Staff

Dennis Van Kampen, CEO

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“I believe that God has been orchestrating my steps for 20 years preparing me for this ministry at this time. I am so excited to use my gifts and experiences as well as my passion for serving the hungry, homeless, and hurting. I love seeing lives transformed in very practical ways through education, jobs and homes, but most important I love helping people discover the hope, love and restoration available in Jesus Christ.”

Dennis brings a wealth of experience to Mel Trotter from his 20+ years of ministry leadership. He has led four camp and retreat centers, served as a pastor, and even served as a reserve and part-time deputy sheriff for 15 years. He currently teaches adults in Professional and Graduate Studies at Cornerstone University and serves as a lay pastor with a local church.

Dennis came to Mel Trotter in early 2012. He served as the Vice President of Programs, and his responsibilities included the Emergency Shelters, Residential Programs, Day Center, Food Pantry, and PI Center.

Van Kampen was selected as the CEO of Mel Trotter Ministries in Spring 2015, and officially began this position as Mel Trotter's leader on June 1, 2015.

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Gordon Oosting, Chief Financial Officer

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Gordon Oosting has been serving at Mel Trotter Ministries since 2011 when he joined the MTM Board of Directors. He stepped up into a role as board chair in 2014. During the search for new executive leadership, Gordon became interim CEO in September 2014 and led the search committee for the new CEO during that time. Upon hiring the new CEO, Gordon transitioned into the vacant CFO position. He currently leads the finance, retail and auto departments.

Gordon is one of the original founders of Mercantile Bank of Michigan, where he was a senior vice president and commercial loan officer for 18 years. His banking career spanned 45 years before retiring from the industry in 2015. Currently, he is the treasurer of The Grand Rapids Urban League and also the chairman of “Walking by Faith,"  a non-profit, TV Ministry that broadcasts throughout the entire world. He is on the loan board of the Grand Rapids Economic Development Foundation, and a board member and elder at Resurrection Life Church in Grandville, MI.

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Carol Helsel, Chief Operations Officer

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Carol joined Mel Trotter Ministries in December 2014 as the Director of Human Resources. Prior to MTM, Carol worked as a Director of Operations and HR for Diversified Medical Staffing, a medical and home care staffing agency. She also served as the Vice President of Human Resources and Talent Development for Porter Hills, a multi-site senior housing and service organization. Carol’s 30+ years of experience in HR and operations have helped her grow an extensive portfolio of skills, which she now uses to lead MTM’s human capital strategy. More specifically, she oversees talent acquisition and development, compensation and benefits, performance metrics and reward systems, HR administration, employee relations, employee health and wellness, and HR compliance.

In addition to her professional role, Carol serves as a board member and past President of the Michigan Healthcare Human Resources Association, Board Chair for West Michigan TEAM, and on Cornerstone Church’s Staff Parish Relations Team. Carol has given numerous presentations to various groups and associations on effective HR practices, strategies, talent development, and metrics. In 2016 she helped MTM receive recognition as one of West Michigan’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For.

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Bert Elliott, VP of Development

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Mel Trotter Ministries hired Bert Elliott as the Vice President of Development in June of 2015. Bert joins Mel Trotter with over a decade of fundraising experience. She previously worked at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services as the Planned Giving Officer and also worked at United Way where she coordinated annual campaigns for the top companies in Grand Rapids. She served a combined fourteen years as an educator at Forest Hills and East Grand Rapids school districts.

Bert’s responsibilities at Mel Trotter Ministries include overseeing strategies to increase financial support from donors and community partners, as well as managing staff in the donor relations, volunteer and marketing departments.

Bert lives in Belding with her husband Rob.

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Rev. Leonard McElveen, VP of Ministry & Outreach

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Reverend Leonard McElveen brings over twenty years of mission ministry experience to Mel Trotter, both here in Grand Rapids and at the Denver Rescue Mission in Colorado. In addition, Leonard has spent 11 years in Pastoral Ministry. Prior to surrendering to Christ, Leonard led a life of crime and was involved the drug business which uniquely qualifies him to minister to the people served at Mel Trotter Ministries. He is uniquely, spiritually positioned by God to challenge the people we serve with the question, “Do You Want to Be Made Well?” from John’s Gospel. He has been privileged by God to see hundreds of lives restored through the ministry of Mel Trotter.

Rev. McElveen provides Spiritual Leadership to guests and staff  at MTM through chapels, classes and one on one counseling. Rev. McElveen also represents Mel Trotter Ministries by building relationships and connecting with churches, colleges and businesses in the community. Leonard is married to Kiya McElveen and they have six beautiful children and four grandchildren.

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Adrienne Goodstal, VP of Programs

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Mel Trotter hired Adrienne in November 2014 as the Women’s Program Supervisor. She was moved into the VP of Program role in January 2016. During her time as the VP of Programs, she has developed innovative ways in helping our guests move forward through program implementation. Adrienne comes to Mel Trotter with over five years of experience directly working with those in need and the impoverished. She is committed to and passionate about working with the least of these. Prior to coming to Mel Trotter she was a Foster Case Manager with Bethany Christian Services, helping to reunite families. She also worked for two years as a Case Manager with the 8th Circuit Adult Drug Court helping individuals overcome their addictions. She is currently attending GVSU pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

In her role as the VP of Programs, Adrienne is responsible for overseeing the men’s and women’s shelter and programs with a goal of continually seeking out ways to work with community partners to best serve the homeless population. In addition to overseeing the shelter program, she leads the facilities, food service, and guest safety services departments.

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Cindy Mackey, Senior Director of Development

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Cindy Mackey was hired as the Senior Director of Development at Mel Trotter Ministries in October 2015, where she leads a team of donor relations professionals and identifies fundraising strategies for the mission. She comes to Mel Trotter Ministries with 16 years of experience in the field non-profit healthcare fundraising. She was most recently with the American Heart Association as the corporate events director, focusing on the Go Red for Women initiative in Grand Rapids and Muskegon. Mackey also served as the Director of the Northwest Michigan area of the American Cancer Society and has diverse experience in building successful relationships across Michigan. Previously, Mackey had leadership roles at the West Michigan and Central Michigan locations of the Jenny Craig Weight Loss Center.

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Abbey Sladick, Director of Communication

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Abigayle (Sloan) Sladick was called to serve at Mel Trotter Ministries in September of 2015. An award winning journalist, Abbey began her career in television news where she won Association of Broadcasting awards for her stories that gave a voice to the voiceless. Her passion for sharing stories that inspire people to take action for injustice is what excites her most about serving God at Mel Trotter Ministries. She leads the communication department with the goal of educating West Michigan about homelessness and bringing awareness to the mission and vision of MTM. She also assists with fundraising marketing, events, public relations efforts and building community partnerships.

Before joining the MTM team, Abbey worked at Grand Valley State University as the Assistant Director of Alumni Relations where she was responsible for developing relationships and communication strategies to increase alumni engagement and promote financial support of the university. She has also served as the director of marketing at a YMCA in South Sioux City, Nebraska.

Abbey is a proud graduate of Grand Valley State University, with a degree in Broadcasting. She is a life-long Detroit Red Wings fan, sings with the worship team at church and lives in Spring Lake with her husband Neil.

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Janice Keesman, Director of Clinical Services

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I have had the privilege of serving God’s people in the capacity of a nurse for more than half of my life.  I made a promise to the Lord when I was 18 years of age that I would “love and serve His people all the days of my life” and I have never forgotten that special contract with my Father.  He has blessed me with rich experiences in my career working in the Emergency Department, ICU, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Mental Health Nursing and also abroad in Europe.  I have always hungered after His Word and graduated after 2 years from Berea Bible School in The Netherlands.  My heart’s desire has been to use my nursing skills and knowledge in a ministry field and Mel Trotter has given me that opportunity within my own community.  I have been serving at MTM since 2002.  

Stephen McVittie, Director of Food Services

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Stephen began working at Mel Trotter Ministries in May of 2007 during his senior year at Grand Valley State University. He began working part-time in the kitchen and within a few years he became the kitchen manager. From 2010 until 2013 Stephen served as the Pantry Coordinator. In October of 2013 he took on the role of Director of Food Services where he now oversees all dining services, food pantry services, as well as food distribution.

Ever since Stephen was young he knew that two things he really enjoyed were cooking, and helping those in need. He brings with him to Mel Trotter over 15 years of experience in the food service industry. He feels that being able to help provide good, nutritious food to those who are hungry and hurting is exactly what he has been called to do.

Stephen is a Graduate of Grand Valley State University, with degrees in Marketing and Management. He is an avid Detroit Tigers fan and enjoys playing softball and golfing with his dad and brothers. He lives in Greenville with his wife, Megan.  

Tim Swiney, Director of Special Gifts

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Tim has been involved in non-profit ministry for 21 years.  He came to Mel Trotter Ministries in September 2009 as a Donor Relations Officer.  Currently Tim is the Director of Special Gifts, his responsibilities are to cultivate relationships with major donors and bring new prospects to the mission.

Tim’s proficiency in donor relations began 11 years ago at Habitat for Humanity in Kent County. He continued his service at Dégagé Ministries and then at Gospel Communications.  He and his family are active participants at Madison Square Christian Reformed Church.

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Frank Grant, Donor Relations Officer

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Mel Trotter Ministries hired Frank Grant to join the donor relations team in January 2016. Grant was previously employed at Spectrum Health for more than 13 years and held various roles in the human resources department in the areas of recruitment, career development and most recently as senior inclusion and diversity specialist. Grant has served as a church administrator, was promotion director at WLHT radio (95.7 FM) in Grand Rapids and station manager at the former WKWM radio (1140 AM) in Kentwood. He also worked at NBC television in Burbank California. He is a recipient of the Ethel Coe Humanities Giants award presented by Grand Rapids Community College, which celebrates the contributions of African-American community members. A graduate of Michigan State University, Frank has been married to his wife Deb for 33 years, and has three children. He currently attends Word of Faith Christian Center Church where he serves as head deacon.

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Shawnte' Williams, Donor Relations Officer

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Shawnte’ Williams has had a heart and passion for communities since childhood. Her thrill to cultivate new relationships regardless of background is just one of the skills she possess.

Shawnte’ became a Donor Relations Officer for Mel trotter Ministries in early 2016. She is responsible for major donor acquisition and cultivation on behalf of the ministry. This includes establishing and cultivating relationships with new and existing donors, planning donor-connection events that bring our donor community into the heart of the work and continually representing the work of Mel Trotter Ministries with passion and integrity.

Previously, she served as the Director of Programs for Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative (ELNC). During Shawnte’s leadership ELNC successfully opened 7 Preschool centers serving at least 200 vulnerable children in the Grand Rapids ELNC Zone areas. Shawnte’ followed her passion of assisting families and demonstrating that education is a necessity regardless of race, gender, and financial status. She’s a graduate of University of Phoenix and holds a Master of Business Administration degree. Shawnte’ and her husband reside in Grand Rapids and are parents to Alayna, Andrew, and dog/child Bruce.

"You really can change the world if you care enough." – Marian Wright Edelman

Connect on LinkedIn Email Shawnte'

Robert Johnson, Men's Advocate

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Robert Johnson joined the Mel Trotter Ministry team in July 2011.  Rob received a Teaching Degree from Wayne State University in Detroit and spent 3 years teaching Middle School.  Rob has various years of experience in sales and working with a variety of people.

Rob has a strong desire to see people receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior and grew in their relationship with the Lord.  He is instrumental in helping many find jobs and housing through the resources at Mel Trotter Ministries.  His greatest desire is to see people’s life restored.

Rob has a wife and four children.

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