Board of Directors Announces Election of Valerie J.M. Brader and S. Caroline Kerr as First Female Chair


ANN ARBOR, MI, February 4, 2020 – The Joyce Ivy Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to broadening the college aspirations of talented female high school students from the Midwest, announced the election of Valerie Brader of Ann Arbor, MI to its Board of Directors, effective February 1st.

“I am delighted to welcome Valerie Brader, a long-time leader in the Midwest, to our Board of Directors,” said Mike Pritula, outgoing Chair of the Joyce Ivy Foundation Board. “Valerie brings a keen understanding of the mission of the Foundation, having grown up in a very small town and having pursued her dreams, first at Harvard and later as a Rhodes Scholar in Oxford, and then as an important official in public service in Michigan. She has worked with the Foundation for many years as a volunteer, and will bring her judgement and experience to bear on the Foundation’s direction.”

Valerie Brader is the CEO of Rivenoak Consulting and a co-owner of Rivenoak Law, PC, where her professional life revolves around navigating the intersection of business and government, primarily in the energy and environmental spaces. Previously, she spent seven years in the administration of Gov. Rick Snyder, including serving as a cabinet member as head of the Michigan Agency for Energy and as a key member of Governor Snyder’s legal team, including as the point person on the Detroit bankruptcy. A Rhodes Scholar and published author in both the legal and scientific presses, Ms. Brader received her AB, magna cum laude, in government from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, her master’s degrees from the University of Oxford, and a JD, magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center. Ms. Brader has been involved with the Joyce Ivy Foundation since 2015, when she was named the Joyce Ivy Foundation Leader of the Year.

“The Joyce Ivy Foundation helps young women from the Midwest realize that they have the talent and skills to succeed anywhere,” Valerie Brader said. “I am excited to join an organization with a great track record of empowering young women to achieve big dreams — and encouraging them to dream bigger in the first place.”

The Board of Directors also announced that S. Caroline Kerr will succeed Mike Pritula as Chairperson of the Board of Directors. Mr. Pritula, a founding director of the Joyce Ivy Foundation, has served as Chairman for 15 years and will continue to serve as a director on the Board.

“We are incredibly grateful for Mike’s leadership and commitment to the mission of Joyce Ivy over the past fifteen years,” said Greg Lewis, Treasurer of the Joyce Ivy Foundation Board and one of its founding directors. “His vision and strategic thinking have propelled the Foundation forward in numerous ways and his direct impact on hundreds of scholars throughout the Midwest is inspiring. We now look forward to another historic marker in our fifteen year history, electing the first woman to Chair our Board. There is no one more dedicated, more qualified and more forward-looking at this moment in our evolution than Caroline.”

S. Caroline Kerr is an education strategist, helping to build and advise organizations, especially on topics of college access and admissions. She serves multiple boards, including Dartmouth College, The William Jewett Tucker Center, The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center, StoneLedge Stables, and the DGALA Board of Advisors. She has been involved with the Joyce Ivy Foundation since 2007 and served as its inaugural CEO from 2012 – 2018. She is a graduate of Greenhills School (Ann Arbor, MI), the Mountain School of Milton Academy, Dartmouth College, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

“It is an honor to serve Joyce Ivy in this new capacity,” said Caroline Kerr. “I am inspired by our dynamic board and professional leadership team, and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about Joyce Ivy’s future. I am grateful to Mike, and our founding directors, for the innovative and collaborative ways they have led the Foundation.”

In addition to Greg Lewis, the Board re-elected Emily Taylor and Audrey DiMarzo as officers.

With the addition of Ms. Brader, the Joyce Ivy Foundation Board of Directors totals thirteen members: Erich Bagen of San Francisco, California; Fred Blanck of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Valerie Brader of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Allyson Carpenter, JIF ‘12 of Washington, DC; Mary Jo Dawson of Bloomfield Village, Michigan; Audrey DiMarzo of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Kim Easter of Ann Arbor, Michigan; S. Caroline Kerr of Hanover, New Hampshire; Greg Lewis of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Mike Pritula of New York, New York; Melissa Soderberg of Columbus, Ohio; Emily Taylor of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Sheila Trautner of Columbus, Ohio; and directors emeriti Carrie Booher of New Orleans, Louisiana; Anne Hiller of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Stephen Miller of Boise, Idaho; Elisa Ostafin of Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Clint Wallace of Columbia, South Carolina.

Additional information about the Joyce Ivy Foundation leadership can be found here.