Our History

Impact100 Metro Detroit was formed in July, 2015 by a small group of women who wanted to fuel positive change in the community by uniting with other women in collective giving. We strive to award high impact grants and provide exposure to nonprofit heroes in Metro Detroit. Impact100 Metro Detroit is working to be a leader in collective philanthropy, and to build a strong presence in our community. Our overall granting goal is to grow to 500 members who each donate $1,000, and to collectively award 5 grants of $100,000, one in each of our focus areas.

 

For more information about how Impact100 started, see our council story.

Our Goals
  • To harness the power and talents of women through direct participation in the process of philanthropy, and to equip future leaders and givers by encouraging all of our members to become engaged in all aspects of the granting process.
  • To award high impact grants ($100,000), and to focus that impact on our own community by funding local organizations that work in the tri-county area.
  • To build new relationships among our members, and to be representative of the broad range of women who make up our community. We are mothers, daughters, sisters, friends; and our faces reflect those of all who make metro Detroit the varied community it is.
Our Promise

We promise our members:

You are part of something BIG – impacting lives in Metro Detroit for generations to come.

Our Strategic Plan

2023 Strategic Goals

 

In July of 2020, the board of directors developed a strategic plan.

The plan contains short and long term goals supporting the objective of giving five $100.000 grants in 2023.

The Impact100 Model

The Impact100 model is readily available to all communities who wish to implement it. The model is designed to empower women to see themselves as philanthropists and overcome the barriers women have historically faced in this arena. The model is designed for transformational grant-making within local communities, with a minimum grant size of $100,000.

At Least 100 Women
Come Together

Each Woman
Donates $1,000

Every Member Votes

$100,000
is donated to a
Local Charity

Focus Areas

We provide nonprofit organizations with grants in increments of at least $100,000 across five broad Focus Areas:

Arts & Culture

Education

Family and Individual Support

 

Health & Wellness

Revitalization, Recreation and Environment

How it Works

The annual $1,000 donations made by Impact100 Metro Detroit members are pooled into a grant fund to be given away to nonprofit organizations in our community. The number and size of grants awarded are dependent on our membership number, but our goal is to give incremental grants of $100,000 each year. Grants can be awarded in the areas of Arts & Culture, Education, Family & Individual Support, Health & Wellness, and Revitalization, Recreation & Environment. Grants are awarded based on a vote of the Impact100 Metro Detroit membership at our annual meeting. Every woman who gives $1,000 or more has one vote.

Board of Directors

Kelly Walsh
President
Kelly Walsh
President

Kelly Walsh is Chief of Staff, Human Resources at Ally Financial.   Her professional background includes leadership in strategic growth, project management, corporate responsibility, marketing, advocacy, public affairs, and fundraising.  A native of Columbus, Ohio, Kelly lived in Chicago and Washington DC before moving to Michigan.  She is a member of the 2019 Harvard Business School Young American Leader program and a graduate of Leadership Detroit.  Kelly is active in her community, serving on the board of the Grosse Pointe War Memorial and as a Girl Scout troop leader.  Kelly is a proud mom of three young children that keep her and husband Brendan laughing and on their toes.

Melanie Dunbeck
Secretary
Melanie Dunbeck
Secretary

Melanie Dunbeck is a senior leader with a passion for bringing technology solutions to organizations. She is currently leading Kelly’s Automation Center, focusing on strategy, design, and delivery. Melanie provides skilled leadership to organizations, sharing her expertise in architecting and managing innovative practices and complex, global programs.  She specializes in both solution design and data. Raised in Detroit and an alumni of Cass Tech and Wayne State, Melanie gives back to the city she loves by being an ambassador, volunteering, and enjoying cultural and sporting events.

