The People


Joe Whalen
Joe Whalen – Executive Director

jwhalen@bridgetocommunities.org | 231.740.9566

Joe has been engaged in the creation and development of Bridge To Communities since September 2012. He was appointed Executive Director in January 2014.

In partnership with BtC, Joe is leading the effort to bring an affiliate of 70×7 Life Recovery to Muskegon County. He believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to reach their God-given potential, be healthy and enjoy life. He is passionate about seeing this become a reality for returning citizens in the Muskegon area.

Joe loves spending time with his wife and 2 young children in the great outdoors!


Davine Calkins
Davine Calkins

dcalkins@bridgetocommunities.org

Davine Calkins is a lifelong resident of Muskegon .  She attended a number of schools in Muskegon School district and graduated from Mona Shores.  Davine attended college and acquired her Associates in Marketing/Management, desiring to continue for her Bachelors in Ministry- Business.  She traded the pursuit of degree to be a stay at home mom and for the last 22 years has been about the business, along with her husband, to raise their  3 young men to be leaders in their homes and communities. She has held a number of leadership-mentor roles in local churches and organizations, each drawing from her personal and educational background.

Davine has a passion for people and relationships. She believes that when people know they matter anything in the world can happen. Her vision for others realizing their purpose  is what has put her in many roles within the church and community leading both students and families to be equipped and released to be that “change they want to see”.


Laurie Chartrand
Laurie Chartrand – Former practicing CPA, tax accounting professional

Laurie heads the BtC Finance Team. She is a lifetime Muskegon resident. Her knowledge of and experience with financial policies and procedures, both for for-profit and nonprofit organizations is extensive and adds an invaluable accountability factor to the BtC operations. In addition, Chartrand has three years of grocery store and management experience, and her current employment includes financial management of an area private school.


Dan Enck
Dan Enck – Engineering Manager, Sun Chemical, Muskegon Plant

Enck’s current responsibilities include management of the capital budget, management of all site-engineering projects, management of eight engineers and designers, management of the maintenance budget, and responsibility for energy reduction.

He brings a high level of experience and expertise to the facilities issues considered in BtC projects. He has both national and international experience, including hospital renovations for a ministry project in Glenallen, Alaska.


Nate-Johnson
Nate Johnson

Long-time Nelson Neighborhood resident and community liaison; full-time student, part-time employee, Muskegon Community College

Johnson was raised in the Nelson Neighborhood community. As an at-risk youth-very much like Muskegon youth and young adults—Johnson made some bad choices. He was arrested at age 19, received a lengthy prison term, but made life-altering good choices while serving that sentence. In an inmate leadership role, he assisted prison chaplains in encouraging other men to seek an alternate life plan. Johnson has successfully re-entered the Muskegon community and is helping to develop an intentional collaboration of like-minded individuals with similar backgrounds to serve as mentors and models to newly released inmates and facilitate their successful transition to community. He is among leaders of a growing collaborative of churches developing innovative neighborhood service and improvement projects.

Nate serves as a unique and invaluable resource on the BtC board, offering insights and neighborhood wisdom that inform relevant program choices and a realistic approach to career-track training and opportunities for returning citizens.


Chris Kuhn
Chris Kuhn – Associate Vice President, Business Banking at PNC Bank

Kuhn is currently in the Business Banking group with PNC Bank. He has been in the business banking field for eleven years, all of that experience in the Muskegon area. Kuhn’s role is to provide financing and banking services to many industries in the Muskegon and West Michigan region.

Born and raised in Muskegon, Chris has a passion for the West Michigan region.  His strong desire is for Muskegon and the surrounding communities to succeed and work together. BtC service provides the opportunity to positively impact the community through his business/financial knowledge and experience.


Erin Kuhn
Erin Kuhn – Executive Director, West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC)

WMRSDC’s mission is to promote and foster regional development in West Michigan through cooperation among local governments. For the past fifteen years, Erin has worked for the WMSRDC, focusing on economic and community development in the West Michigan region.

