Great Start Collaboratives and Parent Coalitions

Great Start Collaboratives

Across the state of Michigan, the Great Start Collaboratives have convened a network of Great Start Parent Coalitions (GSPC). Serving as advocates, cheerleaders, thought-leaders, teachers, students, coaches and team-members, these parents have formed strong coalitions to lend voice and hand to the belief that every child from birth to age four needs and deserves a Great Start in life.

Great Start Parent Coalitions

Are key advocates on the issues of early childhood in their community, their state--even nationally.  For example, some advocate for sustainable, permanent funding to support the promotion of social and emotional health in all young children. Others identify and recognize "family-friendly" workplaces in the Great Start Collaborative area. They may educate others in their community about the importance of brain development, the need to act early when developmental issues arise, and the need for a coordinated network system of early childhood services and supports.

Develop and execute a cohesive annual work plan to keep the needs of Michigan's youngest citizens where they should stay: front and center!

Are parent-driven, composed of parent volunteers, and have a flexible approach to building a diverse membership.  The parent members create the vision, plan of work and agendas for GSPC activities and meetings.  A key element of support for the Great Start Collaboratives, they help advance  local activities and initiatives by lending support and expertise. Each local GSPC is composed of parent volunteers---members are not paid to participate. The membership and leadership of the local GSPCs  strive to represent the wide diversity of the parents of young children in their community-- including but not limited to cultural, socio-economic, geographic, and gender.

Interested in learning more, and joining your local Great Start Parent Coalition? Use the contact list to connect with the Great Start Collaborative and Parent Coalition nearest you.


Great Start Collaborative Contact List

Allegan County Great Start Collaborative

Rebecca Huberty, Coordinator 269-512-7738

Melissa Badillo, Parent Liaison 269-512-7747

Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Counties Great Start Collaborative

Angela Bruning, Coordinator 989-354-5366

Shellie Gohl, Co-Director 989-354-3101

Heather Gagnon, Parent Liaison 989-356-1414

Tanya Schultz, Parent Liaison 989-356-1414 x222

Barry County Great Start Collaborative

Julie McMillen, Coordinator 269-945-9545 ext. 166

LeeAnn Miller-Busson, Parent Liaison

Bay-Arenac Counties Great Start Collaborative

Rich VanTol, Director 989-667-3280

Amy Trogan, Parent Liaison 989-992-1803

Berrien County Great Start Collaborative

Kristen Chism, Director 269-471-7725 ext. 1270

Heather Steinbrook, Parent Liaison

Branch County Great Start Collaborative

Amy Galliers, Director 517-278-5600

Leahmarie Fiddie, Parent Liaison 517-278-5600

Calhoun County Great Start Collaborative

Susan Clark, Coordinator 269-660-1606 ext. 6142

Annie Flynn, Parent Liaison 269-660-1606

Zoe Brainard, Parent Liaison 269-660-1606

Cass County Great Start Collaborative

Anna Carter, Director 269-445-6217

Stephanie Knepple, Parent Liaison 269-445-6283

Charlevoix, Emmet, & Northern Antrim Counties 

Maureen Hollocker, Director 231-582-8070

Jean Faivor, Lead Parent Liaison 231-582-8070 x42289

Elisabeth Gee, Parent Liaison 231-582-8070 x42289

Cheboygan-Otsego-Presque Isle Counties Great Start Collaborative

Melinda Hambleton, Coordinator 989-306-0683

Karyn Rauch-Smock, Co-Director

Dawn Fenstermaker, Parent Liaison

Clare & Gladwin Counties Great Start Collaborative

Amy Pratt, Director 989-386-8657

Sarah McCurdy, Parent Liaison - Clare 989-386-8644

Gabby Tester, Parent Liaison - Gladwin 989-386-8644

Clinton County Great Start Collaborative

Ken Lounds, Interim Director

Maria Cook, Parent Liaison 989-224-6831 ext. 2145

Copper Country Great Start Collaborative

Iola Brubaker, Director 906-482-9363

Alyssa Loven-Lutz, Parent Liaison 906-482-9365

Crawford, Iosco, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Roscommon Counties Great Start Collaborative

