Detroit, Mich., since 1987 as a computer specialist. Cedric served with the United States Air Force from 1967 to 1975, and continued with the Michigan Air National Guard from 1975 to 1993. He is currently with the Air Force Reserve (inactive status).
Cedric has served as treasurer of his parish, St. Clement’s Episcopal Church, Inkster, Mich., since 1985. He has served on the Convention Planning Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, the Committee to Elect a new Bishop, as Chairman of Lay Credentials at Diocesan Convention and as Registrar of the Diocese of Michigan. He has served on the board/committees of the Economic Justice Commission and the Opportunity Resource Fund since 1995. He is currently involved in setting up a free tax assistance program at his parish in Inkster called Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), a program to help low-income persons file their tax forms.
Robert K. Hunt, Detroit Housing Commission
Robert serves as Director of Commercial & Redevelopment Activities for the Detroit Housing Commission, where he guides property acquisition and the redevelopment of commercial and residential properties. Robert has been with the agency almost 8 years and previously served as the director of the HOPE VI Development Department from November 2005 through April 2010. He is a licensed real estate broker and a graduate of the Leadership Program of the Southern Wayne County Chamber of Commerce. He has also completed certification programs in Public Housing Executive Management and Procurement & Contract Administration.
Robert has served on the Planning Committee for the UM/ULI Real Estate Forum and received the Building Industry Association’s Distinguished Government Service Award and Project of the Year for 2009. He has served the community in the capacity as a member of on boards for neighborhood nonprofits, as a member of working and advisory committees for governmental and educational organizations. Robert is married to his wife of 39 years and lives in the city of Detroit
J. David Ivers, Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO
After graduating from high school in Detroit, David attended Wayne State University and subsequently joined the Navy, where he spent three years in the Submarine Service. He has since worked as a business agent for operating engineers, Local 547.
David and his wife Nancy have been married 41 years and have two children and four grandchildren. They are active in their church, Historic Trinity Lutheran, located in downtown Detroit. They have worked on behalf of many social justice causes. David is the treasurer of the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice, the vice chair of the Opportunity Resource Fund and an executive board member of the Elder Law of Michigan. He is involved in many Union and social justice organizations, including the American Civil Liberty Union.
Harriet Saperstein, Urban Consultant
Harriet studied at McGill University and received an A.B. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1957. She earned an A.M. in Sociology from Brown University in 1959, and continued her graduate work in sociology at the University of Buffalo until she moved to Detroit, Mich. in 1963. She joined the City of Detroit’s Poverty Program in 1967, and worked until 1990 in a variety of planning and development positions with the City of Detroit. In 1990 she became President of HP Devco, Inc., a non-profit economic development department serving Highland Park, Mich. She retired from HP Devco in 2007, and is now an Adjunct Lecturer, teaching at the University of Detroit Mercy in their master of community development program in the School of Architecture.
She presently serves as Chairperson of the bi-county Woodward Avenue Action Association, and serves with the Opportunity Resource Fund, the Friends of the Belle Isle, the Center for Community Based Enterprise (C2BE), the Sojourner Foundation for Women and Girls and the Friends of the Detroit River boards and organizations. She has received several awards for her community and social justice efforts, including the “2001 Executive Woman of the Year” from Crain’s Business News, and the 2004 “Community Peacemaker Award” from Wayne State University’s Center for Peace and Conflict Studies.
Thomas H. Seabron, Jr., MorganStanley Smith Barney
Thomas graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in liberal arts, and went on to play professional football with the San Francisco 49ers and the St. Louis Cardinals. He was still involved in professional football when he became a registered investment advisor with E.F. Hutton. After he retired from professional football, he joined E.F. Hutton as a full-time account executive. He is currently senior vice president and financial advisor with Smith Barney, and a recipient of the Citigroup Quarter Century Club for completion of 25 years of service with the organization.
Thomas is associated with the following organizations: National Association of Security Dealers, Registered Representative; National Association of Security Professional, Member; The Big Ten Conference Advisory Commission, University of Michigan, Representative; The Reggie McKenzie Foundation, Vice President; Davenport Foundation, Trustee; The N.A.A.C.P., Life Member and Kappa Alpha Psi, Life Member.
Tony Spokojny, Attorney at Law
Tony Spokojny has been practicing law in the State of Michigan since 1978. Since then, he has enjoyed serving clients and the State of Michigan as a special assistant attorney general from 1978 to 2008. As an attorney, he has also served as an arbitrator, mediator and facilitator in hundreds of cases.
In his capacity as a private citizen, Tony has served as a volunteer and on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Maccabi Club, an organization serving youths in the Detroit area, and also as a member of the Wetlands Board of West Bloomfield Township, an environmental Board, from 1987 to 2012. He is currently the Board’s Chairman.
Tim Wittlinger, Clark Hill P.L.C.
Timothy Wittlinger has been associated with Clark Hill P.L.C. since 1965 as an associate, member, and until 2009, General Counsel. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Purdue University in 1962, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1965. During his active years in the Litigation Practice Group of his firm, he was certified as a specialist in civil trial advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
He serves on the Board of Directors of The Village Playhouse and The Grubb Institute of Behavioral Studies, and has served as an officer of a number of Episcopal organizations including Secretary of Convention for the Diocese of Michigan from 1990 through 2009.