Ligia Kennedy
Treasurer
Ligia Kennedy
Treasurer

Ligia has a B.S. in Business Administration Finance from Eastern Michigan University. She has over 20 years of experience working in finance and accounting in various roles, with her last position being Director of Finance for Dialog Direct. In 2018 she made a personal decision to step away from her corporate position to spend more time with her family and on philanthropic opportunities, which led her to join Impact100 and serve on its board. Ligia lives in Macomb County with her husband of 15 years. She has 4 children, and enjoys traveling and boating.

Unyime Ekpenyong
Controller
Unyime Ekpenyong
Controller

Unyime Ekpenyong is an Assurance Director with PwC’s Private Company Services group.  She currently serves companies across multiple industries including manufacturing, retail, and service.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Walsh College, and an MBA from Wayne State University.  Unyime is married with three amazing sons.

Barb Kaufman
Operations and Governance
Barb Kaufman
Operations and Governance

Barb has been a member of Impact100 Metro Detroit since 2016 and previously served on the board as the Chair of the Financial Review committee.  She returns to the board for 2022 as Secretary for Operations and Governance.

Liz DiGregorio
Co-Chair, Financial Review
Liz DiGregorio
Co-Chair, Financial Review

Liz currently serves as a Portfolio Manager at The Huntington National Bank in Southfield, where she is responsible for managing a book of Commercial Middle Market clients. She has over 13 years of experience in the financial services industry. Liz holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Central Michigan University, and an MBA from Wayne State University. Liz serves as the co-chair of the Financial Review Committee for Impact 100 Metro Detroit.

Kelsey Arvai
Co-Chair, Financial Review
Kelsey Arvai
Co-Chair, Financial Review

Kelsey Arvai, MBA, is an Associate Financial Planner at the Center for Financial Planning, Inc.  After graduation from the University of Michigan in 2016, Kelsey worked in research at the Wayne State University School of Medicine.  She earned her Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Wayne State in August, 2020.  Kelsey enjoys yoga, reading and food.  She’s always the first to know when a new restaurant opens in Detroit – thanks in part to her Eater Detroit newsletter subscription.

Eileen Vernor
Chair, Grant Review Committee
Eileen Vernor
Chair, Grant Review Committee

Eileen Vernor is Director of Wellbeing and HR Systems for Urban Science in Detroit. Her
professional background includes 30+ years HR experience across industries specializing in
global mental health wellbeing, compensation, benefits, and HR technology. She holds a BA in
International Relations and Spanish from Syracuse University, an M.Ed. Industrial
Counseling/HR from Northeastern University, and several HR certifications (SHRM-SCP, SPHR,
GPHR, and CCP). Growing up as part of an expat family, Eileen has lived in China, Indonesia,
Iran, Spain, and Venezuela. With a passion for volunteering, Eileen has served on several
nonprofit boards including Vista Maria, Community Care Services, and several local HR
professional association boards. In addition to serving as Chair, Grant Review Committee,
Eileen hosts Impact100 Metro Detroit’s Fueling Transformation podcast interviewing nonprofit
heroes including grant recipients. Eileen is married with a son, daughter-in-law and 2 energetic
grandchildren.

Liliana Stoneback
Co-Chair, Grantee Relations
Liliana Stoneback
Co-Chair, Grantee Relations

Liliana is passionate about social justice and civil rights.  She enjoys helping nonprofits develop funding strategies to achieve their mission and create social change.  She began her career with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, and currently works as a grant writer and fundraising consultant.  Liliana is from Colombia and grew up in New Jersey.  She has a BA in economics and political scheme from Villanova University, and an MA in public administration from Michigan State University.  She lives in Orchard Lake Village with her husband and four kids. In her free time she enjoys traveling, running, and volunteering.

