Board Members and Staff
Sue Ellen Christian-Isaksen
Joanna Donnelly Dales
Joanna joined the Kalamazoo Community Foundation staff in 2007 as a Donor Relations Officer before being appointed to Vice President, Donor Relations in 2012. Joanna is a member of the Community Foundation’s Anti-Racism Transformation Team.
Prior to coming to the Community Foundation, she held development positions in Washington D.C., with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Symphony Orchestra League. In New York State she held development posts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy and with the Preservation League of New York State in Albany.
Joanna holds a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She currently serves on the boards of KC Ready 4s and the Downtown Kiwanis Club. She served on the board of the YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo for 9 years, including two as chair, and recently completed her service on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals West Michigan.
Joanna lives in Kalamazoo with her husband and three sons.
Amin Finch was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Amin holds an Associate of Applied Science from Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Eastern Michigan University. Amin spent more than 20 years working in the tourism and restaurant management industry for the Darden Corporation participating in the expansion of several brands, including Red Lobster, Bahamas Breeze, Olive Garden, and Fish Bone. Today Amin is the owner and operator of Finch & Co., LLC, a full-service catering company offering meal preparation, meal planning, event and group catering services, and ServSafe certifications and assessments. In addition to her entrepreneurial work, Amin is the Program and Family Support Coordinator for YWCA Kalamazoo. In this role, she is engaged and fulfilled in giving back to the community while working with children, families, and community members.
Brianna Jackson is a Teen Librarian at the Kalamazoo Public Library (KPL). She was born and raised in Syracuse, New York and moved to Kalamazoo after graduating with a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) in 2020. She enjoys working with the youth of Kalamazoo and being part of community-wide events that bring people together.
Shashanta James serves as director of Student Financial Aid along with overseeing the Scholarship unit, Financial Literacy services and the one-stop office, Bronco Express at Western Michigan University. She is a visionary with dedication and commitment to higher education which is evident in her acquiring over 35 years of service at WMU. This is exemplified by her passion to create spaces of equity and inclusivity. She deeply believes that awareness creates opportunities.
Mrs. James has collaborated on local, regional, and national levels with individuals and organizations to design, implement and present on various leadership and financial literacy programming. She completed an institute on Cultural Competency along with a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion certification and facilitates workshops to educate and advance our community.
Western Michigan University is very dear to her heart as she is a double Alumnus, met the love of her life there, supported her sister, eldest son, and niece to also graduate from WMU. She is a golden life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In her free time, she loves to travel, bake, try new recipes, and make memories with her husband and two sons.
Dr. Kristina Wade
member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated and a former Rhoer Advisor with the organization.
Executive Director - Staff
A Detroit native, Lymon moved to the Kalamazoo area to attend Western Michigan University. In 2018, she graduated as a full-time, first-generation college student with dreams of becoming an Attorney General and running her own non-profit. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a double minor in Communication and Sociology. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, has served as the former Student Body President of WMU, Homecoming Queen, and institutionalized voter registration at WMU for students to understand the importance of civic engagement. Lymon leaves her role as Social Media and Technology Specialist at the Kalamazoo Defender, where she was previously a legal assistant and the board liaison and facilitator for the office’s Anti-Racism Team.
Curtis Bell II
Judge Bell became a member of the Board of the Southwest Michigan Black Heritage Society in 2007 and continues emeritus status with SHARE.
Ed is a graduate of Western Michigan University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Administration in 1977.
Ed has served as Technical Director of Cardiac Laboratory Studies and Administrator of Borgess Medical Center. Upon retirement in 1983 he established Physicians Planners Consulting where he served as medical consultant to numerous medical practices throughout southwest Michigan. Ed has served on the board of directors of several organizations, including the State Hospital, the Youth Advancement Academy, the Douglas Community Association, and Allen Chapel AME Church. In 1981 Ed co-founded the 100 Men of Kalamazoo, an organization devoted to serving as examples and mentors for young African American men.
Romeo Phillips, PhD
Dr. Phillips has been a member of the Kalamazoo/Portage community since 1968 when he accepted the position that led to his becoming the first tenured African American professor at Kalamazoo College. He has played an active role in community arts and political organizations, having served as the president of the Kalamazoo Chapter of the NAACP, as a member of the Portage City Council, and as a performer in the Kalamazoo Bach Festival, the Kalamazoo Singers, and other music ensembles.
Dr. Phillips was a founding member of the Southwest Michigan Black Heritage Society and continues his emeritus status with SHARE.