For information about Affirmations' Board of Directors or how you can get involved, email Frank Aiello.
President Mark Blanke currently resides in Rochester Hills, MI with his long time partner Michael Perkins. He is an accounting graduate of Alma College and presently is the Chief Financial Officer for North America and Asia working for Delfingen Industry SA. His involvement with Affirmations began over 19 years ago when he first participated in fundraising. Over the course of time his dedication and commitment to Affirmations Board of Directors has extended to its Capital Campaign (2004-2007) and Campaign for the Future (2010-2012).
Attorney, Burgess & Sharp PLLC
Syeda Davidson is a graduate of the University of Michigan - Dearborn and Thomas M. Cooley Law School. She is currently an Attorney with Burgess & Sharp PLLC where she primarily practices in employment law and civil rights. Syeda first became involved with Affirmations in 2011, through various fundraisers and advocacy events. In the Spring of 2012, she co-authored an article in MIE Journal entitled "Serving LGBT Survivors in Rural Communities." In November of 2012, she joined the Affirmations Board of Directors.
Associate Professor, Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Frank is a graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University and Wayne State University Law School. He formerly practiced real estate and corporate finance law at Bodman LLP. Frank is now a law school professor, focusing his scholarship on effective land use techniques and land conservation. He joined Affirmation's Board of Directors in 2012.
Melody "Zip" Johnson
Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council
Melody "Zip" Johnson is an accounting graduate of Madonna University and presently works for the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council. Her journey with Affirmations began over 15 years ago when she first volunteered as a greeter in the "old building". She has served as a member of the Board of Directors since 2008 and accepted the position of Vice President in May 2011. Zip also serves on the Multicultural Advisory Committee (MAC).
Accountant, Owens Corning
Member at Large
Richard Gibson Ed.D
President & Owner of Gibson Coaching and Organization Performance
Richard is a graduate of Alma College, Michigan State University, and the University of Maryland. Richard brings to Affirmations an extensive background in non-profit management and governance. In addition to being a Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Richard has held leadership positions in Goodwill Industries, the American Red Cross, and the American Public Human Services Association. Richard maintains an executive coaching and management consulting practice.
Custom Clothing Industry
A graduate of Michigan State University with an emphasis in economics and history, Jodi Allen is a native Michigander and current resident of Rochester Hills. Jodi first came to Affirmations in 2011 when she began attending various events and weekly meetings sponsored by the Ferndale facility. As a board member, she is eager to lend her voice and efforts to the chorus of others at Affirmations who are dedicated to ensuring that Affirmations remain an important and prosperous community resource.
Lori Frank is a graduate of Boston University School of Education and Michigan State University College of Law (fka Detroit College of Law). She opened her own law firm in 1996. She is the current chair of the Oakland County Bar Association’s Diversity Committee, an officer of Stonewall Bar Association, an officer of Michigan Creditors Rights Bar Association, a member of the Michigan State Bar’s Diversity Committee, and the Michigan State Bar’s Civil Procedure and Court Committee. Ms. Frank proudly joined the Affirmations Board of Directors in 2013. She lives in Berkley with her long time partner, Amy.
Jon has an undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Kansas and an MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. He began his career as CPA for Andersen, and has since had a variety of experience in Finance and Strategic Planning. Currently he’s employed as a Treasury professional at the Chrysler Group LLC in Auburn Hills.
Colt has an undergraduate degree in Architecture and an MBA from Lawrence Technological University. In 2009 he started a small business focusing on project management services for manufacturing industries. He has been a volunteer for youth sports and technology programs throughout Oakland County since 2004. His dedication and service to Affirmations began in 2010 after becoming a facilitator for the various support groups. He joined the Board in 2013.
2013-2014 Board and Committee Meeting Schedule
6:30 PM: Board of Directors
*Please note all meetings are held in the Affirmations' Board Room unless otherwise notified.
Darnell Jones RPH
Pharmacist CET Pharmacy Group
Darnell is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy degree. He is currently practicing pharmacy with CET Pharmacy Group , a Michigan based pharmacy chain where he is specializing in patient education and clinical impact.
He was first introduced to Affirmations in 2011 as a presenter to the Transgender and Intern groups. Since that time Darnell has steadily increased his level of involvement by joining the Transgender Day of Empowerment planning committee along with the Gender Identity Network Alliance (GNA) board.