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Saunteel Jenkins named Kresge Foundation Trustee

General Foundation News

The Kresge Foundation Board of Trustees today announced the appointment of Detroit nonprofit leader Saunteel Jenkins to serve on the private, national foundation’s 11-member governing body.

A lifelong Detroiter, Jenkins has dedicated her entire career to underserved populations and communities through nonprofit leadership and public service. Since 2014 she has been the CEO of The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW), a nonprofit organization that provides energy and utility assistance to Michigan residents in need. As a public servant, she was elected to the Detroit City Council in 2010 and elected Council President in 2013. She previously directed residential treatment at Mariners Inn, a Detroit shelter for men fighting addiction, and led national business development for Platform Learning, a private education company that provided tutoring services to at-risk students across the United States.

Jenkins earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in social work from Wayne State University (WSU) in Detroit. She is active in energy justice and is the past board president of the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition. She also serves on or advises several Detroit and statewide boards, including United Way of Southeast Michigan, WSU School of Social Work; WSU Helping Individuals Go Higher (HIGH) Program; Henry Ford Hospital & Health Network, and the International Women’s Forum Michigan.

“Saunteel’s public service and nonprofit leadership experience make her an exceptional addition to Kresge’s Board of Trustees,” said Trustee Cynthia Kresge, who led the search process and is the great-granddaughter of founder Sebastian S. Kresge.

“Saunteel’s deep experience in serving the needs of Detroit residents – both as an elected official and as a tireless advocate on the front-lines for people experiencing poverty and disadvantage – will fortify The Kresge Foundation Board’s ability to give voice to the needs and opportunities of our home community,” said Rip Rapson, president of the foundation. “Her passion, her commitment, her integrity, and her skill will be an enormous addition to all the work we do, not only in Detroit but in cities across the country.”

Per the foundation’s bylaws, Jenkins will serve an initial 4-year term as trustee.