Ann Arborite Kate MacEwen
She quickly found her own footing, getting a job shortly after graduation for a mortgage company, then taking out loans to pursue a master's in arts administration at EMU. At twenty-five, while working at the Michigan Women's Business Council, she bought a townhouse in Superior Township. Her mother lives there now; MacEwen and her husband of two years, attorney Guy Conti, own a home nearby, which they share with four dogs.
Her career goals shifted as her family's experience gave her a new compassion for society's poor and marginalized: "I felt like my heart was more into trying to help those folks." She worked briefly at Food Gatherers before starting her current job a year ago. She is the agency's first development director. "We needed to diversify our funding," says CEO Weindorf, explaining that the agency's $7 million budget comes almost exclusively from government contracts.
The group had spun off from the former Washtenaw Association for Retarded Citizens in 1986. Dubbed the Community Residence Corporation, its mission was to help people with developmental disabilities move from state institutions into the community. Renamed the Community Alliance soon after MacEwen's hiring, it still operates a residential group home, but its focus has shifted to helping clients live independently. "If someone needs twenty-four-hour support for health and safety issues, that's what they'll get," Weindorf explains. It currently has nearly 100 clients in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.