Board of Directors

Serving 15 Michigan Counties

Drew Besonson
Drew Besonson

Chairperson

Poise Wealth Birmingham, MI

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Drew Besonson is the President of Poise Wealth, a Partner of Bleakly Financial Group, based in Michigan.  For over 20 years, Drew has supported affluent families to manage the complexities of their financial lives. As a testament to Drew’s high level of service, he has been featured in Fortune Magazine as well as numerous Metro-Detroit publications.  He lectures regularly to advisors and law firms sharing his areas of expertise to help grow their practice.

Drew’s goal is to leave clients financially better off than when he found them as he brings value to their financial war-room team.  He is passionate about the success of his clients and collaborates with them to create a comprehensive plan that aligns their actions with their intentions. He has developed thoughtful strategies and through these has transferred over $11 Billion into specialized Trusts.

Jonathan LoPatin
Jonathan LoPatin

Vice Chairperson

Manager within the Engineering and Construction department at The Taubman Company

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Jonathan LoPatin is a Manager within the Engineering and Construction department at The Taubman Company. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications as well as a Master of Science degree in Construction Management from Michigan State University. Jonathan’s volunteer work with the Detroit chapter of the NCJW introduced him to Orchard’s. He was immediately amazed by their mission and the people behind it, and is thrilled at the opportunity to be a part of it. Jonathan lives in Plymouth, MI with his fiancée Samantha Joustra. When not hanging around the house with their 7-year-old lab/mix Miley, they love checking out all of the food, arts, and culture in the metro Detroit area.

Michael K. Adkins
Michael K. Adkins

Secretary

Retired

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Michael’s career extends 40 years in the financial services industry and specifically in the Risk Management space. During his career he worked for multiple Fortune 500 global insurers, the most recent being Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. His professional career includes several senior leadership and strategic development roles in claims, commercial underwriting, Human Resources, marketing and most recently Vice President- Executive in charge of branch operations for the State of Michigan. He led one of the largest staff in the Midwest region, was responsible for the P&L for a portfolio more than 350 million and serviced nearly 10,000 policyholders. Additionally, he was responsible for Talent Management, Territory growth, marketing strategy and Branch services. He led and served on several corporate Talent Management and Diversity specific strategic committees. His relationship with Orchards is approximately 13 yrs. where he has been a board member, officer and currently the board chair.

Katora Cole
Katora Cole

Board Member

Chief Development Officer at the Michigan Science Center

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Katora Cole, M.A. is a committed community leader with 30 years of successful and meaningful community development, philanthropic, and nonprofit management leadership. Currently, Katora is the Chief Development Officer at the Michigan Science Center and creates philanthropic strategies while facilitating organizational growth. Katora has held several leadership roles including Chief Development Officer for Orchards Children’s Services and Sr. Director of Development for the College of Engineering at Wayne State University. Katora’s early career began as a social worker building and managing programs for adolescent mothers and their children. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Purdue University as well as a Master of Arts in Management with a concentration in Non-Profit Management. She is on the Board of Directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Steering Committee for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Recently, she was featured in the exhibit, “The Soul of Philanthropy” as Community Champion at the Detroit Historical Museum. She is married to Rodney Cole, Sr. and they have four children, including two who are a part of Orchards Youth Board and share in her passion to make a difference in the lives of children and families experiencing challenges and crisis.

LaKeisha Florence
LaKeisha Florence

Treasurer

Senior Manager Deloitte & Touche LLP Detroit Michigan

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Darryl Gardner, Ph.D.
Darryl Gardner, Ph.D.

Board Member

Assistant Vice President for Student Success – Wayne State University

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Dr. Darryl Gardner serves as Assistant Vice President for Student Success at Wayne State University. His primary responsibilities include strategic oversight to University Advising, Academic Success Center, Student Disability Services, Veteran Support Services, Warrior Way Back, Warrior 360, K-12/Pipeline Initiatives, Federal TRIO programs and other student support services and initiatives.

Prior to joining the Provost’s staff in 2019, he served as a lecturer and director of the Emerging & Rising Scholars Programs in the Mathematics department at Wayne State. He also served as the dean of students for the nationally-recognized Math Corps program and led the national expansion efforts in Philadelphia, PA — in partnership with Drexel University. His efforts have expanded globally, and he was honored with the 2019 CEMATHS Award for his work and advocacy for math literacy in Ghana.

