Brook Thomas – Board Chair
Brook grew up locally in Stevensville and attained her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Social Work from Grand Valley State University. She has worked in the child welfare and prison systems as a social worker in both Michigan and Illinois over the past decade, and is happy to be back home working at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Michigan, which serves children who have been physically and sexually abused. In her free time, Brook loves being active by going on runs and bike rides, as well as volunteering her time with the Human Trafficking Task Force of Southwest Michigan and the OutCenter of Southwest Michigan.
Greg Fulmer – Vice Chair
A Michigan transplant, Greg moved to the Twin Cities area over 9 years ago. Inspired by the idea of making positive changes to his local community, Greg first became involved with his company’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group, Whirlpool Pride, where he currently leads the Community Pillar. Through his work organizing business initiatives with area-nonprofits to build a stronger community and company culture, Greg was able to observe the great programs and services provided by the OutCenter and quickly developed a deep admiration for the impactful work they offer to this community. Greg is thrilled to now be a part of this wonderful organization, and he is passionate about working with local and state-wide groups to help bring equality home to Southwest Michigan.
John Royse – Board Treasurer
John (He/Him/His) recently retired from full-time work and is now pursuing Act II: a combination of part-time consulting, giving back to worthwhile causes in the community, and time for personal interests including travel, music, and biking.
John earned an MBA degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Computer Science and Economics from Denison University in Ohio. He has over 30 years of professional experience in various consulting and management positions in the Healthcare, Financial Services, Insurance, and Manufacturing industries.
John and his husband (also named John) recently chose to permanently relocate to Bridgman. They have 4 grown children now in their 20’s. John is passionate about supporting the LGBTQ community and is honored to serve on the Board to help grow the OutCenter for Southwest Michigan.
Carly Hubers – Board Secretary
Born and raised in Southeast Michigan, Carly is a Hope College graduate with an MA from Western Theological Seminary. She has experience in higher education, teaching students about social justice, sustainability, and community engagement. She currently serves as a youth ministry director in Saint Joseph. She is passionate about the work of the OutCenter and believes that a community should be a place that honors the dignity of all creation.
Jennifer is a Niles native and returned after living in Kalamazoo and earning her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Western Michigan University. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her children as well as reading, gardening, bird watching, or playing some video games. Professionally, she has spent her life advocating for and working with adults with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness, and most recently with seniors. Her focus is on addressing the barriers to safe, affordable, accessible housing. Through this work, Jennifer heard the personal stories and learned the statistics on the barriers members of the LGBTQ+ community face to both secure and maintain this basic human need. The struggles of the LGBTQ+ youth sparked the need to do more in our community and she is excited to join the OutCenter to do just that.
Zack East is the Vice President of Business Development & Innovation for Mid-West Family – Southwest Michigan, an employee-owned broadcast company that owns 7 Southwest Michigan radio stations, multiple digital brands, and local events. He has been in the Southwest Michigan area since age 12 when his family moved to Three Oaks. Zack graduated locally from River Valley High School with honors in 2002 and received his Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Ferris State University in 2006. He was lucky enough to begin part-time work in radio at Mid-West Family at the age of 19, interning for the Sunday Papers radio show on WGN Radio Chicago at age 20, and being hired full time post-graduation back in Southwest Michigan at Mid-West Family.
Zack currently resides in both St. Joseph and Grand Rapids with his partner Charlie and their dog, Gracie. He is also active as Board Chair of United Way of Southwest Michigan, and a Board Member of the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber.