Board & Staff

Kwafo AdarkwaKwafo Adarkwa - President

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 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.

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

2019-21.jpegJeff Powers - Vice President

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.

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.

Anne CraftAnne Craft - Secretary

Anne is passionate about education, leadership and telling a great story, which makes being the executive director of marketing and communications at Michigan Virtual her perfect career fit. Anne holds a master’s degree from MSU, taught high school for 10 years, worked in media sales, and ran her own digital marketing firm before joining Michigan Virtual, and is excited to bring her education and experience to the board. Additional hobbies include riding her Harley, cooking a gourmet feast or serving a meal at the rescue mission.

Blair.jpgBlair Renfro - Past 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.

dr-d.jpgDr. Dorinda J. Carter Andrews, Ed.D.

Dorinda is a professor and chairperson of the department 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  nearly 15 years. Dorinda has been an ELEF board member since 2014. She is a former industrial engineer, high school math teacher, and kindergarten teacher. She and her husband, Michael, have three daughters in the school district. 

Ron BaconRon Bacon

Ron Works for Amgen/Syneos Health as Field Reimbursment Manager for Greater Lansing and Metro Detroit. He has worked for 20 years in the Biotechnology industry with companies including Pfizer and Baxter. He has worked with all of the largest health systems in the State of Michigan. He holds a Bachelors in social sciences and a Masters in Organizational Leadership from Saginaw Valley State University, where he also played and captained the football team. 

Ron joined the ELEF board in 2018. He has served as Chair of the East Lansing Human Relations commission and as Secretary for the Greater Lansing Martin Luther King Commission. He enjoys being an assistant varsity football coach at East Lansing High School. 

Ron and his wife Therese live in the Hawks Nest neighborhood with their children Veronica, Sasha and Joel all of whom attend ELHS. 

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.

Justin 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 an EL alumnus (class of ‘89), who married 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 a Senior Director at Neogen Corporation. He has been an IT leader, Project Management professional, and Security  professional in the Lansing area for 25 years. He enjoys giving back to our community by volunteering as a coach, for non-profits, and on many boards.

Lynsey Clayton

Lynsey is a proud East Lansing alumnae (‘00) and a member of the East Lansing Educational Foundation Board since 2014. Lynsey and her husband Josh have four children, ages 3-13. All are proud to be Trojans. Lynsey and her husband Josh own H & H Mobil in East Lansing. In addition, Lynsey is a dedicated community volunteer serving on the East Lansing Downtown Development Authority and previously was a member of the Planning Commission, serving as chair during her tenure.  Lynsey is a 2004 graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Urban Planning. She is grateful for the opportunity to give back to ELPS, creating a great future for her kids and others, through the ELEF. 

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.

Dane SprecherDane Sprecher

Dane Sprecher currently serves as the Director of Marketing and Agency Relations for AF Group in downtown Lansing. Dane is an experience marketing professional with a demonstrated history of working in the insurance industry here in Michigan, having previously worked with BCBSM, Delta Dental, and Vertafore. Dane holds a BA in Marketing from Michigan State University and a MBA from University of Michigan – Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

Dane has served on the East Lansing Educational Foundation Board of Directors since 2017 and is a graduate of East Lansing High School.

Born and raised in East Lansing, Dane now resides there with his wife Angela and three children – Roslyn, Gloria, and Henry. 

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.

Administrative Support

Michele Huisgen

(517) 333-7439