Our Mission

The Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance works to dismantle barriers to ensure people of all ethnic backgrounds have equal access and opportunity to participate fully in the life of the community.


Influenced by national dialogue and research on equity, LEDA forms a bridge between formal and informal leaders and individuals throughout our community and region. This model establishes credibility, expertise, and accountability; increases visibility and awareness; and fosters defined, sustainable initiatives and outcomes.


In 1996, the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance was founded by ordinary individuals. Bonded together by the desire to create an inclusive and welcoming community for all, the ordinary turned into the extraordinary when they dedicated themselves to dismantling barriers.

Today, LEDA represents a broad cross-section of interests and cultures. Volunteers and LEDA staff work on initiatives throughout the region, alongside stakeholders from all members and segments of our community (nonprofit, education, religious, philanthropic, business, and government), engaged in moving forward a vision of racial equity.


Executive Team

Gloria Lara
Executive Director

Program Team

Susan Doughty

Susan Doughty
Program Director

Administrative/Operations Team

Patricia Strachan
Administrative & Fund Development Associate

Board of Directors

Francisco Ramirez, M.Ed.
Grand Rapids Community College

Ann Noe

Grant Lee
Davenport University

Heather Daniel

Jeffrey Lewis
Muskegon Director of Public Safety (Ret.)

Shani Padnos
Community Volunteer

Heather Spek
Spectrum Health

Shontaye Witcher
Grand Valley State University

Advisory Council

The CEO Advisory Council, comprised of chief executives and community leaders, helps establish leadership consensus regarding key priorities, action strategies and performance measures that will have the greatest impact on achieving community and organization cultures that are genuinely welcoming and inclusive to all.

James W.F. Brooks, Council Chair
Managing Partner, Brooks Capital Management
Franco Bianchi
President/CEO, Haworth, Inc.
Jud Bradford
Chairman, Bradford Paper Company
Leslie Brown
Chairman, Metal Flow Corp.
Tony Castillo
Owner, Milagro Six, Inc.
Noel Cuellar
CEO, Primera Plastics
William Fettis
Partner, Investment Property Associates
Mike Goorhouse
President/CEO, Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area
Thomas Haas, Ph.D
President Emeritus, Grand Valley State University
Scott Huizenga
Partner, Varnum Law

Nelson Jacobson
President/CEO, JSJ Corporation
Dorothy A. Johnson
President Emeritus, Council of Michigan Foundations
Holly Johnson
President, Frey Foundation
Rodney Martin
Diversity Partner, Warner, Norcross & Judd
Dale Nesbary, Ph.D
President, Muskegon Community College
Mat Nguyen
President, Worksighted
Jeffrey Padnos
President, Louis Padnos Iron & Metal
Richard J. Pappas, Ed.D
President, Davenport University
Dale Sowders
President/CEO, Holland Hospital
Alan G. Vanderberg
County Administrator, Ottawa County
Andi Owen
President/CEO, Herman Miller