Mary Harper

Mary Harper has been appointed to the board of trustees of the Kalamazoo Community Foundation effective July 1.

As Harper joins the board, Dr. Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran retires from the Community Foundation board, having served since 2007. Wilson-Oyelaran retires on June 30 as president of Kalamazoo College and is moving back home to Winston-Salem, N.C.

Harper is an attorney and retired from Robert W. Baird, Inc., as a registered investment advisor. She has served on the Community Investment Committee of the Community Foundation since 2015, providing an additional community voice to grantmaking and community problem-solving. She will continue her service on the CIC filling one of the board spots on that committee. She will also serve on the Audit Committee.

"The Community Foundation family is thrilled that Mary is increasing her involvement here," says President/CEO Carrie Pickett-Erway. "She’s been a valuable member of our Community Investment Committee, contributing breadth and depth to our analysis of grantmaking and initiatives. We look forward to the increased impact she will have across our organization and throughout the community."

Says Harper, "I am delighted to join the distinguished board of the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, especially as the foundation continues its focus on equity and education. It seems to me, this is the most important work the country and the Kalamazoo community could be doing. The Community Foundation is uniquely qualified to lead as we continuously learn and work."

Harper, a graduate of Macalester College (St. Paul, Minn.) and University of Michigan Law School, currently serves as co-chair of the National LGBTQ Task Force, the oldest and largest social justice advocacy group that organizes grassroots power for the LGBTQ community. She also is a current board member of the YWCA of Kalamazoo.

She is a former board president of the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center and has been involved with the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Michigan Donor Table, and two national organizations: America Votes and Victory Fund.

Harper’s advocacy for women led her to help create Kalamazoo’s Progressive Women’s Network, an organization charged with fostering the next generation of women elected officials and campaign leadership. Other nonprofit board service has included Kalamazoo Country Day School and Kalamazoo Bach Festival.

Other trustees include Si Johnson, chairperson; Frank Sardone, vice chairperson; James Escamilla; Barbara James, Amy Upjohn, and the Hon. Carolyn Williams.