Detroit’s Focus: HOPE Announces New Board Members

Detroit’s Focus: HOPE Announces New Board Members

DETROIT, May 10, 2021 — Nationally recognized civil and human rights organization Focus: HOPE announced today the election of two new members to the organization’s Board of Directors. Jonathan Jennings, Vice President, Global Commodity Purchasing and Supplier Technical Assistance at Ford Motor Company, and Chris Villavarayan, Chief Executive Officer and President of Meritor, were approved to join the Board of Directors on March 30, 2021.

Jennings joined Ford in 1993 as a manufacturing engineer, and held roles including Executive Director, Global Commodity Purchasing and Director, Enterprise Product Line Management before beginning his current role in 2020.

Villavarayan began his current position in March 2021. Prior to serving as CEO, Villavarayan’s 20-year career at Meritor included roles as executive vice president and chief operating officer, as well as senior vice president and president of Global Truck.

Focus: HOPE CEO Portia Roberson said, “We are thrilled that Jonathan & Chris have brought their leadership and expertise to support Focus: HOPE’s mission. Our organization is grateful to benefit from their commitment to community improvement, and I am excited to work with them and with the entire Board of Directors to continue moving Focus: HOPE forward in 2021 and beyond.”

Focus: HOPE’s 2021 Board of Directors:
Chair – D. Scott Sandefur, General Motors
Vice Chair – Lizabeth Ardisana, ASG Renaissance
Hon. Dave Bing, Bing Youth Institute; Daniel G. Brudzynski, DTE Energy; Lisa Caldwell, Ernst & Young; Catherine Clegg; Rev. Marko Djonovic, Church of St. Moses the Black; John A. Dunn, Plastic Omnium; Carlton M. Faison, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Kevin Gentner, Chemical Bank Wealth Management; Jonathan Jennings, Ford Motor Company; Steven Jensen, Deloitte & Touche LLP; Burt Jordan; Jane Fran Morgan, JFM Consulting Group; Paul N. Myles, Magna International; Eric S. Mitchell, West Village Garden; Kristi Stepp, Sigred Partners; Leo G. Stevenson, Merrill Lynch; Chris Villavarayan, Meritor; Robert L. Watson, Stellantis

About Focus: HOPE
Focus: HOPE is a nationally recognized civil and human rights organization founded in 1968 after the Detroit civil unrest. Over the past half-century, Focus: HOPE has developed numerous programs in its efforts to overcome racism, poverty and injustice in the core areas of early learning, youth development, workforce training, food justice, and advocacy. As a result, thousands of individuals have achieved financial independence. For more information, visit

Contact: Stephanie Maurice
(734) 743-1061
[email protected]

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