Board & Staff

Blair Renfro - President

Blair is an attorney with State of Michigan Public Service Commission helping to keep a proper balance between the interests of Michigan’s regulated utilities and the customers they service.  
In his private life, Blair tries to maintain a proper balance between his own sanity and that of 3 active children all in the East Lansing Public Schools.  Blair began his first 3-year term with the ELEF in 2013 and will continue to keep up this valuable and worthwhile endeavor as long as they’ll have him.

Dempsey.jpgTim Dempsey - Treasurer

Tim Dempsey is the Director of Planning, Building, and Development and Deputy City Manager for the City of East Lansing.  He has also worked in the private and non-profit sectors. Tim has been on the Board since 2012 and serves as the Treasurer.  A native of Western New York, he has resided in East Lansing since 2004 with his wife and two children, both of whom attend East Lansing Public Schools.

kwafo.jpgKwafo Adarkwa

Kwafo Adarkwa, works as a Manager of Regulatory Strategy for ITC Holdings Corporation. In this role he provides support for and helps shape the regulatory strategic initiatives for the company’s Michigan Operating Companies. Prior to his work at ITC, Kwafo was a Public Utilities Engineer for the Michigan Public Service Commission.  Kwafo Adarkwa is a multiple time graduate of Michigan State University holding both a BS in Electrical Engineering (’03) and a MBA in Integrative Management (’13).

Kwafo began serving on the East Lansing Educational Foundation Board of Directors in 2014 and is the Chairman of the Business Partner Development Committee. Kwafo also serves on the Hawk Nest Homeowners Association Board as the Board Secretary.

Kwafo and his wife Mia live in East Lansing, in the Hawk Nest Neighborhood, and have two daughters Olivia (5) and Lily (1).

Dorinda J. Carter AndrewsDorinda J. Carter Andrews, Ed.D.

Dorinda is Assistant Dean of Equity Outreach Initiatives and an Associate Professor of Teacher Education at Michigan State University. She has a longstanding relationship with ELPS, beginning as a consultant on educational equity issues and also serving as a member of the ELPS Strategic Planning Committee (2007 and 2013), ELPS Response to Intervention District Leadership Team (2009-2012), and the Achievement Gap Task Force (2012-2014). In 2009 Dorinda ran a mentoring program for African American students in the district. She also co-directed and ran Project LEAD (Living Equity through Action and Diversity) for students throughout the district with Dr. Donna Kaplowitz from 2011-2015. 

Dorinda teaches courses on critical race theory, urban education, and critical multiculturalism. A native of Decatur, GA, she has lived in East Lansing for 13 years. Dorinda has been an ELEF board member since 2014. She is a former industrial engineer, high school math teacher, and kindergarten teacher. Dorinda and her husband, Michael, have three daughters who attend Pinecrest Elementary School.

Thomas-Beckett.jpgJulie Thomas-Beckett

Julie joined the ELEF Board of Directors in December of 2014, shortly after her children graduated from East Lansing High School. Valuing and celebrating the excellent performing and visual arts programs in the EL school system, Julie wanted to continue her volunteerism to support students throughout the East Lansing school system.

Julie is a family nurse practitioner and has her family practice in East Lansing. She lives with her husband, Rocky, in the Pinecrest neighborhood. Her children, Aaron and Elizabeth, are in college, allowing slightly more time for her interests in writing, fiber arts, quilting, and gardening.

kevin-blair.pngKevin Blair

Kevin M. Blair is a litigation attorney at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP.  He has lived in East Lansing for three years and has two younger children who will be starting kindergarten soon at Glencairn Elementary School.

bricarell.jpgJustin Bricarell

Justin joined the ELEF Board in 2016 and is the Associate Director of Annual Giving at Michigan State University. He was raised in East Lansing (proud Class of 2000 alum!) and lives in Lansing with his wife Jennifer, who teaches at Pinecrest, and son Riley (East Lansing class of 2033).

Scott-Carney.jpgScott Carney

Scott is a grateful EL alumnus (class of ‘89), who married an alumnus Molly (class of ‘91), who has two parents Bob and Linda McKnight (classes of ‘59/58), two brother in-laws (class of 79), a sister in-law (class of ‘81), and a proud parent of three children: Paul (class of 2019), Peter (class of 2021), and Maggie (class of 2024).  With three generations of family attending East Lansing schools, the Carney Family are big fans of all the Blue & White has to offer.  

Scott is an IT, Project Management, and Security professional who is currently consulting at the State of Michigan.  Scott has enjoyed volunteering in the Greater Lansing community for over 30 years.  For the past 10 years, he has volunteered as a coach for many EL sporting teams and actively volunteers in each his children’s schools on PTO’s and more.   He is currently the president and board member on the East Lansing Soccer Club, as well as a planning committee member for the ELHS Hall of Fame “Let the Tradition Continue”. 

Scott joined the East Lansing Educational Foundation board 4 years ago at the recommendation of good friend and ELHS alum Dennis Hamilton.  He was the Technology Committee Chair, is the current Alumni Association Chair, and current Golf Outing Chair.

crawford.jpgMary Crawford, PhD, MPH

Mary joined the ELEF Board of Directors in 2004.  She has been living in Chesterfield Hills, East Lansing with her husband, Eric, for over 30 years and all four of their children attended East Lansing Public Schools – Glencairn Elementary and 5/6 configuration, Hannah and MacDonald Middle Schools, and East Lansing High School.  Having volunteered in the classrooms and the schools since her oldest started kindergarten, she continues that commitment to ELPS through her volunteer activities on the ELEF Board.  Along with other ELEF board members, she is part of that village it takes to successfully raise a child.

grua.jpgLinda Grua

Linda, her husband Mark, sons (Seth & Adam) and siblings are all proud alumni of the East Lansing Public Schools
Longtime ELEF board member and school volunteer, she is a former classroom teacher and guidance counselor.

Mescher.jpgGary Mescher

Gary became a member of the ELEF Board of Directors in May of 2015 after Dave Chapin and Linda Grua made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.  Born and raised in East Lansing, Gary first became involved with ELEF in 2009, starting work with fellow ELHS ’71 grads to raise money for the foundation and its good works in East Lansing schools.

During the day (and some nights) Gary works for the MSU Alumni Association, engaging Spartans in the Mid-Michigan, West Michigan, Kalamazoo and Traverse City areas on behalf of the university.

Gary and his wife Marlene have two grown children and two grandchildren.  Someday he hopes to have leisure interests beyond watching MSU sports.

thumb_59047_10151085163741266_573414787_n_1024.jpgJeff Powers

Jeff Powers is a Business Loan Officer for the Michigan State University Federal Credit Union. Jeff has been on the board since May of 2016. A second generation East Lansing native (East Lansing High School class of 1992), he lives in East Lansing with his wife Kate and son Joseph who attends the East Lansing Public Schools. Jeff and his family are committed to ensuring the East Lansing Public Schools is able to providing the best opportunities for all students.

Administrative Support

Michele Huisgen

(517) 333-7439