Dr. Gardner holds degrees in mathematics, instructional technology and a Ph.D. in Evaluation and Research – each from Wayne State. His areas of expertise include program evaluation, curriculum development, quantitative research and statistics.

Jennifer R. LoPatin
Jennifer R. LoPatin

NCJW Appointee/Director

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I became involved with Orchards through my membership in National Council of Jewish Women, Michigan. I have a Masters in Social Service Administration from Case Western Reserve University and worked as a pediatric medical social worker. I’ve been married to Mark for 44 years. We have 3 children and 2 grandaughters. I’m proud to serve on the Orchards Board as the NCJW | MI representative.

Lea Narens
Lea Narens

Board Member

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Narens Associates, Inc. is a family business that has thrived in the southeast Michigan community. Lea has been a volunteer for Orchards for over 20 years. In 2020, Narens Associates, Inc. was awarded the Gerald Levin Champions for Children Corporate Award.
George Pitchford
George Pitchford

Board Member

Attorney Allen Law Group, PC Detroit Michigan
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George Pitchford was both born and educated in metro Detroit. Before becoming an attorney, he completed his degree at Michigan State University where he majored in Political Science and minored in philosophy. While at Michigan State he participated in several student groups, including the Informed Student Alliance. Since becoming an attorney, he has focused his practice on counseling public and private entities on a variety of labor, employment, education, governance, construction, and municipal law matters. He has worked with private and public sector clients in a number of industries including education, municipal, health care, construction, hospitality and gaming. George is also an active member of the community. He is currently volunteering with various non-profits and community organization. This includes serving on the Board of Orchards Children’s Services and the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources. He also served on a school board that focused on ensuring that pregnant teens had the opportunity to obtain a high school diploma. Additionally, he is a member of the NAACP and volunteered as a free legal advisor at the Women’s Survival Shelter. George is a graduate of the University of Detroit School of Law, where he was the recipient of several academic awards, including induction into the Jesuit honor society Alpha Sigma Nu. He was a Title Editor of Law Review and served on the Executive Board of Moot Court and was a recipient of the Babcock Academic Scholarship. He has published several legal articles on a variety of topics including workplace bullying, discharge of employees and copyright law.

Dianna L. Ronin
Dianna L. Ronin

Chair, Audit & Finance Committee

Vice President Finance Health Alliance Plan of Michigan Detroit Michigan

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As Vice President of Finance, Dianna Ronan leads the corporate accounting function for Health Alliance Plan of Michigan and its subsidiaries. This includes responsibility for monitoring financial performance that impacts HAP’s many stakeholders. Dianna has more than 35 years of financial leadership with non-profit healthcare organizations, including hospitals and health plans. Over the span of her career, she has been responsible for internal audit functions, assisting in the development of a hospital corporate compliance program, IRS compliance and overall financial accounting functions. Dianna has been involved with Orchards Children’s Services for many years, having held leadership positions that include chair of the board, chair of the audit and finance committee and chair of the strategic planning committee. She has also served as treasurer of the Kensington Valley Hockey Association and served on the finance committee of the United Way of Kalamazoo. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration – Accounting from Western Michigan University and is a certified public accountant.

Emily Snow
Emily Snow

Board Member

Regional Vice President Enterprise Holdings

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Emily Snow is the Regional Vice President at Enterprise Holdings overseeing the Southeast Michigan market since 2020. After graduating from the University of Maryland, majoring in Spanish and International Business, she joined Enterprise as a Management Trainee in the New York market in 2005. Prior to her current role, she also served in leadership roles in Northeast Florida as well as the Corporate office in St. Louis, MO. Committed to strengthening communities one neighborhood at a time, Emily was introduced to Orchards in 2021. She understands the importance of work-life integration and served on Enterprise’s North American Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team from 2013 to 2016. As a mom of a young adult in college, Emily enjoys spending her free time with her daughter, McKayla.

Sharon Spilkin
Sharon Spilkin

Board Member

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Sharon Spilkin is currently self-employed as an accountant.  She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master’s of Accounting degrees from the University of Michigan.  She started her career in public accounting and spent many years as the Finance Director of a not-for-profit organization.  She loves to travel and is an avid baker.  Sharon is married to Andy, has twin daughters, Bridget and Julia, and one very fat cat named Cody.  Go Blue!

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