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
DCF Chair; President & COO, Crain Communications
President and CEO, The Skillman Foundation
Retired Technology Consultant
Senior Vice President, Global Communications, General Motors
Owner, Slows BarBQ and Los Pistoleros
Gretchen Gonzales Davidson
Arts and Education Advocate
Senior VP, Marketing Manager, Bank of America
Vice Chairman, Rock Holdings, Inc.
Educator, Entrepreneur & Child Advocate
Wright Lassiter III
President & CEO, Henry Ford Health System
Managing Partner and CIO, Graticule Asset Management
DCF Treasurer; President, Barton Malow
Retired CEO & President, Lear Corporation
Vice Chairman, Detroit Pistons
Managing Director, JP Morgan Private Bank
The DCF Team
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.
Erica Robertson is the deputy director of the Detroit Children’s Fund. Prior to joining Detroit Children’s Fund Erica was a member of the KIPP Memphis Executive Team responsible for Strategy, Data & Technology for the region. Erica also brings seventeen plus years private sector experience as a Strategic Change Executive with a results driven track record working in the fields management consulting with the Big Five, strategy and operations in private equity and more recently as a certified change management practitioner for Nike Inc., successfully launching the Change Management Center of Excellence for Western and Central Europe as the European Director. Erica is veteran of the US Navy and a native Detroiter whose mission is to prove the possible for all Detroit children.
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.
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 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.