CFUnited Virtual Pop-Up Series: Aug 20
Power of Place: Learning with Leaders

2:00 – 3:15 PM EASTERN, Aug 20, 2020

Since we missed the opportunity to convene in person this past April in Detroit, Michigan, CFUnited is proud to bring together a panel of executives, all local to Michigan community foundations, to authentically explore how “power of place “grounds their approach amid one of the most dynamic times in our recent history.

While place is about geography, the global pandemic and racial injustices reveals how place is also a balance of memory and possibility as we reckon with deepening challenges of public health, economic security, community wellbeing, and systemic racism.

Opening Remarks by:
Nicole Paquette, Communities Foundation of Texas; CommA
• Explore what the next era of community philanthropy looks like in Michigan.
• Michigan leadership during the pandemic and national calls for racial justice.
• Navigating the hard conversations that surface with staff, supporting those staff, and ensuring internally your foundation adequately shows up externally on matters of such significance.

• Hear authentic voices and perspective from community foundation’s next generation of leaders.
• Explore trends and challenges community foundations face while grappling with the challenges of advancing racial, social, and economic justice in today’s America.
• Identify internally how to develop racial equitable leadership pipelines that are concurrent with what is needed in the community for a more diverse, inclusive society.


Surabhi S. Pandit, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

Surabhi S. Pandit is a Senior Program Officer at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. In her work at the Foundation, she manages special initiatives and grantmaking programs that focus on human services, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrant/refugee support, safety & justice, and youth entrepreneurship, leadership & development.

From 2012 to mid-2014, Surabhi served as the William C. Richardson Fellow in Government Affairs & Philanthropy at the Council of Michigan Foundations. Her work at CMF was focused on developing programs that respond to public policy issues in the areas of aging, health, education, arts & culture, women & girls, and the environment for member foundations and state government officials.

Surabhi is a graduate of the University of Michigan, with a Master of Social Work degree focused on social policy & evaluation in community & social systems and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and South Asian Studies. She currently serves as co-chair of the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) Michigan Chapter’s steering committee and was a 2015 PLACES (Professionals Learning about Community, Equity & Smart Growth) Fellow through The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. She currently serves as Vice Chair on the Advisory Board of the PLACES program. Surabhi was named one of Crain’s Detroit Business “Twenty in their 20s” for 2017.



Mike Goorhouse, Community Foundation of Holland/Zeeland

Mike Goorhouse joined the Community Foundation as Vice President of Donor Development in January 2012 and became President/CEO in April 2014. He works closely with the Board of Trustees and leads the staff to steward the organization’s resources to best meet our mission. He oversees the Foundation’s community impact strategies, endowment investment policies and internal operations.

Mike spends a majority of his time working with individuals, families, corporations and their professional advisors who are interested in supporting existing funds or starting a new fund at the foundation.

Mike’s involvement with the Foundation goes back 13 years. He was a member of the Youth Advisory Council, Development Committee and 60th Anniversary Task Force. He has spent his entire career in philanthropy including working with Private Foundations, Community Foundations and Youth Grantmakers while at the Council of Michigan Foundations.

Mike graduated from Holland Christian High School in 2004, Calvin College with a degree in Secondary Education in 2008 and Grand Valley State University’s Graduate School for Public and Nonprofit Administration in 2011. Mike is also a Certified Gift Planning Associate and a Certified Fund Raising Manager.


Neel Hajra, JD, Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation

Neel joined the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF) in 2010 and became CEO in 2015.  During his CEO tenure AAACF has received a national HUD award for public-private partnerships, a local NAACP award for its scholarship work, and was identified as one of the 20 fastest-growing community foundations nationally from 2015 – 2017.

Previously he was CEO of Nonprofit Enterprise at Work and a corporate attorney at Ford Motor Company. Since 2008 Neel has taught a graduate course at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School for Public Policy and been named to its Teaching Honor Roll every year. He has also received two national nonprofit leadership awards: the Aspen Institute Fellowship for Emerging Nonprofit Leaders and the American Express NGen Fellowship. Neel holds a BS with honors in Physics and a JD, both from the University of Michigan. When he isn’t practicing philanthropy, Neel and his wife are practicing humility as the parents of three wonderful teenagers.


Isaiah Oliver, Community Foundation of Greater Flint

Isaiah M. Oliver is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, a charitable organization focused on engaging people in philanthropy to build a stronger community. He leads the Foundation’s strategic priorities around improving literacy rates, increasing access to healthy food, strengthening resident-led neighborhood improvements, and providing critical resources to the children affected by the Flint Water Crisis. He previously served as the Foundation’s Vice President of Community Impact.

Born and raised in Flint, Isaiah supports a unique philanthropic perspective that focuses on relationships and people, advocating for an inclusive approach to philanthropy that listens to and works with the people of the community in order to develop a true partnership.

Isaiah’s background includes serving five years on the Flint Community Schools Board of Education, including two as board President and four years on the Hurley Medical Center Board of Managers as chair of the board’s Finance and Facilities Committee.

He earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Graphic Design from Central Michigan University, where he now serves on the board of Trustees. Isaiah is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Civil Society Fellowship, A Partnership of ADL and The Aspen Institute, and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. 

Isaiah serves on Council of Michigan Foundation’s Community Foundation and Government Relations Committees, an advisor to the Michigan Forum for African Americans in Philanthropy and on the CFLeads national board of directors.

He and his wife, Shay, established the Isaiah and Shay Oliver Fund to support operations of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.


Mackenzie Price Sundblad, CFRE, Huron County Community Foundation

Mackenzie Price Sundblad joined the Huron County Community Foundation as Executive Director of the foundation in May of 2014.  In this role she has led HCCF through the development and implementation of new Strategic Priorities and works closely with the Board of Trustees and Donors to continue to improve the quality of life in Huron County.

Mackenzie has been involved in community foundations since 2004, when she joined the Hillsdale County Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council.  She also had the opportunity to see community foundations in action across the state of Michigan while interning with Council of Michigan Foundations.

Growing up in rural Hillsdale County, Michigan and then moving to Huron County, Mackenzie has spent her career in philanthropy striving to elevate the importance of rural philanthropy. She was raised in the small town of Waldron and later attended Hillsdale College, graduating with a Communications degree. Mackenzie became a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) in 2019. Mackenzie is proud to represent Huron County and all rural Michiganders on multiple regional and statewide initiatives.


2020 Partners: