Great Start Collaborative Membership Information

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Members & Meetings

It is crucial to the success of the GSC to have an active and engaged membership. The GSC meets a minimum of six times per year as a full body.  If you are interested in becoming involved as a member of the GSC, please contact Judy Freeman at

GSC 2015 Meeting Dates

Executive Team (2:00-3:30 at First Steps)

January 6, February 3, March 3, April 7, May 5, June 2, July 7, August 4, September 1, October 6, November 3, December 1

GSC Membership (1:30-3:00 at Kent ISD)

February 26, April 23**, June 25, August 27, October 22, December 10, 2015

** This April 23rd meeting will not be held at the Transitions Center.  Instead it will be at the KISD Conference Center @ 1633 E. Beltline).

GSC Executive Team Members

  • Maureen Hale, PNC Bank (Chair)
  • Matthew Beresford, Grand Rapids Public Schools
  • Paula Brown, Great Start Parent Coalition
  • Chana’ Edmond-Verley, RDV Corporation
  • Lynne Ferrell, Frey Foundation
  • Rebekah Fennell, First Steps
  • Judy Freeman, Great Start Collaborative Director, staff
  • Joanne Hoganson, Kent County Health Department
  • Carol Paine-McGovern, Kent School Services Network
  • Lisa Ellison, Great Start Parent Coalition
  • Mike Ghareeb, Kent Intermediate School District
  • Betty Zylstra, Salvation Army Booth Family Services

GSC Members

  • Kerrie Anderson, Parent Representative
  • Megan Aukerman, Kent County DHS
  • Matthew Beresford, Grand Rapids Public Schools Early Childhood
  • Ruth Bishop, Grand Rapids Community Foundation
  • Heather Boswell, Welcome Home Baby – First Steps
  • Marrianne Boykin, Children’s Assessment Center
  • Rebecca Brinks, Grand Rapids Community College Child Development Department
  • Paula Brown, Great Start Parent Liaison
  • Andrew Brower, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Tiana Cannon, Parent Representative
  • Dynetta Clark, DA Blodgett
  • Pam Cohn, Catholic Charities West Michigan
  • Barbara Corbin, Kent Intermediate School District (Early On)
  • Candace Cowling, Family Futures
  • Bob Dean, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
  • Rep. Brandon Dillon, 75th District
  • Kristina Donaldson, Parent Representative
  • Pam Doty-Nation, Children’s Assessment Center
  • Jane Downs, Rockford Schools Childcare
  • K’Sandra Earle, Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative
  • Chana’ Edmond-Verley, RDV Corporation
  • Lisa Ellison, Parent Representative
  • Sandra Ellison, Parent Representative
  • Nkechy Ezeh, Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative
  • Rebekah Fennell, First Steps
  • Lynne Ferrell, Frey Foundation
  • Annanisa Fontance, Parent Representative
  • Judy Freeman, Great Start of Kent County Director, Staff
  • Reyna Garcia, Parent Representative
  • Shannon Gardner, Heart of West Michigan United Way
  • Mike Ghareeb, Kent Intermediate School District, Early Childhood Education
  • Kristin Gietzen, Arbor Circle
  • Jack Greenfield, Kent County Family & Children’s Coordinating Council – Arbor Circle
  • Paul Haan, Healthy Homes Coalition
  • Maureen Hale, PNC Bank
  • Amisha Harijan, Grand Rapids Public Library
  • Matt Haviland, Parent Representative
  • Lynn Heemstra, Our Community’s Children
  • Susan Henning, Spectrum Health MOMS Program
  • Barbara Hawkins Palmer, Healthy Kent 2010
  • JoAnn Hoganson, Kent County Health Department
  • Zsanara Hoskins, Great Start Coordinator, Staff
  • Jerry Johnson, Grand Valley State University
  • Ruth Kelly, Grand Rapids City Commission
  • Maureen Kirkwood, Health Net of West Michigan
  • Nick Koster, 17th Circuit Court
  • Linda Krombeen, Kent District Library
  • Cris Kutzli, Grand Rapids Community Foundation
  • Latesha Lipscomb, Parent Representative
  • Lindsay McHolme, Literacy Center of West Michigan
  • Jean McMurray, Renaissance Church of God in Christ
  • Claudette McReynolds, Parent Representative
  • Minnie Morey, West Michigan Asian American Association
  • Starr Morgan, Parent Representative
  • Rick Noel, Grand Rapids Public Schools Elementary Instructional Support
  • Carole Paine McGovern, Kent School Services Network
  • Katie Penninga, Cherry Street Health Services
  • Amber Perry, Parent Representative
  • Nicole Pratt, YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids
  • MaDonna Princer, Michigan Family Resources
  • Anthony Queen, Parent Representative
  • Rob Schuitema, Grand Rapids Public Museum
  • David Sebastian, Sebastian Foundation
  • Jean Silbar, Comprehensive Therapy Center
  • Terese Smith, Kent Resource Center
  • Kimberly Spencer, Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative – Baby Scholars
  • Holly Tiret, Michigan State University Extension
  • Deb VanderMolen, Kent Regional 4C
  • Matthew Van Zetten, Kent County Government
  • Rebeca Velazquez-Publes, Health Net of West Michigan
  • Susan Verwys, Calvin College
  • Aarie Wade, Parent Representative
  • Heather Walczewski, David D. Hunting YMCA
  • Kaellen Williams, Great Start Parent Liaison
  • Brandi Willis, Parent Representative
  • Deanna Wilson, Parent Representative
  • Amber Worden, Parent Representative
  • Anita Zandstra, Parent Representative
  • Betty Zylstra, Booth Family Services