- Nathan Triplett, President
- Kathy Humphrey, Vice President and Chair of the Nominating Committee
- Joe Malcoun, Vice President and Chair of the Fund Development Committee
- Melissa Cragg, Treasurer
- Derrell Slaughter, National Board Representative
- Ponsella Hardaway, Affiliate Equity Officer
- Joe Marogil, Secretary
ACLU OF MICHIGAN BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Nathan Triplett, President, serves as Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs for the State Bar of Michigan. For over 15 years, he has worked in and around state and local government as an attorney, organizer, policy advocate, and elected official. He previously served as Minority Legal Counsel for the Michigan House of Representatives and as the Director of Public Policy and Political Action at Equality Michigan. At EQMI, Triplett spearheaded a successful, first-in-the-nation campaign to secure an interpretive statement from the Michigan Civil Rights Commission establishing that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is encompassed within the state’s existing statutory prohibition of sex discrimination. Triplett served on the East Lansing City Council for eight years. He was elected to serve as the city's youngest Mayor in 2013 and as President of the Michigan Municipal League. Triplett joined the ACLU of Michigan’s Board of Directors in 2012 and was elected President in 2020. He also serves as Chair of the Capital Area Transportation Authority Board of Directors, as a commissioner of both the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission and Ingham County Parks and Recreation Commission, and as Vice President of the MML Foundation. He is a graduate of Michigan State University's James Madison College with degrees in Political Theory/Constitutional Democracy and Social Relations. He also holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor from the MSU College of Law.
Katherine Humphrey, Vice President and Chair of the Nominating Committee, is a longtime advocate for women, children, and families with a passionate commitment to social justice and human rights for all people. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Duke University and a Master of Science Degree in Counseling from Indiana University and served as President/CEO of Planned Parenthood in West and Northern Michigan for 27 years. Prior to that, she worked as a therapist and administrator in the community mental health sector and as a hospital social worker serving terminally ill children and their families. Kathy was co-founder of the Progressive Women’s Alliance PAC and co-founder of Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. She is currently a Vice President of the Board of the ACLU of Michigan and serves on multiple regional community boards and steering committees.
Joe Malcoun, Vice President and Chair of the Fund Development Committee, is an Ann Arbor based investor and entrepreneur. He is Founder of Cahoots, a 25,000 sq. ft. innovative shared office concept and place of community for tech companies and their teams in downtown Ann Arbor. He led Nutshell, a sales collaboration tool for small and medium-sized businesses, for six years as it’s CEO where he spent most of his time building external partnerships with other software companies. Prior to joining Nutshell, Joe founded CKM Capital, an early-stage technology investment firm that has invested in dozens of startups. Before founding CKM Capital, Joe was a member of the Strategy and Corporate Development team at DTE Energy and was an early employee at the sustainability consultancy GreenOrder where he led projects for leadership teams at General Electric, General Motors and a number of other F500 enterprises. He is a three-time graduate of the University of Michigan including a M.S. in Environmental Economics and an M.B.A. from the Ross School of Business. Joe is very active in the Ann Arbor community and recently led an investment group to acquire and preserve the Blind Pig, an iconic live music club. He loves live music, paddles wood-canvas canoes better than he rides bikes, and has a severe weakness for good food.
Melissa Cragg, Treasurer, is the retired Chief Investment Officer of The Fisher Group. Prior to working with the Fisher Group Melissa was the Vice President of Finance and Treasurer at the Detroit Medical Center and a corporate banker with Comerica Bank. Melissa’s board experience includes Michigan’s Early Childhood Investment Corporation, The Girl Scouts of Metro Detroit and Women’s Caring Program. Melissa has also served on the Investment Committees of a number of charities including Trinity Health Corporation, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. Melissa earned both her bachelor’s and MBA degrees from Washington University in St. Louis.
Derrell Slaughter, National Board Representative, is a Michigan Clean Energy Advocate at the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Prior to joining the NRDC, Derrell was a consultant at Public Sector Consultants (PSC) and worked for the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), where he played an integral role in the commission's implementation efforts of the state's most recent energy policy. Outside of his work at NRDC, he serves on the Ingham County Board of Commissioners as the Commissioner that represents the 3rd district, South Lansing. He was elected in November of 2018 and currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Commissioners, Committee Assignments and Member of the County Services and Human Services Committees. He is a proud member of the ACLU of Michigan's Board of Directors when he serves as one the organization's Vice President. He has a BA in Public Policy from Michigan State University.
Ponsella Hardaway, Affiliate Equity Officer is the Executive Director of MOSES (Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength) and a native Detroiter. MOSES, a group of diverse congregations, organizes communities, develops leaders, and builds relationships to advocate for social justice. Ponsella is also a National Trainer with the Gamaliel Network. She has trained congregation members in South Africa, Swaziland and in the United Kingdom. Ponsella has traveled to Brazil and Mali to study NGO’s work on political and social issues.
Joe Marogil, Secretary lives in the Grand Rapids area. He received his J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law and his B.A. from Michigan State University. His legal work focuses on health law and the regulation of medical devices and pharmaceuticals. He has long participated in social justice and anti-war advocacy. He is active with the Western Michigan Local Unit and the Western Michigan Lawyers Committee of the ACLU of Michigan. He has worked closely with local governments on policing, voting rights, privacy rights, government reform and affordable housing. Previously he has been a grassroots organizer and has been active in the National Lawyers Guild, the Amnesty International, ACLU of Illinois, and has participated in numerous conferences and events on critical social justice issues.
Johnell Allen-Bey is the coordinator and chair for the Nation Outside Flint Chapter. After serving 29 years with the Michigan Department of Corrections, Johnell is committed to developing change in our communities. After being released in 2018, he is relentless in his efforts and has left an indelible mark with Nation Outside, MCYJ, Michigan Liberation, and the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office. He is also the proud owner of Johnell’s Transportation which delivers packages for Staples, Amazon, Walmart and Cardinals Pharmaceuticals. Johnell is happily married to Dr. Tshombe O. Allen and is a proud father and grandfather.
Michael Carter is the Executive Director of the Federal Community Defenders Office for the Eastern District of Michigan. Prior to this position, Michael worked as a supervising attorney for the Neighborhood Defender Service (NDS) Office in Detroit. While at NDS, Michael supervised a team of advocates, including attorneys and social workers, and oversaw a training program for court appointed lawyers in Wayne County. Michael previously spent four years as a staff attorney at the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia office where he represented indigent clients in serious felony cases. Before coming back as Executive Director, Michael worked at FCDO as a staff attorney. He has represented hundreds of clients and tried numerous criminal cases in state and federal courts in Michigan and Washington D.C. Michael currently serves serves as a board member for the National Association of Federal Defenders, the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, and as chair for the board of the Detroit Justice Center. Michael is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan.
Laura J. Champagne's undergraduate degree is in journalism and her graduate degree is in law. While she served in both the Milliken and Granholm administrations, the bulk of Laura’s career was with the International Union, UAW where she was involved in contract negotiations, including auto, aerospace and the public sector, and policy development, primarily related to health care and pensions. Laura has also been involved in advocacy for long-term-care consumers both at the state and local levels and was the Managing Director for Citizens for Better Care until it ceased operations in 2012. Laura served as Board Chair for Gay Elders of Southeast Michigan which has evolved into Metro Detroit SAGE. Laura currently serves on the board of the Ruth Ellis Center and the Metro Health Foundation.
Aghogho Edevbie is a Michigan-based election law attorney. He has been actively involved in pro-democracy efforts for over twelve years, including spending the last two years as the Michigan state director of All Voting is Local. In the last decade, Aghogho has led poll worker and challenger recruitment efforts, developed pro-voter policies, and worked on election administration issues. Aghogho also sits on the boards of the Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club, Michigan Chapter of the American Constitution Society, and Global Detroit. A Detroit native, Aghogho has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan and a juris doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School.
Carmen Garcia is the Associate Director of Philanthropy at WDET, Detroit’s NPR station. Her long history with WDET began as a volunteer when she was a Wayne State student, studying the art and science of radio and television broadcast. While she has raised money for several key organizations in the Detroit area over the years, Carmen's heart was never far from WDET. As Associate Director for Philanthropy, Carmen is responsible for increasing annual operating support for WDET by aligning fundraising efforts and securing leadership level annual gifts. She loves to give back to the community by serving as a volunteer reader and fundraiser for the Detroit Radio Information Service, DRIS.
Peter Hammer is the director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School which is dedicated to promoting the educational, economic, and political empowerment of under-represented communities in urban areas and to ensuring that the phrase equal justice under law applies to all members of society. Professor Hammer was instrumental in editing and compiling Judge Damon J. Keith’s new biography, Crusader for Justice: Federal Judge Damon J. Keith (2013) and is co-author of No Equal Justice: The Legacy of Civil Rights Icon George W. Crockett Jr. (2022). He has become a leading voice on the economic and social issues impacting the city of Detroit. Professor Hammer has expertise in the fields of domestic health law and policy, as well as international public health and economic development. Professor Hammer received his undergraduate education at Gonzaga University and completed his professional and graduate education at the University of Michigan, where he received a J.D. and a Ph.D. (economics). Before entering private practice, he clerked for the Hon. Alfred T. Goodwin, former chief judge of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
Mike Naughton is an attorney and partner at North Coast Legal, PLC and is the chairperson of the newly formed ACLU Northwest Michigan Lawyers Committee. In 2016, Michael served as a Regional Manager for the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission, with a territory encompassing the approximately 30 counties in northern lower Michigan and all the upper peninsula. Michael is one of the leading legal authorities on digital privacy, corporate privacy compliance and electronic communication. In 2017, he was recognized as a "40 Under 40" in the Traverse City Business News and has been named a "Superlawyer" by Superlawyers Magazine in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Michael served as the president of the Grand Traverse Leelanau Antrim Bar Association and helped to host the Michigan Supreme Court as it performed oral arguments in Traverse City for the first time. He has served as treasurer of the Grand Traverse County Economic Development Corporation, on the board of the 20 Fathoms incubator, and was an officer of TCNewTech. Chief Judge Robert Jonker of the Western District of Michigan selected Michael to serve on the Magistrate Selection Panel for the Court. Michael graduated from Wayne State University in 2002 with a B.A. in English and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 2007. He participated in a study abroad program in Moscow, Russia, where he participated in roundtable discussions with Russian and American law students on the importance of human rights in the respective countries.
Megan Norris currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of the law firm, Miller Canfield. In this role, she oversees the firm's 18 offices in six countries. Prior to becoming CEO, Megan served as the leader of the firm's Employment and Labor Group and served for eight years on the firm's Board of Managing Directors, the last six years as chair. An accomplished litigator who has been elected by her national peers to both the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and the American College of Trial Lawyers, Megan has expertise litigating all matters of employment law, including statutory claims under the ADA, FMLA and Title VII, as well as tort claims such as defamation, tortious interference with contract, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Megan advises employers on matters ranging from hiring to termination, and in addition, advises clients on non-employment issues relating to both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Megan received her B.A. from Wesleyan College and her Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School.
Shelly Padnos graduated from Michigan State University and went on to receive her law degree from Thomas Cooley Law School. She is executive vice president of PADNOS. Shelley is past president of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, the national trade association representing scrap processors and recyclers across North America. She was appointed by the EPA to the National Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technologies Superfund Subcommittee that was charged with making recommendations to the Clinton Administration on the reauthorization of Superfund legislation. In addition to serving on the Grand Valley University Foundation board of directors, she also served as former Chair of the Board of Trustees of Grand Valley State University.
Noel J. Saleh is an attorney in private practice specializing in civil liberties and immigration law. He serves on the ACLU of Michigan’s Executive Committee as Secretary. Noel brings with him a long history of community engagement. He is a past president of ACCESS and has served on that Board since 1989. From January 2002 until October of 2005, Noel was the Post 9/11, Safe and Free Project Staff Attorney at the ACLU of Michigan. He has also served on the Boards of the National Immigration Forum, the Rights Working Group, Palestine Aid Society of America, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, National Lawyers Guild, the Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit and as a member of the Michigan Advisory Committee to the U. S. Civil Rights Commission.
Freda G. Sampson is an advocate for equity, justice and radical inclusion. She is the CEO and lead DEI strategist for Freda G Sampson, LLC where she consults, strategizes, and facilitates with businesses and organizations throughout the region on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Freda was formerly the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Prior to that she worked for Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion where she managed multiple initiatives that dealt with racial equity in Metropolitan Detroit. Freda is also an entrepreneur. She owned and operated several coffeehouses in midtown Detroit for over a decade. She is the owner of Vision Publishing LLC, and she is the president of the Frederick G. Sampson Foundation, a 501c3 named after her father. Freda has a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan, a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Tennessee State University and an Associate of Arts Degree from Brooks School of Design in Long Beach, CA. Additionally, she has completed leadership programs including New Detroit’s Multicultural Leadership Program, Harvard University School of Divinity Leadership Program and Leadership Detroit, Class XXXIII. Freda is a published author and has been featured in Essence magazine and other publications and was selected as one of Crain’s 40 under 40 in 2001. Finally, Freda serves on several non-profit boards, loves to spend time with her people, and is the pet parent to Sebastian Stratavinsky, an adorable 5 lb. Yorkie.
Kate Wolters is the President of the Kate and Richard Wolters Foundation, founded by Kate and her late husband Richard to support non-profit organizations with an emphasis in the arts, education, social justice and people with disabilities. Kate is also a member of the Board of Directors of Steelcase Inc., and chair of the Steelcase Foundation. She was appointed chair of the Steelcase Foundation upon her leaving the post of executive director of the Foundation in October 1996. She serves as Co-Chair of First Steps Kent board and was appointed by Gov. Granholm to an eight-year term as a member of the governing board of Grand Valley State University in 2004, reappointed by Gov. Snyder for a four-year term and subsequently an eight year term until 2024. Kate was appointed to the National Council on Disability by President Clinton in 1994 and reconfirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1996 where she served until 2003. For eight of her nine years she served as its vice chair. Kate joined the Steelcase Foundation in 1986 as executive director after serving as director of the Grand Rapids Center for Independent Living for two years. From 1982 to 1984, she was a staff social worker in the Steelcase Inc. Counseling and Referral Center. Kate received her BA from Aquinas College and holds a master's degree in social work from Michigan State University.