Meet the 2023 Honorees: Southwest Michigan
President & CEO, Battle Creek Community Foundation
Brenda is a native of Michigan, raised in rural Montcalm County. Her long-term goal of an equitable and prosperous downtown Battle Creek is beginning to materialize, thanks to her vision and decades of hard work. Her continual encouragement of and investment in BIPOC and female business owners resulted in what is a new era of diverse business owners and racially equitable business opportunities in Battle Creek.
Leadership | Brenda will be celebrating 40 years of leadership in the nonprofit sector in 2023. She has served 30 years at the Battle Creek Community Foundation, 25 as the President and CEO. She is known for innovative approaches and partnerships and has been instrumental in bringing about refocusing of area initiatives to be more collaborative and impactful.
Community | She has spearheaded numerous local efforts using new approaches such as social enterprise, impact investments, and designing accessible programs. Some these initiatives include the Battle Creek Shelter, one of the lowest barrier shelters in the State of Michigan, as well as restoring The Milton, an art deco skyscraper to its rightful stature. Her investment and vision have brought new business, storefronts, and vibrancy to the city.
She is an active participant and contributor within the community foundation field throughout the state and nationally. Previously she served as the Council of Michigan Foundation’s Chairperson for the Board of Directors. Her active engagement at the regional and state levels, combined with her leadership at the local level, has placed her at the forefront of community foundation leaders and has helped to foster growth and professionalism throughout the sector. She has received various awards and recognitions for her work and remains forever grateful for the opportunity to serve. She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Western Michigan University.
Vice President, External Supply Chain Kellogg Company
Tracy brings a wealth of passion and multidisciplinary leadership experience to the Battle Creek community. A Michigan native, she has led efforts in various industries that span from supply chain management, pharmaceutical and automotive industries, to leading and implementing successful turnaround strategies in the Detroit Public Schools.
Leadership | A strategic and visionary leader, Tracy demonstrates a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all areas of logistics. From supplier diversity to dynamic and strategic partnerships; she is known for driving positive change by building collaborative relationships.
Tracy’s broad multi-disciplinary experience allows her to offer insights and best practices, which contribute to Kellogg’s success. This includes facilitating opportunities for networking, such as the Annual B2B Summit to bring businesses and potential suppliers together and being a founding sponsor of the National Veteran Business Development Council, which certifies veteran-owned businesses and encourages leaders to sit on Supplier Diversity Boards. Tracy focuses procurement practices on collaboration, innovation, and tracking key performance metrics, becoming not only a leader in the food industry, but across all industries.
Community | In addition to her tenure at Kellogg Tracy served as adjunct professor, keynote speaker and she has been featured in various articles and publications on business, education, diversity, and women in leadership. Tracy is active in the community demonstrating her lifelong commitment to service. She was a fellow of the W.K. Kellogg Community Leadership Network and in 2021, she was appointed to the Michigan Women’s Commission by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Tracy is a graduate of Michigan State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Business – Supply Chain Management. She holds a Doctor of Management – Executive Leadership from Walsh College. Tracy is a graduate of the Executive Development Program at Thunderbird International School of Management and Harvard University.
Join MWF In Honoring Brenda and Tracy
Location: The Kool Family Center
Date: Thursday, April 20
Time: 11:30am – 1:00pm