THE CHOSEN VISION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jim Russell: Chairman
Jim Russell earned a degree in Business Administration from Hope College in 1983. He currently serves as President and CEO of RBF, Inc. in Lansing. Jim is a dedicated family man who is active with his wife and sons in a number of church and community organizations. Jim also serves on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the NAPL, and the Printing Industries of Michigan. He is a member of the Amy Foundation Advisory Board, the Board of Directors of Covenant Community Care (a faith based, non-profit organization dedicated to providing primary health care to the uninsured and underinsured of Southwest Detroit).
Melanie Dart , Secretary
Melanie graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Her work experience has centered primarily in Personnel, Public Relations, and Banking. Melanie is Secretary and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Dart Bank of Mason, Holt/South Lansing, and Grand Ledge. She is the fourth generation to be actively involved in the Bank which was chartered in 1925. Melanie is a member of Trinity Church (formerly East Lansing Trinity Church) where she serves on a Missions Support Team, as well as the Hospitality and Pre-School ministries. She is currently Secretary of the Grand Ledge Kiwanis Club, and an Ambassador of the Grand Ledge Chamber of Commerce. She is married and has grown children, a son, Jonathan, and step-daughter, Stephanie.
Alan Miller: Treasurer
Alan Miller serves as Board Treasurer. He retired following a 35 year career as a local government financial administrator in municipal and public school settings. Following retirement in 2004, he worked as a newspaper writer for over 10 years for the Lansing Community Newspapers and the Lansing State Journal. He has served on the board since 2014.
Melanie Bergeron is the chair of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/ INTERNATIONAL, Inc., the largest franchised moving company in North America. Bergeron began as the company’s first franchisee – the founder of the company is her mother, Mary Ellen Sheets. Bergeron became president in 1994 and together with her team grew the company from $6 million to $198 million. The company has been featured on The Today Show and CNBC’s How I Made My Millions. Bergeron has spoken at several universities and for many business groups to share best practices she has learned along the way. She also spends time mentoring other young entrepreneurs.
In addition, Bergeron currently serves as the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) immediate past chair and is on the Chosen Vision Board of Directors. Melanie is a graduate of Central Michigan University and resides in Okemos, Mich., with her husband and twin sons.
My name is Sue Rundborg and I am looking forward to serving on the Chosen Vision board. I am recently retired after 32 years of teaching special education. The vast majority of those years were spent teaching students 16 to 26. I taught for 25 years at Clinton County Regional Educational Agency in St. John’s. Teaching students with special needs has always been a passion of mine and I throughly enjoyed my time as an educator. I feel that I bring a unique perspective to the board not as a parent but as someone with many years of experience with students, parents, and helping young adults reach as much independence as possible. I have always admired Chosen Vision as an organization and the way they run their homes. I am serving on the parent committee and can’t wait to meet all the families and residents.
Tom is a lifelong resident of Clinton County, having lived in Dewitt for the past 30 years. He is president of Motz Homes, a residential building and development company, founded in 1985. Tom and his wife of 36 years, Melinda, are proud parents of Andy, who resides in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Adrienne, who was among the first residents of Chosen Vision, Dewitt.. Tom has served on the Board of Directors of First Bank-St. Johns, as well as The Greater Lansing Home Builders and Remodelers Association, currently serving as its President. Tom is excited to be working with Chosen Vision and to see his dream of providing Adrienne with a loving and nurturing home become a reality.
Craig Pilditch is the father of Michael Pilditch who resides in the DeWitt Men’s home. Craig joined the Chosen Vision Board in January of 2016 and was volunteered to chair the annual golf marathon fundraiser for Chosen Vision. A proud graduate of Michigan State University and an avid fan of all things MSU, Craig has been in medical sales since 1985 and is currently the Owner and President of The Orthopedic Resource, LLC. Career moves lead to a 15 year hiatus from the State of Michigan with a 12 year stop in Pittsburgh and 3 years in Chicago. Michael’s brother, Colin, lives in Royal Oak and works for the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn. Jane and Craig now live in Okemos and are enjoying the empty nest.
Dale Simmon of the Simmon Insurance Agency. Dale started working in the insurance industry in 1977 and seven years later, opened up his own insurance agency, the Simmon Insurance Agency, located in Delta Township. Dale lives with his wife Barbara in DeWitt, has 4 grown children and 4 grandchildren. Dale loves to golf, runs 15 miles a week, and reads about 50 books per year, mostly financial. Dale was introduced to Chosen Vision by DeWitt Mayor James Rundborg. Mayor Rundborg knew that Dale, being the father of a developmentally disabled young man, would want to know about the new Chosen Vision women’s group home located in DeWitt. This started a chain of events and conversations that brought Dale to the Chosen Vision Board in November.
The addition of Dale Simmon to the Chosen Vision Board seems to be evidence of God’s perfect timing. “At this stage of my life,” Dale remarked, “I’m just trying to figure out how to take care of my son. And in the process, if there are other people I can help, that’s a bonus!”
Jennifer is a native of Peoria Illinois, moved to Michigan in 1981 to get married and start a family. This journey has led her to, among many other things, raise her daughters and help her husband build his business. Her expertise ranges from working full time as a mother of five, to volunteering in the children’s ministry at South Church in Lansing. Among her life experiences are helping to start and run a restaurant, taking college classes in psychology, running Marathons in Chicago, Detroit, and Quebec City, and traveling to Europe and Mexico to assist in the marketing of her husband’sbusiness. Since Jennifer has raised five daughters of her own, she has a passion for seeing young ladies live independently.