As the newly appointed WMRSDC Executive Director, Erin brings significant skills and knowledge of broad community development issues. Her former role as Lead Staff and author of the Lake County Economic Adjustment Plan and Project Manager for the Muskegon Area-Wide Plan (MAP), in addition to her superb grant research and writing skills, provide the BtC Board with a rich community development network and significant community based understanding and collaborative potential.


Kimberly Lowe, Fund Development Director, Guiding Light Mission

Michael McKinley
Michael McKinley, Entrepreneur, McKinley Concrete, LLC; Leadership Coach

Michael is a long-time Muskegon resident, a seasoned employee with a passion to develop business entrepreneurs and leaders. He is a church trustee at Beulah Baptist Church and an active member of the Church Brotherhood. McKinley brings a commitment beyond measure to the BTC board to see churches empower their economically challenged members to learn to lead, grow their knowledge, skills, and confidence, and launch successful business careers wherever they are.

His skills and life-time knowledge and network in the neighborhood are invaluable to practical business venture issues important to BTC’s goal to help entrepreneurs launch new business in the area.


Ronald Mann
Ronald Mann – Commercial Banking Executive, Vice-President, Commercial Lending, Community Shores Bank

Mann adds experienced financial knowledge to the BTC Finance Team, but his background as an accountant for two major nonprofit, faith-based Muskegon organizations provides a knowledge dimension that is extremely helpful. Mann’s military experience while serving at the Pentagon was assigned to the General Officer Management Office which directly reported to The Chief of Staff, Army, provides organization and operational skills that keep the BTC organization sharp. Mann also serves on the board and finance committee for The Tri Cities Area Habitat for Humanity, is the current President for Tri Cities Area Kiwanis Club, a finance committee member for Bridge Bible Church, and board member for the Chamber of Commerce Grand Haven Leadership Connect program.


Marilyn Petrowski – Serving Together Coordinator

Having been born and raised in Muskegon, Marilyn has a passion for making a difference in the lives of those in need of a fresh start. She has lived here her entire life, except for the years her husband spent in the United States Air Force.

For twenty-six years she was employed with MD Instruments, Inc. where she served as the Business Manager and HR director, retiring in 2011.

Her primary focus has been in support of and working with a variety of church ministries and faith-based organizations, serving as a board member and on the leadership teams of church start-ups.

Marilyn’s heart for people has led her to serve on mission trips to Iquitos, Peru and the surrounding Amazon River basin through Amazon Outreach. Her local mission focus is with The Hope Project, an organization involved with rescuing young girls out of human trafficking. More recently she became involved with and is passionate about Serving Together a component of 70×7 Life Recovery – Muskegon, where she is developing and serving meals to support the participants as they fulfill the requirements for their successful re-entry into the Muskegon community.


Karen Woods
Karen Woods – Principal, Cornerstone Community Resources, L3C.

Karen and her Cornerstone business partner launched CCR as a consulting firm that provides skills-building, coaching, and consulting services to community-focused nonprofit organizations. CCR was engaged as consulting technicians for Muskegon’s Strengthening Communities grant, and for two-yeas provided both one-on-one technical assistance, as well as capacity building and nonprofit governance training for all grant participants.

The Cornerstone organization is an L3C, a Low Profit Limited Liability company, a new for-profit business format with the primary purpose of social benefit rather than profit. Karen is executive director of Americans for Community Development, www.americansforcommunitydevelopment.org, the national professional organization for L3C service providers and business entrepreneurs.

Woods brings almost twenty years of experience in public policy think tanks, also serving as a Research Assistant to the Michigan State Department of Human Services Director, and was on the Search for Common Ground task force to advise the president and Congress about welfare reform policy. She has extensive experience in state and federal policy analysis, nonprofit management, and capacity building. Woods holds certification in nonprofit fundraising from the Indiana University Lilly family School of Philanthropy.