Our Team

LINC UP's work is reflective of a rich organizational culture represented by different people, ideas, and talents. We take pride in having a team that reflects the community in which we serve and we strive to create an inclusive workplace for all people. We find value in diversity and inclusion and understand that marginalized voices are often pushed to the fringes. We work to create space for those marginalized voices on our team.

Interested in becoming part of the LINC UP team?  Check out the Employment page for open positions and an application.


 

Jeremy DeRoo, Executive Director

Jeremy Deroo has a BA in Psychology from Calvin College and a Masters in Public Administration from Grand Valley State University and is an alumni of the Oxford Investing Programme.

Born...

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Jeremy Deroo has a BA in Psychology from Calvin College and a Masters in Public Administration from Grand Valley State University and is an alumni of the Oxford  Investing Programme.  

Born and raised on a dairy farm in Southern Ontario, DeRoo came to Grand Rapids to attend Calvin College.  He met his wife, Heidi, while they were both participating in a study abroad program in Nairobi, Kenya. They now have four children.  

DeRoo has always had an interest in Community Development, a passion that brought him to visit community development sites in Romania, Uganda, Kenya and the Philippines. He credits the trip to the Philippines when he was 18 as critical in developing his commitment to helping communities realize their potential as a means of ensuring social justice.

DeRoo came back to Grand Rapids in 2002 to take a job as a housing coordinator at LINC, which was just starting its first projects.  From 2002 to 2008, LINC grew from 2 employees to 12 and DeRoo moved into the role of Operations Director where he oversaw the daily activities of the organization including primary responsibility for financial management. When the founding Executive Director left the organization, DeRoo was named interim executive director and was appointed to the permanent Co-Executive Director position in July 2008.  

As Co-Executive Director, DeRoo has led LINC in revitalizing neighborhoods through authentic engagement, stimulating economic development, expanding housing opportunities, creating affordable housing, and developing leadership and capacity to residents and grass-root organizations. DeRoo has positioned LINC to create intentional connections at the national, state, local, and block level to maximize impact in the communities served. 

Since starting with LINC, DeRoo has helped secure over $75 million in funding for community improvement efforts resulting in over 6000 people a year attending community events, 300 families increasing their incomes, training over 800 residents, improving over 750 homes and creating over 150 full time jobs.  

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LaKiya Thompson-Jenkins, Operations Director

Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a product of Creston High School, LaKiya has always had a desire to positively impact her community. She joined LINC in 2010 as a Community Liaison for the Believe 2 Become movement and...

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Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a product of Creston High School, LaKiya has always had a desire to positively impact her community.  She joined LINC in 2010 as a Community Liaison for the Believe 2 Become movement and has served in several positions including Special Projects Manager where she lended leadership and management capacity to multiple community planning projects, as well as restaurant management and event planning. LaKiya now serves as Operations Director where her role is catalytic in ensuring the smooth implementation, quality and impact of LINC UP projects, events and initiaitives. LaKiya is the mother of one son, Marcus Jenkins II, and a graduate of Davenport University with a Bachelors in Business Administration.

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Eric Brown, Finance Director

Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eric graduated from Southern University with a B.S. in Business Administration (Accounting emphasis) and utilizes his financial accounting skill, analytical strategic planning lens and administrative...

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Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eric graduated from Southern University with a B.S. in Business Administration (Accounting emphasis) and utilizes his financial accounting skill, analytical strategic planning lens and administrative management experience to oversee all LINC Up financial and real estate activities. With a background of pursing his passion for eliminating racialized outcomes and connecting residents to opportunities, Eric served as Director of Business Strategies - negotiating and managing finance alliance contracts and leading in inclusion, diversity and systems improvement efforts for Heart of West Michigan United Way (2013-2016) and worked as Job Developer/Case Manager, facilitating workforce development programming while supervising and monitoring case managers' workloads, grant compliance and relationships with loyal businesses for Grand Rapids Public Schools (2007-2013).

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Stephanie Gingerich, Real Estate Manager

Stephanie has been with LINC UP since June of 2011. Her role as a Real Estate Manager is to facilitate high quality construction and rehabilitation of affordable residential and commercial spaces to revitalize the neighborhoods...

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Stephanie has been with LINC UP since June of 2011.  Her role as a Real Estate Manager is to facilitate high quality construction and rehabilitation of affordable residential and commercial spaces to revitalize the neighborhoods we serve. Stephanie is from Topeka, Kansas, but lived and worked on the South side of Chicago for ten years earning a Masters in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and working for a nonprofit planning and housing developer before relocating to Michigan. When not at work, she likes to spend time with family and friends, get active outdoors, read and travel.
 

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Shaquille Anthony, Community Liaison

Shaquille is a proud native of Muskegon Heights, MI. He graduated from Western Michigan University with a B.B.A. in Human Resource Management. Over the course of his professional career, Shaquille has remained true to his desire to help train,...

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Shaquille is a proud native of Muskegon Heights, MI. He graduated from Western Michigan University with a B.B.A. in Human Resource Management. Over the course of his professional career, Shaquille has remained true to his desire to help train, develop, and coach others to become to the best versions of themselves. With his experience in workforce development and community engagement, Shaquille plans to leave a lasting impact on the lives of those he encounters. Currently, Shaquille is pursuing his Masters of Arts in Organizational Leadership degree from Cornerstone University. He is the father of one beautiful daughter, Sevaya Arielle Anthony. Shaquille came to Linc Up with intentions on bettering the community and helping those in the community build for the future. 

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Mauricio Minero, Finance Assistant

Mauricio was born in El Salvador, Central America, and moved to the United States in 1985. Before joining LINC UP, Mauricio has worked in all fields of production in the manufacturing area as well as an accounting assistant, administrative...

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Mauricio was born in El Salvador, Central America, and moved to the United States in 1985. Before joining LINC UP, Mauricio has worked in all fields of production in the manufacturing area as well as an accounting assistant, administrative assistant and benefits eligibility worker. He is the type of person who would roll up his sleeves and assist others. He came to Grand Rapids so he could continue to be a good parent to his son, who is the most important thing in his life.
 

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Fernanda Muñoz, Receptionist

Fernanda Muñoz started working for LINC Up back in the summer of 2012 and 2013 through the I Believe I Become program while in high school. After high school she explored other career options but found her rightful path back to LINC...

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Fernanda Muñoz started working for LINC Up back in the summer of 2012 and 2013 through the I Believe I Become program while in high school. After high school she explored other career options but found her rightful path back to LINC Up. She is now starting as a Receptionist and is excited for bigger opportunities with LINC Up. Aside from helping her community she wishes to become a successful cosmetologist; doing make-up and hair is one of her biggest passions in life. Fernanda is a very independent young lady who wants to lead and inspire other young ladies in her community that anything in life is possible, you just have to work hard, dream big and never give up.

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Alisa White, Property Manager

Lisa started at LINC in February of 2007 processing loans and handling general office duties. Since 2007 she has held multiple roles in the organization has worked in just about every department - always helping out where she is needed....

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Lisa started at LINC in February of 2007 processing loans and handling general office duties. Since 2007 she has held multiple roles in the organization has worked in just about every department - always helping out where she is needed.  Currently Alisa is Property Manager in the Rental Department. Her position entails overseeing the Rental Deparment as well as the Maintenance team. She also works closely with our partner management company to make sure everything is running smoothly in our housing and apartment units.  Outside of LINC she loves spending time with her family and especially her grandson. She believes he was truly a gift from God to make us all smile and laugh.

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Allen Young, Maintenance Coordinator

Allen Young, "Mr. Allen," joined the LINC UP team in July of 2011. He is in charge of oversight of all building maintenance and tenant orders. He supervises the Maintenance Technician team as well as handles vendor...

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Allen Young, "Mr. Allen," joined the LINC UP team in July of 2011.  He is in charge of oversight of all building maintenance and tenant orders.  He supervises the Maintenance Technician team as well as handles vendor relations.  Mr. Allen also handles the electronic building systems maintenance, supply and inventory management as well as custodial and groundwork duties and oversight.  He enjoys lawn work and landscaping, reading, traveling and spending time with his family when is not at work.

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Samika Douglas, Community Liaison

Samika Pickens joined Linc Up as our Community Liaison in November 2018. Samika brings 15 years of professional advocacy and civic engagement experience from both the public and private sectors. Samika began...

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Samika Pickens joined Linc Up as our Community Liaison in November 2018.  Samika brings 15 years of professional advocacy and civic engagement experience from both the public and private sectors.  Samika began her career in her hometown of Benton Harbor, Michigan as a Safe Shelter Crisis Worker, where she provided direct support to community members experiencing crisis.  She has also served as the Youth Coordinator for the Lamb of God Church (Grand Rapids) and as a Librarian at Muskegon Community College.  In the private sector Samika served as the Customer Care Executive for DTE Energy where she brought resolution to elevated member crisis calls.  Most recently Samika served as a Parent/Community Advocate for Parents for healthy Homes where she lead community resource planning in support of families of children with lead poisoning.  In her spare time Samika serves as the Director of the North Park Pirates Youth Football league.  Samika holds an Associated degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology from Muskegon Community College and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Ferris State University.

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Charles Maze, Maintenance

Charles joined the LINC UP team in July of 2014 as a Maintenance Technician. His responsibilities range from A/C repair, plumbing, electrical work, drywall repair to troubleshooting appliances, re-decking apartments and other general...

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Charles joined the LINC UP team in July of 2014 as a Maintenance Technician.  His responsibilities range from A/C repair, plumbing, electrical work, drywall repair to troubleshooting appliances, re-decking apartments and other general maintenance duties.  Charles has worked in the field for 18 years, and earned his electrical certificate in 1994.  Charles enjoys fishing when he is not working around LINC.

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Jamar Booker, Maintenance

Jamar joined LINC UP in early 2015 as part of the Maintenance team. Jamar's position includes groundskeeping as well as taking care of our LINC UP buildings both inside and out. Jamar was born in Grand Rapids and attended...

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Jamar joined LINC UP in early 2015 as part of the Maintenance team.  Jamar's position includes groundskeeping as well as taking care of our LINC UP buildings both inside and out.  Jamar was born in Grand Rapids and attended Alabama A&M University. In his free time Jamar loves motorcycle riding and fishing.

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Shanika Gordon, Construction and Real Estate Coordinator

Shanika Gordon, born in N. Chicago, Illinois and is proud to call Grand Rapids, Michigan home.
Ms. Gordon has long been inspired by the arts and strives to encompass creativity in each
aspect of her personal and professional...

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Shanika Gordon, born in N. Chicago, Illinois and is proud to call Grand Rapids, Michigan home.
Ms. Gordon has long been inspired by the arts and strives to encompass creativity in each
aspect of her personal and professional endeavors. Ms. Gordon’s father owns properties and operates a construction business in the Greater
Chicago area exposing Ms. Gordon to the beauty of the “before and after” of projects. Inspired
by this, Ms. Gordon went on to receive her Bachelors in Fine Arts - emphasizing on Interior
Design - from International Academy of Design and Technology of Chicago. Receiving this
education has allowed Ms. Gordon to incorporate art and design best practices in a variety of
capacities leveraging her extensive experience in sales, customer service, administration and
interior/construction design. Outside of her passion for design and the arts, Ms. Gordon is a lover of shoes, reading, event
planning and spending time with her family and friends.

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Mario León, Bilingual Community Liaison

Mario was born in Havana, Cuba and immigrated as a young child. His family spent time in Puerto Rico and Chicago before finally settling in Grand Rapids. He earned a B.A. in English and Communication from Aquinas College. He spent a good...

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Mario was born in Havana, Cuba and immigrated as a young child. His family spent time in Puerto Rico and Chicago before finally settling in Grand Rapids. He earned a B.A. in English and Communication from Aquinas College. He spent a good portion of his professional career in music sales and promotions and was the proprietor of two local businesses prior to shifting to the non-profit sector. He comes to LINC Up with experience in community engagement and resource development from the Boys and Girls Club of Grand Rapids and Well House. He is a proud fur-dad of Sammie and Vera, his to Chinese Crested dogs and Jasper, his 20-pound orange cat. If there's squid on the menu, you can be sure Mario will order it. 

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Willie L. Patterson III, Director of Engagement

“It begins when you listen to and respect community members, allowing their voice to be the tool that
shapes the work of a community.”


Willie Patterson, Director of Engagement at LINC Up, brings...

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“It begins when you listen to and respect community members, allowing their voice to be the tool that
shapes the work of a community.” 


Willie Patterson, Director of Engagement at LINC Up, brings close to a decade of expertise and vision to
the team. Patterson, self-described as having a servant’s heart, has worked with community members in
civic organizations, education, leadership, and workforce development opportunities. In his
work with the Believe 2 Become initiative, Patterson worked hand-in-hand with one of the greatest
resources found in communities – parents. He worked on establishing a bridge of communication;
sharing the opportunities found within the schools and through community partners.

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Kim Shreve, Event Coordinator

Kim Shreve, born and raised in Grand Rapid, serves as LINC Up’s Event Coordinator and is deeply passionate about creating worthwhile and memorable experiences for members of the community. She believes in the community and things the...

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Kim Shreve, born and raised in Grand Rapid, serves as LINC Up’s Event Coordinator and is deeply passionate about creating worthwhile and memorable experiences for members of the community. She believes in the community and things the things we can do together. Outside of work, she likes to travel up north to her family cottage and get out on the water!​

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Vincent Thurman, Communications Manager

Vincent serves as the Communications Manager for LINC Up! Prior to joining LINC, Vincent received a B.A.A. in Communication and a M.S. in Administration from Central Michigan University. In addition to serving as the Communications Manager...

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Vincent serves as the Communications Manager for LINC Up! Prior to joining LINC, Vincent received a B.A.A. in Communication and a M.S. in Administration from Central Michigan University. In addition to serving as the Communications Manager at LINC, he serves as a Faculty Member with the Asset Based Community Development Institute at DePaul University. Vincent has a passion for creative pursuits include photography, writing, and graphic design.

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Adam Vanderlaan, Construction Manager

Long-time resident and native of Grand Rapids, Adam Vanderlaan has worked in carpentry and construction for over 20 years across the region. He has served in a past role with LINC Up as Real Estate Development Manager. Today, as Construction...

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Long-time resident and native of Grand Rapids, Adam Vanderlaan has worked in carpentry and construction for over 20 years across the region. He has served in a past role with LINC Up as Real Estate Development Manager. Today, as Construction Manager, Adam acts as oversight and direct construction management of rehabilitation and new construction projects. With his 9 years combined time working as a LINC staff member Adam ensures the fulfillment of federal, state, county, and local funders construction compliance requirements, provides contractor support through implementation of training and project opportunities prioritizing local, low income, and minority contractors, and coordinates Section 3 compliance for and the creation of the approved Section 3 Plan by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Outside of his role in LINC Up's neighborhood revitalization, Adam is married to his wife and sweetie, Jessica, for 14 yrs and together they have three kids. Alongside his family, Adam also enjoys camping, hiking, reading, or playing basketball.

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1167 Madison Ave SE Grand Rapids, MI 49507
p: 616.451.9140 f: 616.451.0615 e: info@lincrev.org

©2015 LINC UP - a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization 

  

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