ABOUT PEOPLE FOR PALMER PARK
Board of Directors 2015-2017
People for Palmer Park is governed by a board of directors that volunteer and represent the surrounding communities and various professions.
Rochelle Lento - President/Ex Officio, All Committees
Rochelle Lento has been a resident of Palmer Woods since 1992. Together with her husband, Mark Madigson, she has three children: Ariel, Joshus and Louis, all of whom were raised in their home in Palmer Woods. Partnered with her dedication to her family, Rochelle has devoted her professional life to the ongoing efforts of representing non-profit developers and building housing for low to moderate income families as an attorney at Dykema Gossett. Prior to joining the PFPP, Rochelle was very active in the Palmer Woods Association, serving on its board for 10 years, 5 as Board President. Currently, she works as co-chairwoman in the Vacant Property Committee of the Palmer Woods Association. Stemming from her active work as a community organizer, her efforts are a symbol of her hopes for Palmer Park and its surrounding communities. The Log Cabin and the areas around the new Urban Garden are her very favorite spots. Being fully aware of the monetary commitments needed to further reshape Palmer Park, she has a vision that includes permanent walking trails, benches along the perimeter, a complete restoration of the Log Cabin, up to five new playscape areas for the children as well as a revitalized tennis court. Above all else, the desire to restore the Merrill Plaisance Fountain is a goal
that must be accomplished.
Clinton Griffin - Vice President/Chair, Preservation & Beautification Committee
Angella Durkin - Treasurer/Chair, Finance Committee
Angella Durkin joined the Board of People for Palmer Park in 2015 but has been a long-time volunteer for the organization. Angella is a finance professional having obtained her MBA from the University of St. Gallen in St. Gallen, Switzerland, holds a CPA license and is the Vice President Finance & Administration for NextEnergy, a nonprofit organization based in Detroit. As a Northern Michigan native and outdoor enthusiast, she loves having access to nature right in the heart of our city. Angella’s favorite Palmer Park activity is attending story time with her husband and two sons who are 2 and 4 years old. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Leonora King - Secretary/Tennis Director, Recreation
Lee King loves Palmer Park and has been coming regularly for 40 years to her favorite spot, the tennis courts. When she was a young girl she began playing tennis there and she still does! She formed the Palmer Park Tennis Academy and is still acting Director and Coach. She is also actively involved with Focus Hope (delivering boxes to seniors who are shut in) and works with Midtown Detroit, Inc. on cultural events. Her goals for the park are to see new lighting, resurfaced courts and a permanent club house built. She sees people becoming more involved in bringing the park back, taking ownership of the park and their own neighborhoods and becoming actively involved in rebuilding the City of Detroit. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Barbara Barefield - Chair, Events/Marketing
Barbara Barefield has been an arts and community activist since the mid-1970s, from publishing a weekly newspaper to presenting concerts at the DIA and in historic homes. Chair of the PFPP Events committee, she is also PFPP’s graphic artist for print. Prior to owning her graphic design firm Barefield DesignWorks, she was art director of the Detroit Free Press Sunday magazine and of UAW Solidarity magazine. A graduate of University of Michigan School of Architecture and Design, she recently opened Barefield Clayworks, a Detroit ceramic studio, with her son. Barbara’s photography has been widely exhibited, and published in her book Jazz Space Detroit, as well as local and national media. When her hands are not in clay, or clicking a camera, Barbara is the co-producer of Palmer Woods Music in Homes with her husband jazz guitarist/composer A. Spencer Barefield, playing with her St. Bernard, Devo, and planning and promoting events at Palmer Park. She can be reached at email@example.com
Jason Fligger - Preservation & Beautification/Cabin Preservation Coordinator
In 1998, Jason Fligger left his home in rural Michigan and moved to Detroit. Once there, he and his family settled in a neighborhood immediately east of Palmer Park. As pastimes, he enjoys gardening, carpentry and playing the accordion. With a driving passion for revamping the Log Cabin as a gathering place for community educational activities, he is definitely an inspired volunteer. He describes his favorite memory at Palmer Park as walking through the forest on a late fall day, experiencing the feeling of being miles and miles away from city life. The Log Cabin is without question, his favorite spot in Palmer Park. Jason hopes to see a more natural restoration of Lake Frances including the promenade and the waterfall that once aerated it. He believes this gem is one that is most deserving of repair, so it is a gift many people can share in. Jason has a strong sense of pride and high hopes for Palmer Park, as well as the surrounding communities. He firmly believes that with the right amount of work put into restoring the park, a more positive light can begin to shine on the area and once it has been completed, visitors from other cities will view Palmer Park as an oasis of Green in the heart of Detroit.
Kim Fracassa - Marketing
Kim Fracassa is a founding board member since 2010 for People for Palmer Park and chaired the marketing committee until 2016. She has childhood memories romping in the park while her relatives played baseball. A graduate from College of Art and Design(CCS), her creative career in retail display spans from Downtown Marianne's on Woodward to Ralph Lauren at Somerset. For fun, she camps, continues education in art and tours all the city has to offer. She is a resident of Green Acres in Detroit, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reverend Gregory Guice - Recreation Co-Chair
Since being ordained at the Unity School for Religious Studies in Lee's Summitt, Missouri in 2000, Rev. Gregory Guice has established himself as one of Unity’s outstanding spiritual teachers of Unity principles and beliefs. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Sociology from Kentucky State University, he attended Marygrove College in Detroit where his curriculum was in Early Childhood Studies and in 1986 he received a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Humanistic Studies in Detroit. Rev. Guice has been employed as a Counselor, Teacher, and Social Worker in the Detroit area. He created a community organization at Detroit Unity Temple to fight crime within the neighborhood and he continues to reach out to various areas with the “Look for the Good” campaign. He has published two insightful and motivating books, “The Courage to Conquer Fear” and “Spiritual Waters”.
