I was raised by my parents, Steve and Kathy, in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Along with my younger sister, Virginia (an Ely, MN Jaycee) we were always encouraged to be better at what we do and maintain a centered self by giving back to our communities. It isn’t enough to be better ourselves if we haven’t supported those around us through volunteering our time and efforts.
I took those values with me as I studied Architecture at North Dakota State University, began practicing design and building planning in Pittsburgh, PA, and eventually moving to Royal Oak to join the Central Woodward Junior Chamber. I have been a member of that chapter for 13 years. I met my wife, Sarah – 88th President of the Michigan Jaycees, in 2007 at a friendly flag football game between the two Regions F-n-H. As fate would have it, we started dating in 2009 and have now been married for almost seven years.
To me, the underlying need to volunteer and make our world better has permeated into all aspects of my career and home life. As a project architect, I find I enjoy those projects most that connect people to each other and develop an opportunity for a legacy far outreaching the immediate goal of ‘the project’. While each project does this in its own way, the schools, churches, financial institutions, hospitals, museums, and restaurants that have become part of my portfolio have all touched the lives of individuals that have gone onto influence many others.
I enjoy thinking about all the experiences I’ve had in my home life involving the Junior Chamber organization – meeting new friends and having the opportunity to support other Michiganders across the state. Where else could I find myself talking with the Lieutenant Governor one day, to brainstorming ideas about how to raise volunteers for a fundraiser in Kalamazoo, or encouraging a new local president in Delta County to take on a new challenge to grow their membership so they can better make their festival bigger and give back more. The foundation of giving back to others has made that possible.
Junior Chamber Recognition:
- Junior Chamber International (JCI) Senator #72491
- Michigan Junior Chamber Life Member #440
- Mark N. Pankner Award (Outstanding Michigan Jaycee Executive Board Member) – 2013
- Martin P. Luthy Memorial Award (Top 10 Local Chapter President) – 2008
- Dave Lichwala Memorial Award (Top 20 Local Chapter President) – 2008
- Dennis Mullins Memorial Award (Most Outstanding President), Region F – 2008
- President of the Year, Region F2 – 2008
- Tenth Degree Jaycee
- Presidential Medallions:
- 2008 – 84th President Brian Coker, “Right Here, Right Now”
- 2011 – 87th President David Q. Worthams, “Happily Ever After”
- 2012 – 88th President Sarah Nelson, “Write Our Future”
- 2013 – 89th President John R. Badeen, Esq., “Impact for Tomorrow”
- 2015 – 91st President Mathew Sernau, “What’s Next”
- 2017 – 93rd President Peter Behrmann, “Together As One Team”
Junior Chamber Offices Held:
- Michigan Junior Chamber:
- Chief of Staff – 2017
- Election Chairman – 2015
- Executive Vice President (COO/COS) – 2013
- Executive Presidential Assistant – 2011
- Region F Director – 2010
- District F2 Director – 2009
- Royal Oak Jaycees (DBA Central Woodward Junior Chamber):
- Chairman of the Board – 2009
- Chapter President / CEO – 2008
- International Vice President – 2006
- International Director – 2005
Other Organization Memberships and Achievements
- Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America (BSA)
- Order of the Arrow
- Grand Rapids Business Journal – Forty Under 40 Nominee 2016
- National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
- American Institute of Architects (AIA) – Associate Member
- Kent County Conservation League
- Board Member – Since October 2015 (Acting Treasurer)
Meet the Team
I have been a member of the Redford Jaycees since 2010. Although I am a general member this year, I have served on my local board as a vice president twice, and in 2013, assisted the Training Director at the state level. Training is my passion, both with the Jaycees and professionally. I am a partner at Coeus Creative Group, which frequently allows me to combine my professional life with my Jaycee life. I have helped develop trainings that have been given at the local, state, national and international levels. The opportunities for training and competitions are in my opinion, one of the most valuable things our organization does. I live in Livonia with my husband David (also a Redford Jaycee) and our three rescue dogs.
I am currently a General Member of the Westland Area Jaycees. I have been a Jaycee for close to 3 years now. I am a people person. I love socializing and meeting new people, which is one of the reasons I joined the Jaycees. I work full time as an employee for the city of Ann Arbor. Typically on a Friday evening, I’m usually spending time with friends, whether it’s around a bonfire, at the bowling alley, or sitting in a restaurant. I am extremely passionate about the individual development area of opportunity in this organization. Being apart of the Jaycees made me realize that I had so much untapped potential that I never knew existed, I’m always looking to expand my opportunities and I love seeing that same potential brought out of others as well.
Hi. My name is Janet. You can call me Janet. I’ve been a Jaycee for 16 years and I am about done! Though I am a lifetime member and JCI Senator 70496, so I’m staying. I’m staying. And you and you and you, you’re gonna love me. I’m a wife and a mother and a grandmother. My favorite project of all time is when the Michigan Jaycees held Boat Bash in Cheboygan. I miss that!
I am Ray Russell Jr. I have been a member of the South Kent Jaycees for a little under 5 years. But I have been around the Jaycees since I was in elementary school thanks to my parents who were members. I feel like I am a pretty easy guy to talk to. And one of my favorite project I attended growing up was an Easter egg scramble with over 20,000 Easter eggs filled with candy.
Hi, I am Tanya Quackenbush. I became a Frankenmuth Jaycee in 2011 and a dual member in Redford in 2013. I have been luckily enough to be involved in conference planning on the State and National level for the last few years before and after I aged out of the organization. The friendships that I have developed in the Jaycees are just one reason that I am happy that I decided to take the plunge into this fantastic group. As a member of a large active chapter it has always been a struggle to name my “favorite” project, but I think that I can safely say that the Frankenmuth Chili Cook-off stands out the most for me because it is truly one of our most fun community projects.
I am a dual member of the Rochester Area and Petoskey Area Jaycees. I have been a member of Rochester since 2008 but I have been involved since I was born with my parents being active with Petoskey Jaycees and the State. I am passionate about photography and technology. I enjoy spending time with my family. I have really enjoyed traveling around my district and state visiting project. My favorite one is our Tunnel of Terror in Rochester.
I have been a member of the Grand Rapids Jaycees since November of 2001. I’m a Realtor with Five Star Team Estate; I don’t think I could have started my own business without the skills I learned as a Jaycee. I love to cook, entertain and tend to have a robust social calendar. But I also enjoy a good book and gardening to recharge.
While I have many favorite Jaycee projects, it happens when you’ve been active for so long, I think my most favorite is the Farmers Charity Classic Senior PGA 10-day golf outing. I worked for several years on the transportation committee running several different parking areas then served as the last Tournament Manger in 2004. It is hard, long work but worth it and something to be very proud of!