Julie DiCicco
Co-Chair, Grantee Relations
Julie DiCicco
Co-Chair, Grantee Relations

Julie DiCicco has been with TD Bank (formerly Chrysler Financial) for 20+ years, and has been involved in the front and the back end of the business.  She has worked in integration and in overseeing daily functions.  Her current role is Operation Manager supporting the US Data and Analytics team, promoting consistency, overseeing talent development and employee engagement, and working closely with TD’s Canadian partners on various initiatives.  She has been a part of the TD Women in Leadership group for 12 years, recently serving as the co-lead and establishing community partnerships with the Mercy Education Project and Impact100 Metro Detroit.  Julie graduated from Central Michigan University with degrees in Sociology and Family Studies.  She resides in Grosse Pointe Woods with her husband and three sons.  She loves to entertain and to spend time with family and friends.

Linda Jones
Chair, Marketing and Public Relations
Linda Jones
Chair, Marketing and Public Relations

Linda Jones is the Senior Manager of Global Operations Talent Care for the Science and Clinical Functional Service Provider workforce solutions at Kelly.  Jones leads employee engagement, performance management, and talent mapping strategies that support the retention of the highly skilled life science professionals on assignment with Kelly clients.  Throughout her career, Linda had a diverse history of job roles in many industries, including at Merrill Lynch in Detroit and Harris Bank in Chicago.  She has a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs Management from Michigan State University, and is currently enrolled at Walsh College pursuing her Master of Science in Management with a concentration in Human Resources. In her spare time, she is an active board member of Impact 100 Metro Detroit, plays tennis, enjoys kickboxing and cycling classes. Linda is a resident of Detroit, Michigan with her husband Carlos and daughter Clare.

Lisa Samerdyke
Chair, Membership
Lisa Samerdyke
Chair, Membership

Lisa Samerdyke is a Detroit area health care executive who actively participates in many of the multi-
stakeholder organizations focused on improving health for area residents. She is a philanthropist and
board member for community organizations serving southeast Michigan with a focus on improving quality of life. She has a strong sense of devotion to the non-profit sector and is a passionate advocate. Lisa also enjoys hitting the gym, reading and spending time with family and friends.

Kellie Davis-Patton
Chair, Membership Communications
Kellie Davis-Patton
Chair, Membership Communications

Kellie is an Account Director at McCann Detroit.  She graduated from Michigan State University, earning her Bachelor of Science from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.  Her passion for creating authentic consumer marketing and building strong client partnerships have landed her at Major League Baseball All-Star and World Series games, Country Music Award Festivals, and Manchester United Pitch events! Her love of messaging and connection also extends to her community and philanthropic work. When not lending a hand to the dynamic women of Impact 100 Metro Detroit, she can be found outdoors with her husband of 12 years and their two children.

Tracie Hightower
Chair, Nonprofit Relations
Tracie Hightower
Chair, Nonprofit Relations
A leader in academic innovation for the past eight years at Cranbrook Schools, Tracie has led professional teams and students using creative thinking around process improvement and organizational pursuits for equity and inclusion. Throughout her career, Tracie has served on boards for academic and youth programming, developing an expertise in collaborative work teams, design thinking, and innovative technologies within the K-12 environment. Tracie was the Founder and CEO of Kemet Creative, a small video production and graphics company for start-ups and small businesses seeking brand marketing elements. In addition, she has a background in Electronics Engineering and worked for Motorola Semiconductor for 10 years. Tracie is currently working on a new start-up, Collective Flow Learning, LLC, a consulting firm focused on collaborative ventures with non-profits and academic organizations to effectively lead teams toward innovative and design-centered approaches for learning and building capacity. Tracie hopes that CFL will serve the community with impactful solutions for greater opportunities and outcomes for your youth. Tracie resides in Southfield with her husband of 30 years and they have two girls.
Kim Huttenlocher
Chair, Technology and Website
Kim Huttenlocher
Chair, Technology and Website

A founding board member of Impact100 Metro Detroit, Kim is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a BA in English. She has spent the last 25 years raising two children and volunteering for a wide variety of organizations, churches and schools. She is past president of the Clarkston Community Historical Society, and serves on the Board of Directors for Blessings in a Backpack-Waterford. She is currently co-authoring a history textbook for 2nd grade students in her local school district.