Sydney E. Parfet and Von Washington, Jr., will join the board of trustees at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation (KZCF) effective January 2019.

Washington is replacing Barbara James, who has served three terms as a KZCF trustee over 16 years. Parfet will fill a new trustee position, bringing the total number of trustees to nine.

"The legacy of Barbara James' board service will be felt for many years to come," says President/CEO Carrie Pickett-Erway, "and we're honored to welcome Von and Sydney to the board. Their combined experience and passion for Kalamazoo County will be invaluable as we continue to focus on equity and education while removing barriers for every person living in our community. Expanding the board allows for more diverse perspectives and broadens the board’s understanding of the community."

New KZCF Trustees Sydney E. Parfet (L) and Von Washington, Jr. (R)

Parfet, an attorney at Lake, Parfet & Schau with a focus on estate planning and estate administration, says "I am fortunate to love where I live and work, to be a part of this wonderful community, and embrace the opportunity to work with the Community Foundation to make life better for everyone in our community."

Parfet currently serves on the board of trustees of the W.E. Upjohn Institute and for several private family foundations. She is a former chair of United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region, and served on the board of Sherman Lake YMCA and Michigan Women's Foundation. Parfet received her bachelor's degree in Women's Studies and Political Science at University of Michigan and her law degree from Michigan State University College of Law with a concentration on tax.

According to Washington, executive director of Community Relations at The Kalamazoo Promise, "I'm honored to have the opportunity to join the Community Foundation, with its impactful track record of supporting nonprofit organizations that promote the dignity and well-being of individuals and families. I'm excited about the future and look forward to continuing the legacy of community transformation."

Washington previously served as an associate vice president at Southwest Michigan First and as principal of Kalamazoo Central High School. His board service includes serving as vice-chair of the Bronson Health Foundation and as a board member of Harold and Grace Upjohn Foundation, Gilmore Keyboard International Festival and Southwest Michigan First. Washington holds a bachelor's degree in Communications and Theatre from Western State College (Colorado) and his master's in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University.

Other trustees include Chairperson Si Johnson, retired executive from Stryker Corporation; Vice Chairperson Frank Sardone, president and CEO of Bronson Healthcare Group; and trustees Jim Escamilla, president/CEO of Byce & Associates, Inc.; Dr. Jorge Gonzalez, president of Kalamazoo College; Mary Harper, an attorney and former money manager at Robert W. Baird, Inc.; Barbara James, CPA; Amy Upjohn, community volunteer; and the Honorable Carolyn Williams, retired probate judge.