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Our Team

D4's staff is passionate about using its array of experiences to achieve a more equitable and prosperous Detroit. The staff's expertise is supplemented by the tremendous skills and diverse perspectives provided by our board of directors - which represent the core sectors of our coalition: community organizations, faith based institutions, organized labor, and environmental advocates. 

Sam Butler
Executive Director

Sam Butler has over a decade of experience working with community groups throughout the City of Detroit, leading neighborhood planning processes, and conducting residential and commercial market analyses for low-income neighborhoods. Prior to D4, Sam was Director of Planning & Technical Programs at Michigan Community Resources and served as Interim Executive Director of Creekside CDC. Sam has a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Michigan.

Francis Grunow
Director of Policy and Research

Francis Grunow is a native Detroiter, urban policy consultant, writer, and part-time parade maker. In previous lives, he has been a law student, director of Detroit's architectural preservation organization, Midtown retailer, documentary filmmaker, and an urban planner in New York City. Francis loves cities, believes that they contain more answers than questions, and believes one of Detroit’s more compelling lenses for policy work right now is D4’s ability to offer multiple perspectives on the complex issues facing the city.

Our Board of Directors

Tanise Hill, The United Way for Southeastern Michigan, President

Vas Jacobs, West Village Neighborhood Association, Treasurer

Kristen Smith, Corridors Alliance, Vice President

Sandra Turner Handy, Michigan Environmental Council, Secretary

David Dobbie, American Federation of Teachers Michigan

Pastor Louis Forsythe, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church

Lee Graham, Operating Engineers 324

Antonio Green, West Grand Boulevard Collaborative

Robin McCants, Evangelical Lutheran Church

David Reynolds, University of Michigan - Dearborn

Simone Sagovac, Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition

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