Board of Directors
Karen Cherven, President and CEO
Karen is a proactive Detroit real estate investor and lawyer who is also the founder of Detroit International House. She holds Business and Law degrees from the University of Michigan Law School.
Susan Leithauser Yee, Treasurer
Sue is a commercial banker and real estate executive with The Loft specializing in loft and condominium living in Detroit, with a key knowledge of the commercial community and a great passion for the city. With her special interest in the riverfront, Sue is also a Founding Board Member of The Riverfront Conservancy in Detroit, which helps to conserve and restore key elements of the city’s history.
Kimberly Buffington, Secretary
Kimberly is the Founder of EDEN Gives, a highly innovative city-wide food donation program for inner city residents of Detroit. Kimberly started her mission by collaborating with a missionary food program in Peru, and then brought these visionary ideas to Detroit. In partnership with Trader Joe’s, her program feeds hundreds of low-income families in the city. Not content to stop there, she recognized that Detroit could use its own local fresh food program and has subsequently begun to create food security for her growing “customers” by establishing Planted, a hydroponic local inner city farm which grows pounds of fresh food a month for distribution– thereby cutting down lengthy distribution costs and environmentally unhealthy food transportation costs.
Nada Dalgamouni is a twice-nominated Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Nada is the Global Education Director of the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit (IIMD) and has a long and successful history in international education. Born in Jordan, Nada earned her first degrees in education there then moved to Hawaii, where she entered the international tourism industry catering to travelers who wanted to learn the island’s history. Nada then moved to Detroit in 1960 as a consultant to the Detroit Public School System. There she founded the organization Children Helping Children. Since becoming Global Educational Director for IIMD, Nada has spear-headed international interest in Detroit and founded her instrumental summer camp program, which partners with Detroit International House each summer. She has been named Director of the organization The World In America with strategic plans to create an international market and International Zone for Detroit and its residents to celebrate and expand its internal revitalization.
Andrew is the Chief Technical Officer for Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, California, one of the most highly visible city foundations in the United States. Homeboy has created jobs and job training for gang members throughout the greater Los Angeles area, while establishing its first program-staffed restaurants downtown and at the new Tom Bradley international wing of LAX. Andrew is the Former Senior Network Administrator for Classic Rentals, a major event planning and party planning company in Los Angeles, with a national profile and customers, and was in charge of significant event planning and logistics. He also plays a second executive role as a Partner in Lakeaugust Design, a growing international presence in the home furnishing design field, and has created its international website design and outreach program.
Kate is an architectural and cityscape photographer with assignments and commissions from the Detroit Institute of Arts, The Kresge Foundation, the University of Zurich, and designer and international architect David Adjaye. Born in Detroit and a long-time resident of Germany, Kate studied and realized the economic discrepancies between the outer suburbs of Detroit and its core inner city and has come back to chronicle these differences as a living witness to Detroit’s revitalization. She and her partner buy neglected classic homes in the Detroit area and refurbish them to their former classic elegance as another expression of her ongoing passion for Detroit. Kate’s photographs have been published in Detail, Curves, Womankind, and in Urban Realm Magazine. She won First Prize in the SCARAB Annual Photography Exhibition.