Who We Are

The Detroit Children’s Fund is a team of educators, philanthropists and local leaders dedicated to dramatically increasing quality school options for families across Detroit. Our team is housed within the Skillman Foundation, though our independent board of community stakeholders oversees our work.


The DCF Board

KC Crain

KC Crain

DCF Chair; President & COO, Crain Communications

Tonya Allen

Tonya Allen

President and CEO, The Skillman Foundation

Pernilla Ammann

Pernilla Ammann

Advertising Executive

Phil Cooley

Phil Cooley

Owner, Slows BarBQ and Los Pistoleros

Gretchen Davidson

Gretchen Davidson

Arts and Education Advocate

Tiffany Douglas

Tiffany Douglas

Senior VP, Marketing Manager, Bank of America

Bill Emerson

Bill Emerson

Vice Chairman, Rock Holdings, Inc.

Carol Goss

Carol Goss

Community Leader

Kelle Ilitch

Kelle Ilitch

Educator, Entrepreneur & Child Advocate

Adam Levinson

Adam Levinson

Managing Partner and CIO, Graticule Asset Management

Ryan Maibach

Ryan Maibach

DCF Treasurer; President, Barton Malow

Jacques Panis

Jacques Panis

President, Shinola

Arn Tellem

Arn Tellem

Vice Chairman, Palace Sports & Entertainment

Jason Tinsley

Jason Tinsley

Executive Director, JP Morgan Private Bank


The DCF Team

Jack Elsey

Jack Elsey

Executive Director

Jack Elsey is the executive director of the Detroit Children’s Fund. Prior to this role, he served as the chief schools officer for the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan, a district charged with turning around some of Detroit’s historically lowest performing schools. Under his leadership, EAA schools experienced student growth results that outperformed state averages. Elsey has also served as chief of innovation and incubation at Chicago Public Schools, assistant superintendent of Detroit Public Schools, and chief schools officer of Detroit Rising College Prep Schools. He began his career as a middle school teacher in the South Bronx as a member of the Teach For America corps.

Nick Karmanos

Nick Karmanos

Chief Advancement Officer

Nick Karmanos serves 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.

Lisa Laurin

Lisa Laurin

Corporate Relations Officer

Lisa Laurin serves Detroit Children’s Fund as corporate relations officer, developing relationships with corporate partners and supporting the execution of major gift solicitation strategies.

Karry Dalton

Karry Dalton

Events Officer

Karry Dalton serves as events officer, responsible for planning and executing DCF’s fundraising events.

Additional support provided by the following Skillman Foundation Staff:

Natalie Fotias – communications and marketing.

Lauren Hawkins – finances and fundraising.

Paty Hinojosa – grant-making strategy and partner development.