Board of Directors

Jack Aronson

Jack Aronson is a former restaurateur who, with his wife Annette, founded Garden Fresh Gourmet in Ferndale, Michigan, back in 1998. Having grown it into one of the premier deli supply companies in North America, with over 400 employees, the Aronsons sold Garden Fresh to the Campbell Soup Company in 2015, on the condition that they commit to keeping manufacturing operations in Ferndale and further invest in the local community. In 2016, Jack and Annette founded Great Fresh Foods, which makes clean, ready-to-heat proteins and other healthy entrées.

Jack serves on the board of Beyond Basics, an organization promoting youth literacy. He and Annette, through their Artichoke Garlic Foundation, established the Ferndale Literacy Project, and are inaugural supporters of Metro Detroit Youth Clubs. Without a doubt, Jack and Annette’s belief in the youth of our communities is unquestionable.

Beyond philanthropy, Jack’s passion for healthy food, combined with his abiding interest in innovative food manufacturing processes, has driven him to become a thought leader in the application of High-Pressure Processing (HPP) to the production of safe, wholesome food products.

Jim Deliz

Jim Deliz is the Vice President of North American Operations at Tenibac Graphion – Standex Engraving. He is the founder of The Believe Foundation whose mission is to improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their families during treatment. Jim and his wife, Joann have three children and two grandchildren. They also provide support our military, aid to the homeless and hungry in our communities and assistance for all those battling addiction with hopes of recovery.

Steve Elmer

Losing his longtime friend Matt Kell to cancer in 2005 set Steve Elmer on the path to supporting families affected by the disease through the New Day Foundation for Families. Since he began serving on the foundation’s board of directors, his faith and resolve to spread positivity have grown as strong as ever. Steve is the founder and CEO of Tipping Point, an advertising and marketing agency based in Downtown Rochester, and a proud graduate of Michigan State University. He currently lives in Rochester Hills with his lovely wife Mary Claire and their two beautiful daughters Gabby and Emma.

 Caron Koteles Riha

Caron is a leader in the real estate community as consistently the top Associate Broker at Real Estate One/Max Broock in downtown Rochester.  While building a strong legal and business career since the early 1990’s, as well as raising her children who have all graduated the local Stoney Creek High School, Caron is proud to have always dedicated herself to the Community.  New Day Foundation is a vital part of helping others, which is what Caron loves to do.  Whether it is dominating her business, spending quality time with her husband, Keith, and their five grown children and Corgi named Bean, or volunteering to raise awareness in the community, Caron makes time for what is important.

Steven Meyer

Steve Meyer has been involved with the New Day Foundation as a board member since 2016 and recently accepted the role as board chair. Steve is passionate about helping families battle the financial toxicity of cancer since losing an aunt, uncle, mother-in-law, and brother-in-law to cancer; all whom had children in their home at the time of their passing. Steve holds a doctorate in Education from Oakland University where he has worked since 2006. He has a broad background and experience in budget management, information systems, gift accounting, and advancement services. Steve and his wife of 16 years, Michelle, have three kids (CadenDeclan, and Linden) and reside in Shelby Township. Michelle has been practicing veterinarian in Sterling Heights since 2007.

joannepJoAnne Purtan

JoAnne Purtan helps start people’s day with a smile as co-host of “Mornings with Stephen Clark & JoAnne Purtan” on 104.3 WOMC. She joined WOMC Radio in April 2018 after spending 27 years as a broadcast journalist. During that time, she won 4 Emmys for her work, including Best New Anchor. JoAnne’s always been passionate about communicating, and she’s enjoying using her skills in a new way now at a station where her father spent the last 15 years of his iconic career in morning radio.

JoAnne and her family know the struggle of cancer all too well.  Not only did she lose her mother-in-law to ovarian cancer, but her own mother battled the disease five times. The entire Purtan family is dedicated to raising awareness about the disease and the money needed for a more effective early detection method.

While JoAnne knows how devastating cancer alone can be, she has a heart for those faced with the added burden of financial distress. That’s why she is so passionate about her role on the Board of Directors for the New Day Foundation. She looks forward to making a difference in people’s lives as they face such a heartbreaking time. JoAnne and her husband Eric are proud Spartans, both graduates of Michigan State University. They have two children, Lauren and Adam.

Photo of Amy Whipple smilingAmy Whipple

In November 2019, Amy joined the premier global Accounting/Tax/Advisory firm, BDO, as the Business Development Director. Amy has over 20 years of business development, marketing, event-planning, fundraising, recruiting and consulting experience. Prior to joining BDO, Amy co-founded Purple Squirrel Advisors, a Detroit-based boutique executive search firm. While at Purple Squirrel Advisors, Amy led or supported hundreds of executive level searches, in a broad range of industries, for privately-held, PE-backed and family-owned businesses. The vast majority of the search engagements were for executive-level finance/accounting roles. Amy prides herself on building strong relationships and providing caring and trusting guidance to clients, peers and strategic partners.  She is passionate about positively impacting companies and truly loves being an integral player on a winning team.  Amy genuinely enjoys networking (she prefers the “NetGiving” approach), leading peer-to-peer groups, and attending events for professional development. She considers herself to be a lifelong and curious learner, which has proven beneficial in her role as a trusted advisor. 

Amy is passionate about bringing together like-minded people and steering funding to local non-profits. In 2013, she and two friends co-founded 100 Women Who Care, Greater Rochester Area. As of November 2019, this group of 240+ members has steered over $540,000 to 26 different non-profits.  Amy has also provided support and guidance to other groups around the country who have replicated the crowd-funding giving model including: 100 Millennials Who Care, 100 Mayors Who Care, 100 Faithful Friends, 100 Men Club and 100 Women Who Care groups in:  Forsyth & St. Simons, Georgia; Treasure Coast & Sarasota, Florida; and groups in North Macomb, Owosso, Grosse Pointe, Troy and Durand, Michigan.  In January 2017, Amy and her co-founders, replicated the model for the business community and launched 100 Businesses Who Care.  To date, the group has gifted over $250,000 to six Southeast Michigan non-profits. Amy finds it incredibly rewarding to bring together people and businesses to positively impact the organizations, communities and people who need our help.

In 2011, Amy lost her 29-year old cousin, Janet O’Connor, to colon cancer.  That same year, Amy’s 29-year old sister-in-law, Nicole Cooper, was diagnosed with AML Leukemia.  Both Janet and Nicole passed away from their courageous battles with cancer in December 2011.  Amy is passionate about the impact she is able to make on local non-profits.

m&gGina Kell Spehn and Michael Spehn

Gina Kell Spehn and Michael Spehn are co-founders of New Day Foundation for Families, an organization born out of the beautiful legacies of their late spouses, Matt Kell and Cathy Spehn, who each lost a valiant cancer battle with incredible faith and grace. It was the love and generosity of Matt and Cathy that prompted Michael and Gina to want to give back and provide financial and emotional resources to cancer patients and their families.

Michael and Gina also co-authored the New York Times Bestselling book, The Color of Rain, which tells the story of how their two families found faith, hope and love in the midst of tragedy. Together they have a blended family with five fun-loving young adults (four boys in college and one daughter living and working in Denver). Never a dull moment! Their story became a Hallmark Movie Channel original in 2014 and was the highest rated program in network history. They have been featured on The Today Show, Huckabee and ABC World News, and have been national speakers and radio talk show hosts, sharing their message of hope and living generously. Gina currently serves as President of New Day Foundation, and Michael is a Personal Financial Representative with Allstate Financial.