Detroit Children’s Fund adds three key staff members including Nick Karmanos as chief advancement officer

DETROIT – Detroit Children’s Fund (DCF) announced today the addition of three key staff members to aid in fund development for the organization.

Nick Karmanos has been hired as chief advancement officer, responsible for DCF’s institutional advancement and fundraising. Prior to joining Detroit Children’s Fund, Karmanos served as senior vice president of institutional relations for Karmanos Cancer Institute, where he raised more than $150 million over 16 years.

“The opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of Detroit’s children through improved access to quality education is very important to me,” said Karmanos. “We have the chance to provide hope and opportunity to generations of kids, empowering them to find a brighter future. I am truly humbled to have the chance to contribute and look forward to working with the DCF board and my colleagues in advancing this epic endeavor.”

Lisa Laurin and Karry Dalton have also been added to the DCF development team, and will work under Karmanos’ leadership. 

Laurin joins Detroit Children’s Fund as corporate relations officer, developing relationships with corporate partners and supporting the execution of major gift solicitation strategies. Dalton will serve as events officer, responsible for planning and executing DCF’s fundraising events.

“I am thrilled that these very talented folks have joined the team. They will play a critical role in leading our outreach efforts with the broader community,” said Tonya Allen, DCF board member and president & CEO of the Skillman Foundation. “Detroit Children’s Fund has gained a lot of traction over the past year, thanks to our generous donors, our impassioned board led by KC Crain, and the work of Punita Dani Thurman, executive director. The addition of Nick, Lisa and Karry to the team will help us accelerate this momentum.”

“The experience and capabilities Nick, Lisa and Karry bring to DCF will be a tremendous support to our mission of dramatically changing the odds of success for Detroit children,” said KC Crain, chairman of the Detroit Children’s Fund.

About the Detroit Children’s Fund

Detroit Children’s Fund (DCF) is committed to dramatically changing the odds for Detroit youth by ensuring they have exceptional learning and developmental opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom. Built in partnership with a team of civic and corporate leaders from across the city and globe, DCF deploys venture philanthropy principals to invest in high-potential education nonprofits that serve Detroit children. More at

Media Contact: Natalie Fotias, 313.393.1179,

Shinola and Matt Lauer partner to benefit Detroit Children’s Fund

NBC’s Matt Lauer partnered with Detroit-based luxury lifestyle brand Shinola to create a collection of products that honors his 20-year anniversary with TODAY and benefits the Detroit Children’s Fund.

The collection, TODAY’s Original, includes five essential items co-designed by Lauer and the brand — paperback journals, a 12-month planner, a boxed card set, watch straps and a leather passport wallet.

The collection is part of an initiative by the same name, where TODAY anchors create products with net profits benefitting a charity of their choice.

“I chose products that are important in my life and I hope they create some connection for people as well,” Lauer told Shinola when touring the Detroit headquarters.

Each product in the collection includes an inscription of the number “20,” commemorating his anniversary.

When asked why he chose to re-create these specific products, Lauer said, “First thing, each morning, I wake up and I open my leather-bound calendar. I get a look at my day as I do every day, and I look ahead at my week and look at my travel planner. I know 90 percent of people these days do all of that on their smart phone and their digital calendars, but that’s just not me.”

Proceeds to DCF will benefit the Detroit Edison Public School Academy, “a public school run under The New Paradigm for Education that provides outstanding learning opportunities for children in Detroit, ensuring success through both high school and college.”

“We’re grateful for the willingness of NBC, Matt Lauer and Shinola to support the Detroit Children’s Fund and our efforts to fund programs that benefit all of Detroit’s school children” said KC Crain, chairman of Detroit Children’s Fund. “This is exactly the kind of national exposure needed to promote the importance of improving educational opportunities for everyone in Detroit.”

Read the full interview with Shinola.

(Image courtesy of Shinola)

From The Today Show: Matt Lauer teams up with Shinola to craft products for a good cause


Call him old fashioned if you want, but Matt Lauer still loves getting mail that doesn’t contain a single emoji. Like, actual mail. On paper.

“I’d love to remind people the joy of holding on to something that doesn’t ring or beep or send you a tone,” he recently explained.

That’s why Matt teamed up with Detroit-based lifestyle brand Shinola to create a five-piece collection for his TODAY’s Original product.

Read the full story here.