Chris Tappan, Director 989-275-5000 ext. 428

Tammy Tyler, Parent Liaison 989-275-9565

Abigail Laidlaw, Parent Liaison

Delta-Schoolcraft Great Start Collaborative

Tara Weaver, Director 906-786-9300 ext. 109

Cheryl Demers, Parent Liaison - Schoolcraft 906-286-9478

Laurie Mold, Parent Liaison - Delta 906-786-9300 x111

Dickinson-Iron Great Start Collaborative

Barbara Reisner, Director 906-396-9546

Jonathan Ringel, Parent Liaison 734-474-8597

Eastern Upper Peninsula Great Start Collaborative

Elizabeth Rye, Coordinator 906-632-3373

Jessica Price, Parent Liaison - Luce 906-293-3203

Laura Tinker, Parent Liaison 906-203-2807

Eaton County Great Start Collaborative

Nicole Selleck, Director 517-541-8987

Leslie Zimmerman, Parent Liaison 517-541-8989

Genesee Great Start Collaborative

Chandrika Payton, Coordinator 810-591-5137

Autumn Bagley, Parent Liaison 810-591-5126

Gogebic-Ontonagon Counties Great Start Collaborative

Meghan Lane, Director 906-575-3438

Paula Maloney, Parent Liaison 906-575-3438

Crystal Suzik, Parent Liaison 906-575-3438

Gratiot-Isabella Counties Great Start Collaborative

Marni Taylor, Director 989-433-2962 ext. 320

Michele Monroe, Parent Liaison 989-433-2962

Hillsdale County Great Start Collaborative

Stefanie Rathburn, Director 517-437-0990 ext. 207

Wendy Playford, Parent Liaison 517-689-1816

Huron County Great Start Collaborative

Rebecca Gettel, Director 989-269-3485

Abigail Chapman, Parent Liaison 989-269-3493

Ingham County Great Start Collaborative 

Michelle Nicholson, Coordinator 517-244-1384

Wendy Boyce, Co-Coordinator 517-244-1246

Jessica Baker, Parent Liaison 517-899-4754

Ionia County Great Start Collaborative

Sally Kapteyn, Director 616-437-0548

Holly Blastic, Parent Liaison 616-527-4900

Jackson County Great Start Collaborative

Kelly Sheppard, Director 517-768-5281

Christina Blackwell, Co-Coordinator 517-990-8015

Jennifer Ganzel, Parent Liaison 517-745-9544

Kalamazoo County Great Start Collaborative

Sarah Drumm, Coordinator 269-250-9635

Kent County Great Start Collaborative

Paula Brown, Director 616-243-3442

Leslie Hawkins, Coordinator 616-328-6098

Christina Pocklington, Parent Liaison 616-623-1007

Tomarra Richardson, Parent Liaison 616-623-1007

Lapeer County Great Start Collaborative

Linda DeTavernier, Director 810-664-5917

Simmer Champie, Parent Liaison 810-245-3994

Lenawee County Great Start Collaborative

Lisa Eack, Director 517-264-1551

Sarah Meikle, Parent Liaison 517-266-4821

Livingston County Great Start Collaborative

Robin Schutz, Director 517-540-6829

Breanne Green, Parent Liaison 517-540-6749

Holly Kupec, Parent Liaison 734-751-0053

Macomb Great Start Collaborative

Kelly Isrow, Director 586-228-3495

Kim Morales, Parent Liaison 586-228-3495

Marquette-Alger Counties Great Start Collaborative

Angela Johnson, Director 906-226-5157

Kelly Sippl, Parent Liaison - Alger

Amanda Schulz, Parent Liaison - Marquette

Mason-Lake-Oceana Counties Great Start Collaborative

Sara Jeruzal, Coordinator 231-898-1549

Kim Chatfield, Parent Liaison 

Cassidy Johnson, Parent Liaison - Mason

Faith Thomas-Jones, Parent Liaison - Lake

Mecosta-Osceola Great Start Collaborative

