Nicole Sherard-Freeman Joins Community Foundation of SE Michigan as COO

Nicole Sherard-Freeman has been appointed as the Chief Operating Officer of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, effective July 10, 2023. The Foundation has awarded $1.4 billion in grants to non-profit organizations and is one of the top 30 community foundations in the country. In her new role, Sherard-Freeman will be part of the Foundation’s leadership team and will oversee donor services, finance, grantmaking services, information technology, program, and the New Economy Initiative teams. She will report to Richard (Ric) DeVore, President of the Community Foundation.

Sherard-Freeman was most recently Group Executive of Jobs, Economy & Detroit at Work, and Executive Director of the Mayor’s Workforce Development Board for Mayor Mike Duggan, City of Detroit. She has established herself as a results-oriented collaborator across public-private partnerships, with a commitment to under-resourced communities and communities of color.

“We are thrilled to have a proven leader with Nicole’s experience join the Community Foundation,” said DeVore. “She will bring that same level of outstanding leadership to the Community Foundation, and I look forward to continuing to work with her in her new capacity.”

Before joining the City of Detroit in 2019, Sherard-Freeman served as the President & CEO of Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC) and as the Managing Director for Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, a national research-to-action non-profit. Sherard-Freeman holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and has completed graduate studies in Organizational Management and Development at Fielding Graduate University. She serves on the national board of WorkRise: An Urban Institute Initiative and serves locally on the boards of Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and the Governor’s Workforce Development Board. She is a guest lecturer at the University of Michigan.

“The past six years with Mayor Duggan and his administration have been the most impactful of my entire career,” said Sherard-Freeman. “I’m excited to bring the experience, relationships, and perspective I’ve gained in Detroit to the Community Foundation team as we advance our strategy for permanent, positive change in the region.”

Sherard-Freeman has been recognized for her leadership, including Michigan Chronicle’s Women of Excellence; Crain’s Detroit Business Notable Women in Non-Profits, 50 Names to Know in Government and 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan; and Axios Detroit 2022 Power Players.




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