Rosalinda Haskins - Membership/Preservation & Beautification
Rosalinda Haskins is inspired to be an active volunteer because she loves her community and knows that we can't always wait for someone else to make a change. She is also an active member of her block club in addition to being a board member of the Bagley Community Council and the parent group at her daughter's school. Her favorite spot in Palmer Park is the tennis courts where she learned to play tennis and in the process made new friends. She hopes to see the Log Cabin restored to its former glory, additional parking for events, established bike lanes, a dog park and a covered tennis area, so the sport could be played year round. She also hopes for ways to increase membership and donations so that PFPP's Master Plan dreams can someday become a reality and that more surrounding neighborhoods will see what a jewel they have in their own backyard.
Sarah James - Chair, Membership
Sarah James grew up near Palmer Park in the Greenacres and University District neighborhoods and chose to settle in the area because of the strong sense of community and lovely architecture here. As soon as she heard that a new group had formed to improve Palmer Park, she jumped in with both feet, initiating the Palmer Park bike rides, Story Time, architecture tour, Log Cabin Day, yoga in the park, and more. Sarah started out on our Fundraising and Membership committee and quickly took on chairing the group because of her grantwriting and administrative experience. Currently she heads our PFPP Membership initiatives and Story Time, and loves to bike ride and snow shoe in the park. Sarah has served on the University District neighborhood Board as communications chair and currently manages the neighborhood email blasts. She works in the Office of the Vice President for Research at Wayne State University helping faculty learn how to write research grants and manages internal funding programs for faculty researchers. People for Palmer Park and the park itself embody much of what she loves and values: community, nature, beauty, equity, sustainability, education, recreation, history, culture, and architecture.
Sharon Gamblin - Chair, Recreation
Nancy Varner - Events/Recreation
Kathy Bledsoe - Finance/Recreation
Kathy L. Bledsoe is an experienced banking professional. She currently serves as a banking consultant to individuals and small to medium size businesses. Ms. Bledsoe also acts as a consultant to community and regional banks as well as credit unions in southeastern Michigan. Ms. Bledsoe serves on the Board of Directors for Legacy Bancorp in Milwaukee, WS and chairs the strategic planning committee. Ms. Bledsoe’s extensive banking career dates back to 1979 when she joined Detroit Bank and Trust as a management trainee. In 2007, she retired from First Independence Bank where she served as President and COO. Ms. Bledsoe is a native Detroiter and graduate of Kalamazoo College. She is also actively involved in her community, serving as Vice Chair of the Harper-Hutzel Hospital Trustee Board, Board Member of the People for Palmer Park and Treasurer of the LaSalle-Grove Block Club.
Amy Lebowsky - Chair, Marketing & Communication/Webmaster
Amy Lebowsky has been a proud and active PFPP member since 2010, and part of the Marketing & Communications Committee for most of that time. As the only Ferndale resident on the Board, she is much committed to the success of this park and area. Connecting both sides of our 8 Mile adjacent communities is essential for the success of our entire region. Amy is a graduate of the College for Creative Studies (BFA in Graphic Communication), former production artist for the Metro Times, and currently the Web Design Manager at BNP Media (Troy). She designed the People for Palmer Park logo, many of our merchandise items and also redesigned and maintains our latest website. Amy can be reached at email@example.com
Gregoire Eugene-Louis - Marketing/Log Cabin
Gregoire Eugene-Louis grew up volunteering and is a judge for NEIdeas (a program that celebrates existing businesses in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park), and currently works for Develop Detroit (a mission-driven real estate developer focused on neighborhood revitalization & building vibrant communities in Detroit). He is also involved with Motor City Match, which connects new and expanding businesses with Detroit’s quality real estate opportunities, providing them with funding and tools. Gregoire's church has been in Palmer Park since the late 80s and he has many great memories in the Park but believes his greatest memory there is yet to come since he and his wife welcomed their son, born in the fall of 2015! They currently live in Covington Arms Co-op and walk the trails together. He also runs and bike rides through the park regularly.
Lindsay Page - Farm & Community Manager
Sgt. Douglas Musten - Detroit Mounted Police Liaison
PAST BOARD MEMBERS
Eric Williams - Past Board Member
Lori Heinz - Past Chair, Recreation/Events (Ad Hoc)
John Secco - Past Community Liason
Helen Broughton - Past Treasurer
Alicia Biggers-Gaddies - Past President & Vice President
Daniel Scarsella - Past Preservation & Beautification Chair
Omega Headen - Past Board Member
Sgt. Eric Eide - Safety & Security, Mounted Police Board Rep
Mack Jones - Deceased
Trina Tucker - Liaison, City of Detroit Recreation Dept. Rep
Karen Petola - City of Detroit Recreation Dept. Rep
Brooke Ellis - Past Secretary
Jacqueline Poole - Detroit Golf Club H/O Rep
Keith Williams - Past Board Member
Craig Bristow - City of Detroit Recreation Dept. Board Rep
PFPP is entrusted as an Adopt-a-Park Partner with the City of Detroit.