Jessica Wimmer, Director 231-592-9605 ext. 2040

Tricia Smith-Bennett, Parent Liaison 231-592-9605

Menominee County Great Start Collaborative

Sarah Hanson, Director 906-863-5665 ext. 1038

Jennifer MacDonald, Parent Liaison 906-863-5665 x1038

Midland County Great Start Collaborative

Micki Gibbs, Director 989-492-7702 ext. 1173

Amanda Hawkins, Parent Liaison 989-492-7702 x1229

Monroe County Great Start Collaborative 

Amy Zarend, Director 734-242-5799 ext. 1826

Nicki Eyler, Parent Liaison 734-242-5799

Montcalm County Great Start Collaborative

Cari O'Connor, Director 616-522-1412

Chelsa Eggleston, Parent Liaison 616-225-6166

Mindy Train, Parent Liaison 616-225-6146

Muskegon County Great Start Collaborative

Allison Keessen, Director 231-767-7285 

Stuart Jones, Co-Director 231-767-7272

Cheryl Latsch, Parent Liaison

Newaygo County Great Start Collaborative

Karen Clark, Coordinator 231-652-3604

Christina Yuhasz, Parent Liaison 231-652-3604

Oakland Great Start Collaborative

Veronica Pechumer, Co-Coordinator 248-209-2513

Christine Hodge, Co-Coordinator 248-209-2098

Michelle DeWald, Parent Liaison 248-222-9545 x4

Flavia Maccio, Parent Liaison - Lead 248-333-9545

Ottawa County Great Start Collaborative

Heather Eizenga, Coordinator 616-738-8940 ext. 4038

Sarah Brody, Parent Liaison

Saginaw County Great Start Collaborative

Julie Kozan, Director 989-399-7452

Farren Samuels, Parent Liaison 989-399-7458

Sanilac County Great Start Collaborative

Karolyn McEntee, Director 810-648-2200, ext. 4108 

Kimmi Hurlburt, Parent Liaison 810-648-2200 x4108

Shiawassee County Great Start Collaborative

Courtney Herrick, Director 989-725-2581

Jennifer Babcock, Parent Liaison 989-725-2581 x2146

St. Clair County Great Start Collaborative

Riley Alley, Director 810-455-4397

Jennifer Gunderson, Parent Liaison 810-455-4443

St. Joseph County Great Start Collaborative

Stephanie Giolitto, Director 269-467-5473

Mariela Gomez, Parent Liaison 269-467-5473

Lauren Dill, Parent Liaison 269-467-5473

Traverse Bay Area Great Start Collaborative

Mary Manner, Director 231-995-7114

Missy Smith, Parent Liaison 231-342-5433

Tuscola County Great Start Collaborative

Rachael Koepf, Director 989-673-2144 ext. 30325

Jessica Elston, Parent Liaison 989-673-2144

Van Buren County Great Start Collaborative

Sherry Bennett, Director 269-539-5411 

Lise Black, Co-Director 269-539-5207

Angela Dickerson, Parent Liaison 269-389-9880

Washtenaw County Great Start Collaborative

Margy Long, Director 734-994-8100  ext. 1277

Shannon Novara, Co-Coordinator 734-994-8100 ext. 2177

Colleen Klus-Salisbury, Parent Liaison 734-994-8100 x2178

Wayne County Great Start Collaborative

Kathleen Alessandro, Director 734-225-6616

Laketa Thompson, Co-Director 734-225-6616

Kaela Wright, Parent Liaison 734-225-6616

Carmen Colon, Parent Liaison 727-282-6261

Wexford-Missaukee-Manistee Area Great Start Collaborative

Nicole Schultz, Co-Coordinator 231-775-9776  ext. 194

Seth Hopkins, Co-Director 231-723-4325

Ashley Mattiuzzo, Parent Liaison 810-265-6163

Erin Pontiac, Parent Liaison - Manistee 231-887-4175

Jenny Mickelson, Parent Liaison 248-229-9063