Sarah Rinsema-Sybenga, Executive Director
I get to live and play in McLaughlin. I get to work in McLaughlin. I get to worship in McLaughlin. My world is small and centered and grounded and I love it. Before this? Lived in Japan and traveled Asia. Taught English to hundreds of Japanese students, slept on tatami mats and in Buddhist temples, ate sushi cross-legged, drank Asahi and green tea, biked hundreds of miles of back roads, and learned what being “in the minority” means. Lessons from that world seep constantly into experiences in this world.
Charlotte Johnson, Housing Specialist
I love my job because it allows me to work right where I live, in my community. I’m constantly finding new leaders in our neighborhood. I enjoy mobilizing them to begin and grow positive projects that strengthen community. I live to inspire our youth to dream and spark their creativity to keep moving forward and take us beyond my imagination.
Kimi Zimmerman, Rehab Specialist & Community Development Catalyst
I’d have to say I have my dream job. How many people can honestly say that they get to live their work? I have the good fortune to be one that doesn’t simply punch a time clock. I get to go to work and do life with my co-workers who are my friends and neighbors. I get to work with neighbors who have become my friends and most importantly I get to share with those who don’t live in the downtown neighborhoods the good that exists in our community and help them discover how to be involved WITH neighbors and join in the amazing work that neighbors are already doing.
Virginia Taylor, Bethany Housing Program Director
I am energetic, talkative, and animated. With joy and passion, I serve as an advocate for justice and change. Guided by the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi: “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love,” I have a knack for igniting hope while empowering people to move from being victims of their circumstances to the architects of their own destiny. At Community enCompass, I am able to use my tremendous energy doing what I love—helping people discover what it means to find their destiny and live the Abundant Life.
Laurie Wieschowski, Farm Manager, McLaughlin Grows
Who knew my path in life would lead me to being an urban farmer? My work has allowed me to assist in teaching disabled children, go back to school to become a horticulturist, grow tropical plants in a greenhouse, and tended grounds near the nation’s capital. My family life has allowed me to raise two wonderful children into amazing adults, and now be blessed with grandchildren to pamper and love. All of these things eventually brought me to Muskegon, where I am now privileged to work in the same neighborhoods I call home. Being allowed to serve those in the community while having my hands in the dirt is a dream I could never have imagined coming true, but here we are….and I cannot wait to see what we will accomplish together!
John A. Taylor, Housing Resource Specialist Outreach Coordinator, Veteran's Coordinator
I believe our lives are like books; Every one with a story to tell. I want to know the stories. I am a Christian, a husband to Virginia, the father of four adult daughters, one elementary-aged son, and grandfather of two beautiful girls. I've been happily married for over three decades, am a native Michigander, proud resident of Muskegon, lover of Lake Michigan, writer and compulsive book hoarder.My personal vision is to serve others so that they are able to live full and rich lives, and share their stories with the world.I believe that much of our soul is hidden, even from ourselves, and that only an encounter with a living God can help us discover who we really are.
Dan Moran, Community Health Worker / Housing Specialist
Having lived in Muskegon for over 30 years, I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be working in my community with this group of caring and committed people. Together, we connect our neighbors with the help they need, whether it be housing or health care, or just being there with them when they need someone to listen and to know that they are not alone. This work is rewarding beyond measure and I feel very fortunate to be involved in it.
Arisha Coffee, Americorps VISTA Leader/Coordinator
I am a Grand Rapids Native. I’ve been in the Muskegon are for Close to 4 years. My passions are Fashion, Arts, Music, youth, God and family. I love to sing! In fact, I was a professional background singer and traveled the WORLD for 5 years: ). Outside of work, you can find me spending quality time with my Husband and daughter, or my youth from church (youth leader) **Make A permanent, positive, impact **
Dorothy Griswold, McLaughlin Grows Youth Education Coordinator & Americorps VISTA firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no doubt that I was led to my position here with Community Encompass. I’m passionate about teaching about gardening, cooking and nutrition and connecting the dots between what we eat and how we feel. That’s why I’m so glad to be a part of the partnership between our farm and Mercy Health. Its time to see Food as Medicine. My brain sees connections everywhere, so I’m always engaged in meeting new people and connecting them to each other to accomplish the greatest good. When I’m not working I’m either dancing, shopping at thrift stores(for the diva in me), biking the trail, enjoying the beach or with my son Rowan(18) Daughter Shannon(21) or Grandson Ben(16mos).