Meet the Michigan Chapter Board of Directors
President: Melonie Stothers
Melonie is an employment attorney, mom of two amazing kids, and wife to research chemist, Dale. When Dale and Melonie’s daughter, McKenzie (Izzy), was born with tetralogy of fallot with near pulmonary atresia (and 22q11.2 deletion syndrome), Melonie dedicated her free time to helping find ways to advance research and improve the quality of life for those living with CHD. Later, when the doctors informed Melonie and Dale that they had come to the edge of science with Izzy and had no more ways to help her, Melonie’s passion became funding research in hopes that no other parent should face the same news. She has been active in the local CHD community since 2008 and has been a long-time member of the CHF Michigan Board.
Immediate Past President: Sally Powers
Sally and her husband Kevin live in Clarkston with their three children. Sam, 7 years old, was born with severe Aortic Stenosis and has undergone two open heart surgeries. Understanding firsthand the importance research plays in saving lives, Sally and Kevin founded the CHF Michigan Chapter in 2010 and the SE MI Congenital Heart Walk in 2011. Sally currently serves on the National CHF Executive Committee and Board of Directors.
Vice President: Rachel Kain
Rachel is an IT business analyst, wife to Michael, and mother to two living, heart-healthy boys. She is also the mother of Colin, who passed away in 2010 at 3 months old from complications after open heart surgery to correct multiple congenital heart defects, including Transposition of the Great Arteries. Rachel joined the Michigan chapter of CHF in order to help raise money for research and ensure that ALL children born with CHDs live long and healthy lives, and that ALL children whose CHDs require surgery will make it home from the hospital. Cementing Colin’s legacy is the inspiration for her commitment to the CHD community in general and The Children’s Heart Foundation in particular.
Treasurer: Evelyn McKenzie
Evelyn is the owner of Hire a Wife, LLC, based in Chesterfield and the grandmother of a CHD child. Evelyn believes that CHF can help find a way for her granddaughter to live to be a healthy adult. She has a personal goal of raising $1,000,000 for Children’s Heart Foundation research.
Recording Secretary: Courtney McKenzie-Moore
Courtney started her career in legal publishing in New York, where she and her husband, Greg, started their life together, having two boys, Sebastian and Xavier. After 10+ years away from her family in Michigan, she moved back home to be closer to her CHD warrior niece and the rest of her family to help in any way she could. Learning about CHF and it’s mission, she decided to get involved in an organization that could actually make a difference in the CHD community.
Board Member & Corresponding Secretary: Amy Stephens
Amy is a former special education teacher from Virginia. She and her husband, Josh, moved to Michigan four years ago with their two young daughters, Layla and Corinne. Their third daughter, Alana, was born in September of 2012. Alana has Ebstein’s Anomaly and Atrial Septal Defect (ASD). She had her first open-heart surgery in October of 2014 at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The surgical repair Alana had done has only been performed in the United States for about ten years now, so Amy understands firsthand the importance of CHD research and is looking forward to promoting CHF’s mission.
Board Member & West Michigan Representative: Carisa Farrer
Carisa lives in Kalamazoo with her husband, Ben, and 4 children, Heidi, Cohen, Brendan, and Joshua. Her oldest child, Heidi, was born in 2001 with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Carisa is an active Group Discussion Leader in her local MOPS group, enjoys volunteering at her church, in her community, and children’s schools. She treasures spending time with her family. Since 2004, Carisa has been active in the CHD community by organizing different fund-raising events benefiting CHD research and she is excited to continue her efforts by helping to guide CHF in West Michigan.
Board Member: Teresa Conley
Michigan’s Medical Advisory Board Members:
Dr. Carlen Fifer: University of Michigan C.M. Mott Children’s Hospital
Dr. Robert Ross: Children’s Hospital of Michigan