Frank Weichlein, President
Frank is currently the Director of the Kalamazoo County Juvenile Home and has served on the board of MCCD for two years. Frank was recently elected to continue on the board after being appointed in 2004 and serves on the board Personnel Committee. He has worked in the Juvenile Justice field in a variety of capacities in Kalamazoo for over 28 years. Frank was a past President of the Michigan Association of Youth Serving Programs and in order to further promote the concepts of restorative justice he serves on the Board of Dispute Resolution Services in Kalamazoo. He is also a part-time instructor of juvenile justice classes at Western Michigan University. Frank's knowledge of delinquency treatment provides needed perspective to MCCD.
Kris VandenBerg, Vice-President
Currently, Kris serves as a pro se law clerk for the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, where she is responsible for prisoner civil rights and habeas corpus filings. Kris was a career law clerk for United States Judge Douglas W. Hillman from 1995 until Judge Hillman's retirement in 2002. Kris is active in numerous professional and community activities. Presently, she serves as a Trustee of the Grand Rapids Bar Association and chairs its Diversity Committee. She is the past president and board member of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, Western Region. She also serves on the boards of the YWCA-Grand Rapids and the Gary Byker Memorial Library. And, for the past six years, Kris has been an active member of the Grand Rapids Prostitution Roundtable and the Michigan Public Defense Task Force.
Matt Wojack, Treasurer
Matt has worked for over 14 years with youth with serious emotional disturbance and their families. He currently serves as the Project Director for Impact, Ingham County System of Care Initiative, a countrywide initiative to develop and implement a System of Care to better serve youth with serious emotional disturbance. This initiative is a consortium of Community and Mental Health, Ingham County Department of Human Services, the Family Division of Circuit Court, private agencies, schools, and law enforcement. Matt has a Masters Degree in Clinical Social work. He was appointed by Governor Granholm to serve on the Michigan Board of Social Work.
Carlynn Nichols, Secretary
Carlynn Nichols is the Director of Children's Initiatives at Detroit-Wayne County Community Health Agency. A licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in both Macro and Clinical social work, she has 18 years of experience in the field of social work, primarily working with children, youth and their families with complex needs involved in multiple fields. She received her Masters in Social Work from Wayne State University in 1994 and Bachelors of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of MIchigan in 1990. Carlynn's focus on children and youth who are at-risk, diagnosed with a Severe Emotional Disturbance (SED) and/or involvement in the juvenile justice systems will bring cross system perspective to the board.
William (Buzz) Alexander
William "Buzz" Alexander is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan and founder and member of the Prison Creative Arts Project. Since 1990, he has been a member of the Sisters Within Theater Troupe at the Florence Crane, Western Wayne, and Women's Huron Valley Facilities, which recently completed its 28th play. Between 1993-200 he was a member of the Western Wayne Players at the Western Wayne Correctional Facility; and between 2001 and 2007 he was a member of the Poet's Corner at teh Southern Michigan Correctional Facility. Since 1996, he curated fifteen Annual Exhibitions of Art by Michigan Prisoners. Buzz has received numerous awards for the work he initiatied with incarcerated youth and adults in collaboration with University of Michigan students. Buzz will bring not only an academic but a direct service perspective to the Board.
Robert (Bob) Brown, Jr.
Before his retirement in 1991, Bob worked for the Michigan Department of Corrections for thirty years (1961-1991). He started as a prison counselor and ultimately became Director. Bob is a recipient of the American Correctional Associations prestigious Edward R. Cass Award. Since retiring from state service, Bob continues to work as a Criminal Justice Consultant and has served as a Consent Agreement Monitor for the Federal Court in the Central District of Illinois. He serves as an expert witness for jail and prison cases and has worked as a member of two to five person teams charged with evaluating the prison systems in several states. He is a graduate of Michigan State University. His experience includes all aspects of state adult corrections systems and he has worked extensively with county sheriffs. He also served as an auditor in over one hundred accreditation audits of corrections agencies at the local, state and federal levels. His knowledge of how the corrections system operates brings a unique perspective to MCCD.
Robert Currie is a resident of Ann Arbor and a former resident of the Michigan prison system. Robert is interested in serving on the Board so that he can share his insights as we develop programs. Robert says, " I know the Corrections system from the inside and have direct experience with MPRI. I'm not going back! I look forward to the opportunity to share my insights and to give."
Susan is currently the Director of the Michigan Jewish Conference; an organization that represents the political and community relations needs of the statewide Jewish community. Prior to that Susan was the Director of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, a statewide advocacy organization for criminal sentencing reform. Susan has over 25 years experience in community coalition building and advocacy, and has worked on public policy issues at the state and local levels of all three branches of government. Susan has also developed and conducted training programs nationally on numerous issues. Her public policy experience assists MCCD with system change efforts.
William (Bill) Long
Bill Long received a Masters Degree in Social Work from Wayne State University in 1971 and a Law Degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1977. Bill has been active in a volunteer and professional capacity with a number of non-profit human service agencies and policy organizations at the local and state level. He worked in State Government from 1971 to 1991 as a social worker and in several administrative positions including directing the Michigan Department of Labor, Chair of the Michigan Public Services Commission, Member of the Civil Service Commission and Legislative Director for Governor Milliken. He directed an association of non-profit child and family human service agencies for 10 years before "semi-retiring" in 2004. Semi retirement includes labor arbitration law and consultant to non-profit organizations and lots of volunteer work with several social advocacy organizations. Bill represents MCCD as co-chair of the Michigan Juvenile Justice Collaborative.
Until her retirement in 2008, Ann served for 14 years as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan League for Human Services, a statewide policy organization that uses data-driven advocacy to improve the lives of low-income people. Her previous experience includes service as the associate executive director of the Greater Kalamazoo United Way and the executive director of a multi-service center providing substance abuse treatment and prevention services, 24 hour/day crisis intervention, and emergency psychiatric assessment. She has been active with research and social justice advocacy efforts throughout her career. Ann holds an MSW in Policy, Planning and Administration and an MA in Counseling and Personnel from Western Michigan University, and a BA in English from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.