A true people person.
You can often spot Gretchen Slenk at a local café chatting with a friend over a hot cup of specialty coffee. She isn’t just fueled by mochas and dulce de leches though. She loves hearing people’s stories, inspiring others to live out their unique strengths and working with organizations in strategically moving their mission work forward. Her passion for people and impacting lives led her to pursue her master’s degree in macro social work with a focus on the development of communities and nonprofits. Gretchen has since had over 10 years of nonprofit experience, serving youth and families as the director of programs at Prevention Works and later as the Organizational Development Manager at the Southwest Michigan Children’s Trauma Assessment Center.
Today, you will see Gretchen in action as she helps the Southwest Michigan First team maximize the impact of its leadership events and consulting services. Your takeaways from these types of experiences delivered by Southwest Michigan First are enhanced by Gretchen’s knowledge of program planning and classroom delivery methods gained as an educator while teaching at the School of Social Work at Western Michigan University.
Rooted in her family, Gretchen comes home to her husband Matt and two young children. After a day filled with leadership, learning and more than one coffee date, Gretchen loves to relax by going for a run or with a good book before heading out to shake more hands and change even more lives.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman