Introducing the CIS Emerging Leaders

For the past year, a dedicated group of community-minded leaders have worked with CIS to help us design and launch the CIS Emerging Leaders. We are so grateful for the time and ideas they have given to help get this program off the ground. We’re thrilled to introduce some of them today, and invite you to come hear from them and learn more about the CIS Emerging Leaders during our open house on Monday, October 25th. See below to learn about the founding members of the group!

Meet: Kevin Bing!

Kevin enjoys watching sports and is involved with CIS because Kalamazoo has always had a longstanding tradition in giving back, and that is something he wants to participate in. Kevin is from Massapequa, New York, and he attended Massapequa High School and Malone University. Kevin works at Comerica as a Business Banking Relationship Manager. His favorite leadership book is Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday.

Meet: Viridiana Carvajal!

Viridiana enjoys evening walks and bike rides with her two kids. She is involved with CIS because she wants to create long lasting positive relationships with students. Viridiana is from Los Angeles and attended Camino Nuevo High School. A graduate of Kalamazoo College, Viridiana works at Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo as the Curriculum and Instructional Specialist. She describes CIS in one word: passionate.

Meet: Moira Gilligan!

Moira enjoys hiking, gardening, traveling, and spending time with her fur-babies. She is involved with CIS because she believes in giving back to build up a community. Moira is from Chicago and attended Marist High School and Western Michigan University. Moira works at Landscape Forms as a Marketing Group leader. She describes CIS in one word: empowering.

Meet: Melissa Nesbitt!

Melissa enjoys traveling, creating adventure, and expressing herself through art (sewing and beading). She also enjoys a good laugh. She’s involved with CIS because it gives her the opportunity to serve and empower students at multiple levels. Melissa is from Kalamazoo and attended Kalamazoo Central High School. She works for the Kalamazoo Promise as the Lead Pathway Coach assisting high school students as they transition into post-secondary education. Her favorite subject in school was math.

Meet: Liz VandenHeede!

Liz enjoys running, hiking, photography, and being involved in organizations that are working to make the Kalamazoo community even better. She is involved with CIS because she believes in public education and the power of surrounding kids with a community of support. Liz is from Niles, Michigan, attended Niles High School and is a graduate of Western Michigan University. Liz is a communications and marketing professional. Her favorite subjects in school were English and history.

Meet: Spencer Welsh!

Spencer enjoys spending time outside, playing golf, and is involved with CIS, serving as a resource for youth in our community, helping them to achieve their goals. Spencer is from Kalamazoo, MI, attended Loy Norrix High School and Michigan State University. Spencer works at Welsh & Associates as an Executive Search Consultant. His favorite subject in school was math.

Meet: Liliana E. Salas!

Lily enjoys spending time with family, reading, and exercising. Liliana is involved with CIS because she believes in the power of community and the importance of children. Liliana is originally from Mexico, grew up in Holland, Michigan and attended West Ottawa High School. She is a two-time graduate from Michigan State University. Liliana is currently transitioning into a new position at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. Her favorite leadership book is Dare to Lead by Brene Brown.

Thank you to Welsh & Associates for sponsoring the CIS Emerging Leaders!