ANN ARBOR – “The Ele’s Place mission speaks to me personally, as I experienced the death of my father when I was a teenager. Like so many adults, I truly wish there had been a place like Ele’s Place when I was young and my family was grieving,” said new Ele’s Place, Inc. CEO Jennifer Wolfe Howard in a release.
The Michigan-based nonprofit for grieving children and families has branches in Ann Arbor, Flint, Lansing and Grand Rapids. It announced Howard’s hiring in November after searching for successful candidates and that she will begin her role leading on Dec. 12.
“I appreciate that Ele’s Place provides safe and compassionate spaces for grieving children, teens and their families to heal, free of charge, for as long as a family needs. I’m honored and grateful to be part of an organization that creates a positive impact for so many by providing peer grief support that allows families to continue their healing journey together.”
Community members may recognize Howard from her time as an alto saxophone musician in the Ann Arbor Concert band and from the public health roles she has served in for several years.
Most recently, she worked at Michigan Medicine as the Director of the Turner Senior Wellness Program and as Assistant Director of the Geriatrics Center Community Programs. She has also served as Executive Director of Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Great Lakes Chapter and was a clinical social worker and field instructor with the University of Michigan.
Howard holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wayne State University, and is a licensed master social worker, Ele’s Place officials said.
“We are thrilled to welcome Jenn to Ele’s Place as the new President/CEO. She brings a wealth of experience in leading non-profit organizations, fundraising and team building. Jenn’s keen business acumen will be particularly beneficial as she serves as the statewide leader of Ele’s Place Headquarters, and our four branches located throughout Michigan,” said Ele’s Place governing board vice-chair Mike Halpern, who co-chaired the organization’s transition team.
Ele’s Place officials noted that they are confident in Howard’s business acumen and her commitment to mental health support.
She will take over the position from Ele’s Place chief operating officer and chief development officer Kate Powers, who acted as interim president/CEO at the nonprofit’s Lansing-based headquarters during the its search.
Learn more about grieving services offered by Ele’s Place here.