Leaders, Boards of Trustees and Staff

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Lawrence J. Burns, President & Chief Executive OfficerLawrence J. Burns, President & Chief Executive Officer

A Detroit native who has maintained close professional ties to Michigan throughout his career, Burns is a recognized leader in the nonprofit sector, most recently serving as Vice President for Advancement at the University of Akron after more than two decades of health care and higher education development, marketing and executive experience in multiple leadership roles at the University of Toledo and the Medical College of Ohio. Mr. Burns is a firm believer of integrating all forms of communication elements of an organization including marketing, branding, fundraising, social media and community outreach.

Mr. Burns has also served in leadership positions at community organizations such as Make-A-Wish, Boys and Girls Club, the Toledo Zoo, The Akron Roundtable as well as serving as chief diversity officer at  the University of Toledo.This new position is a homecoming of sorts for Burns, who established his strong fundraising reputation working in development for Children’s Hospital of Michigan earlier in his career. Mr. Burns is a graduate of Central Michigan University and has been apart time instructor at UT in the areas of public relations and interpersonal communications.

Jodi Wong, Vice President of Operations

Jodi has more than 23 years of experience in healthcare philanthropy.  She is serving Vice President of Operations for the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation.  In addition to several years with the Foundation, her previous experience includes many years with the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, St. John Hospital & Medical Center and St. John Health Foundation. Jodi is a graduate of the University of Michigan, a lifelong Detroiter and a graduate of Leadership Detroit XXII.  Wong is also a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and has served on numerous boards. Contact Jodi at (313) 745-5423 or jwong@chmfoundation.org

Board of Trustees

Matt Friedman, Chair

Matt joined the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation Board in 2011 after serving on the board of Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Co-Founder of Tanner Friedman, a successful communications firm in Farmington Hills, Matt brings to the Foundation invaluable knowledge. Matt chairs the Fund Development committee and has been instrumental in implementing the Foundation’s communication strategy.

Recognized as a leader in his community, Matt serves on several boards. Among his many acknowledgements, he has been recognized by the Detroit Regional Chamber as “Volunteer of the Year,” Crain’s Detroit Business’ “40 Under 40” and DBusiness magazine’s “30 In Their 30s” for his professional accomplishments and community service. Matt and his wife, Jodi, live in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

Cynthia N. Ford, Vice Chair

Cynthia serves as Vice Chair of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation Board of Trustees, subsequent to her seven-year tenure as Chair. Cynthia’s relationship with the Foundation began when Beth Fisher, a long-time Children’s Hospital trustee and close friend of Cynthia, asked her to join the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Board, sparking more than two decades of steadfast involvement with the hospital. Cynthia’s passion for children radiates through her charitable work with the Foundation and her myriad of community commitments, including service as president of the board of trustees to University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods for 10 years and an appointment by former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to the Michigan Education Trust Board of Directors. She lives in Grosse Pointe Farms with her family.

Fred Minturn, Vice Chair

Fred joined the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation Board in 2011 and serves as Treasurer. Fred is President and CEO at MSX International. MSX supports the Foundation through their sponsorship of the Visteon Golf Classic, which benefits the Visteon Bingo Program for children at the hospital. A resident of Grosse Pointe, Fred is active in his community and has served in various publicly elected positions, most recently as a member of the Grosse Pointe School Board for five years. He is also on the board of directors for the Automotive Hall of Fame.

John D. Baker, M.D.

Jack was a founding member of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation Board of Trustees in 2003 and served as chair of the Foundation Board in 2011. He was first introduced to Children’s Hospital of Michigan as a third year medical student. Following residency and a fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology, he joined the staff of Children’s in 1972. He served as Chief of Ophthalmology at the hospital from 1985 to 2004 and Chair of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Board of Trustees from 2005–2010. Jack has also served as President of the Kensington Academy Board of Trustees and is on the board of the Children’s Eye Foundation and the board of ROPARD, a foundation focused on the treatment of pediatric retinal diseases. He and his wife Susie, a former president of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Auxiliary, have spent the last 39 years supporting and raising money for Children’s, an institution held close to their hearts.

Michael S. Ben

Michael joined the board in December 2014. Michael is a partner in the Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP law firm, serving as practice group leader for securities and corporate governance. In this capacity he serves primarily as outside general counsel and SEC counsel for publicly traded companies. Ben graduated from Harvard Law School and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, where he has been a volunteer mentor.

Steve J. Blahunka

Steve has been an advisor with the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation since 2012, and became a Board Member in 2016.   Steve was a host committee member for the Big Shots, Little Stars event in conjunction with the International Auto Show and Dream, Hope, Discover – Celebrating 125 Years!