Linda L. Zylstra
Linda grew up in Lansing, MI and attended Calvin College where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Psychology. Her husband, Joel, works for Granger Energy and together they have three children; all attended Lansing Christian School. Prior to being a full time mom, Linda worked at the David Chapman Agency. She has also spent the last 20 years helping various non-profit organizations with fundraising events. She currently serves on Lansing Christian School’s Foundation Board.
Founder/Board Member Emeriti:
Eleanor (Ellie) Tobey
brought together a group of interested persons in 1991 and formed an organization named Chosen Vision, Inc. with the purpose of developing small group homes for developmentally disabled adults. For ten years she served as the chairperson of that organization. Ellie has a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy. In addition to being the mother of three children, she was a physical therapist for 26 years providing this service in acute care, home care, and school settings. She later earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Western Michigan University. She has worked as a professional social worker, supervisor and manager in the fields of mental health and health care for over twelve years. Ellie has been a long time member of Trinity United Methodist Church where she has been a volunteer leader of a special ministry for developmentally disabled adults for 20 years.
And, lets not forget former Board Members for their service. They are:
Charles (Chuck) Franke was a board member and chairperson from 2001 to 2005. He is a graduate of Adrian College. He is retired from the State of Michigan after a career of 28 years in management. His last position involved property management for the Michigan Department of Social Services which included leasing of office space for local offices, budgeting and office design. He supervised a staff of 25 people. Chuck has been a long time member of Trinity United Methodist Church where he has been actively involved in various ministries; these have included being a member of the church’s Stephen Ministry, the church library ministry, and the audio-visual ministry.
Rev. Rae Franke
The Rev. Rae Franke served on the board of directors from 2001 to 2005. Retired as the Minister of Congregational and Community Care at Trinity United Methodist Church, Lansing. She is a graduate of Adrian College where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree. She later earned her certification in Christian Education from Scarritt College; she also obtained certification as a Grief Counselor/Facilitator from the American Academy of Bereavement. Rae became a Consecrated Diaconal Minister in 1980 and was ordained a full Deacon in the United Methodist Church in 1998.
Harold Gazan was board member and Treasurer from 2001 to 2007. He has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor’s degree from Hope College. He is also a graduate of the Moody Bible Institute. He had 34 years of experience in various capacities with the Michigan Department of Social Services. During his last thirteen years with the department, he was a part of upper management. After retirement from state employment, he taught at the University of Michigan – School of Social Work for five years. He has also been a consultant to both state and private agencies. He has provided staff development seminars and workshops throughout the nation. He has authored training manuals and had articles published in professional journals. He has been a member of many churches, civic and professional organizations over the years.
Lynne retired from the Michigan Department of Public Health in 2002 after 32 years of service. She was a financial analyst for the Department, where she developed budgets, provided oversight on federal grants, provided financial direction to various bureaus within the Department for which she had responsibility, prepared budget reports for presentation at Legislative hearings, and worked with local county health departments in developing grant proposals. Lynne is married to Bruce and owns MacDowell’s Fireplace & MacDowell’s Flowershop in Grand Ledge. Lynne is a stepmom to Hugh.
John Muenzer served on the board as Treasurer from 2006 to 2008. A graduate of Albion College and the University of Michigan, John worked as an analyst for the Michigan House of Representatives and an Administrator for the Department of Labor and the Family Independence Agency. He also served as a financial consultant for a small business and a gubernatorial appointee to a work comp insurance board. In addition, he has taught Political Science classes at Eastern Michigan University and Oakland and Lansing Community Colleges. Finally, he has volunteered at the riding program for children with disabilities at Beekman Center. Currently he is the Capital Area Literacy Coalition (CALC) Board and works as a reading and math tutor. In addition, he is a tax preparer for the Tri-County Area Agency on Aging program, a hospice volunteer and active in his church, St. John’s Student Parish. John and his wife have a son and daughter adopted from Calcutta, India.
Kalmin (Kal) Smith has had a long and distinguished career with the State of Michigan and he is now retired. For many years he was a legislative analyst for the Michigan House of Representatives. He later became the Acting Director of the Michigan Department of Labor and then Senior Deputy Director of the Department of Consumer and Industry Services (which included the former Departments of Labor and Licensing & Regulation). Kal is a graduate of Albion College. He earned a Master’s Degree from Western Michigan University and his doctorate in political science from the University of Cincinnati. Before working for the state of Michigan, Kal taught at Valley Forge Military College (Wayne, PA) and at Hanover College (Hanover, Indiana) before returning to Michigan to work for the Michigan State Legislature. Kal also taught part-time at the Lansing Community College for twenty years. He has been an active member of church and civic organizations for many years. He is presently a member of the Grand Ledge City Council.
Sandy Tallian was a board member and Secretary from 2002 to 2013. She retired from Ford Motor Company after 30 years. Most of her professional responsibilities were with the Treasury Department of the Corporation where she handled Cash Management, Derivatives and Foreign Exchange activities. She is married to Robert (who was also a board member) and she is step-mom to Holly (a resident of Chosen Vision’s Grand Ledge Home). Through her personal relationship with Holly, Sandy gained considerable experience and knowledge about the special needs of developmentally disabled persons. She has also completed several workshops and training sessions in the area of alternative living, guardianship, and financial planning for the disabled.
Robert Tallian was a board member from 2002 to 2013. Robert earned a Degree in Industrial Education from Ferris State University. He is a veteran of the Viet Nam War where he served in the US Air Force from 1970 to 1974. Robert retired from Ford Motor Credit after 32 years. His last position included the facilitation and structuring of dealership construction and mortgage financing for Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales franchisers. Robert is a devoted father to Holly, who was born with Cerebral Palsy in 1976. As a result, Robert is experientially aware and acutely sensitive to the special needs of developmentally disabled children and adults.