Steve is a Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Farmington Hills. Blahunka previously was Vice President with Learning Care Group, a national early learning/child care company and was CFO/COO for Mapal, Inc. He holds a MBA from Wayne State University and resides in Novi with his family

James F. Carr, Jr.

Jim’s service to the Foundation is the continuance of a family legacy of commitment that began with Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Jim’s older brother, David, was diagnosed with Leukemia in the 1960s and Jim would accompany him to the hospital for his treatment. His mother, the late Joanne Cline Carr, was a longtime volunteer in the hematology-oncology clinic and was instrumental in establishing the Child Research Center League, the predecessor of the Children’s Research Center of Michigan at Children’s Hospital. Jim is a retired investment counselor who lives in Okemos with his wife, Diane.

Ajay Chawla

Ajay Chawla is an accomplished multifaceted leader with 17 plus years of experience in executive leadership, business development, and account management. Ajay also has an extraordinary blend of business acumen, operational expertise and technological savvy with a profound knowledge of multiple industries.  Ajay was also the founder and Chairman of Toast For Tykes, a non-profit started in 2001. TFT has contributed over $400,000 to various organizations that serve children in southeast Michigan. These organizations include Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Kids Kicking Cancer, University of Michigan Pediatric Burn Unit, Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan, and Catch. Ajay spends his spare time giving back to his High School, Brother Rice, where he has served as the lacrosse coach for the last 10 years., Ajay also serves on the Board of Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation. Ajay is a graduate from Marymount University in Arlington, VA.

Tom Constand

Tom Constand is the President & CEO of The Brain Injury Association of Michigan.  Prior to this role, Tom was co-owner of StarrConstand Business Communication, a full-service marketing agency. Before starting his own firm, Constand was account manager for the Franco Public Relations Group where he worked on the region’s winning bid for Super Bowl XL. He was previously managing director of the initial Detroit Sports Commission. Constand is board chair of the Boll Family YMCA of Detroit and a board member of the Metropolitan Detroit YMCA.

Glen M. Donovan

Glen joined the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation Board in 2012. As an Audit Partner of Deloitte & Touche, LLP , he has more than 15 years of public accounting experience, serving both privately held and SEC clients. Glen also serves on the steering committee of Deloitte Michigan State University Michael Licata Endowment Fund and served on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Zoological Society. He resides in Northville with his wife, Kerry, and two daughters.

Douglas M. Etkin

Doug is the Principal of the Etkin Company, a noted Michigan real estate management and development firm with national clients. Doug and his family have a relationship with Children’s Hospital of Michigan that spans decades. Not only has Etkin Company made gifts to Children’s Hospital of Michigan and the Foundation each holiday season as a tribute to their stakeholders, but in 2009, Doug and his mother, Toby, also made a significant contribution and honored Doug’s father with the naming of the Alex J. Etkin Specialty Center in Southfield. Doug serves as the president of the Jewish Foundation of Metropolitan Detroit and resides in Birmingham.

Johnny Ginopolis

Johnny, a charter member of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation Board, operates one of the metro area’s best known dining spots—Ginopolis on the Grill in Farmington Hills. His relationship with Children’s Hospital of Michigan began more than 30 years ago when his young son, Georgie, was treated for a blood disease. Although Georgie didn’t survive, Johnny and his wife, Marion, were genuinely impressed with the doctors, nurses, and staff. For more than 25 years, Johnny helped organize an annual golf outing and “Taste of Excellence” event that raised more than $4 million for the hospital. In 2011, Johnny and Marion served as Honorary Chairpersons for the North American International Auto Show Charity Preview on behalf of the Foundation. Johnny and Marion are residents of West Bloomfield.

Peter Ginopolis

Peter joined the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation Board in 2013. Peter specializes in assisting high net worth families with their estate planning and insurance needs. Peter is active in his community and has served as co-chair of the Georgie Ginopolis Golf Classic for Children’s Hospital raising funds for hematology and oncology research. He has also played a role in creating three endowments; Georgie Ginopolis Endowment, the Ginopolis/Karmanos Endowment, and the Endowed Chair for Wayne State University. Peter is co-founder and chair of Leaders for Kids, the Foundation’s advisory board committed to encouraging the philanthropic efforts of the area’s emerging young leaders. He also serves on the executive board and board of trustees of CATCH, Sparky Anderson’s Charity for Children, which benefits both Children’s Hospital and Henry Ford Hospital. He is also the chairman of CATCH’s annual golf outing. In 2000, he was recognized as the Oakland County Executive of the Year. Peter lives in West Bloomfield.

Brian Hermelin

Brian is managing partner of RockBridge Equity Partners, a private equity firm located in Livonia. He is the second of three generations of the Hermelin family with a close connection to Children’s Hospital. Brian’s father, David, was a long-time board member, and Brian’s oldest child was born with a serious medical condition and received treatment at the hospital. Brian served as treasurer of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation Board until 2011. Brian is also involved with other non-profit organizations, serving as a member of the board for the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit, and ORT America. Brian and his family reside in Bingham Farms.

Mable V. Jones, Ph.D.

Mable joined the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation Board in 2012. She is the Director of Public Affairs and Corporate Contributions with AAA Michigan. One of Mable’s many responsibilities in her 32 years at AAA has been to oversee the organization’s commitment to saving lives and reducing injuries on the road by supporting programs that teach children about vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian safety. AAA’s contribution to Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation supports community car seat safety checks provides car seats for needy families. Active in the southeastern Michigan community, Mable has received numerous accolades and serves on many boards, including United Negro College Fund, Crime Stoppers and Marion High School. Mable resides in Farmington.

Jack Krasula

Jack is the President and founder of Trustinus, LLC, a premier executive search firm. He is formerly the founder, CEO and President of Decision Consultants, Inc. (DCI), a privately held professional information technology services firm. He is also the host of Anything is Possible, a Sunday evening interview show on WJR AM-760 that features successful people who have come from humble beginnings and how they feel committed to giving back to the community.

Steven R. Lefkofsky

A civil litigation attorney with the firm he co-founded, Lefkofsky & Gorosh, P.C., Steven joined the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation Board in 2008. As a child, Steven was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, guiding him to a life of serving the children in his community and making a difference in the lives of children who suffer from childhood illnesses. Stephen resides in West Bloomfield with his wife and three children.

Edward C. Levy, Jr.

Ed is a local business and community leader. He serves as President and CEO of the Levy Companies. He is a longtime supporter of Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation and the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. In addition to his service on the Foundation Board, Ed has served on the hospital’s Board of Trustees for more than 20 years.

Rita Margherio

Rita serves as secretary of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation Board. She first became involvement with the Children’s Hospital of Michigan volunteering in the gift shop of Festival of Trees (FOT), which has contributed more than 7 million dollars to the Foundation and the hospital over the years. She has served on the Board of FOT for many years, chaired numerous FOT committees, including two as Board Chair, and has served as co-chair of a Festival of Trees event. Rita resides in Orchard Lake.

Michael J. Madison, CFA

Michael, a chartered financial analyst with over 25 years of experience in investment management, joined the Board of Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation in 2012. He is Partner of Deroy & Devereaux Private Investment Counsel, Inc. Prior to joining DeRoy & Devereaux, he served as Vice President and Portfolio Manager for Loomis, Sayles & Co. where he was a member of the Equity Selection Committee for the Investment Counseling Group. He holds a BS/BA degree from Northeastern University and an MBA from the University of Detroit. In addition to his commitment to Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, He also serves on the Board of Loyola High School (Detroit) and is a member of the CFA Institute. Michael, his wife Susan and their family reside in Grosse Pointe Woods.

Anita Masters Penta

Anita has served the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation Board since 2006. She became involved many years ago her nephew, Nicholas, was born with a heart defect, and she has worked tirelessly to give back any way she could. Through the Perri Family Foundation, she has provided philanthropic support for tissue research coordinated at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, and supports the annual Visteon Golf Classic, benefiting the Foundation. Anita lives in Grosse Pointe Shores and is a transition specialist for the Redford Union Schools.

Dick Purtan

Arguably the most recognized media personality in Detroit, Dick spent 45 years in radio and is best known as the host of “Purtan’s People” on Oldies 104.3 WOMC-FM from 1996-2010. He has been inducted into both the National Radio Halls of Fame and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. In recognition of his community involvement, the Detroit News named him “Michiganian of the Year” in 1993. He joined the Foundation Board in 2004 after serving on the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Board for over 25 years. Dick, whose daughter, Jackie, was saved at Children’s from a life-threatening illness as a child, has personally raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for research. Dick and his wife Gail served as Honorary Chairpersons and were recognized at the 2012 NAIAS Charity Preview on behalf of the Foundation, for their innumerable philanthropic endeavors. They live in West Bloomfield and have six daughters.

Hon. Kurtis T. Wilder

Judge Wilder has served as a judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals since 2004 and previously was a circuit court judge for Washtenaw County. Judge Wilder was a litigation attorney for Butzel Long, P.C. and Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C. earlier in his career. He is a past president of the Michigan Judges Association.

Lyle M. Wolberg

Lyle is the Co-founder and Director of the fastest-growing financial services companies in the country, Telemus Capital Partners L.L.C., and president of its wealth-management subsidiary, Telemus Wealth Advisors L.L.C. Lyle is a Certified Financial Planner and member of the Financial Planning Association. Recognized as one of Crain’s Detroit Business esteemed “40 under 40” in 2007, Lyle joined the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation Board of Trustees in 2010. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Berkley Education Foundation. Lyle lives in Huntington Woods with his family.