Ryan-Hertz_HeadShot_Leadership(1)Ryan Hertz, MSW
President & CEO

Ryan assumed the role of CEO at Lighthouse in January of 2019. Since joining SOS in 2010, he and his team have expanded SOS’s scope of services to encompass emergency shelter, rental assistance, affordable housing development, supportive service solutions, and crowdfunding technologies that have contributed to thousands of displaced people getting back on their feet and finding a renewed sense of purpose. Ryan is now leading Lighthouse in coming together with SOS to further both organizations’ combined efforts to meet the critical and escalating emergency and longer-term needs of the working poor, homeless, and otherwise impoverished members of our community. He is passionate about connecting those with a giving spirit to powerful opportunities that change the lives of others.

Jenny-PomaJenny Poma, MSW
Chief Operating Officer

Jenny Poma is all about results for those in need as she has demonstrated in her leadership of program development, operations, grants, and performance measurement around SOS’s shelter, housing, and follow-up care programs. She will be working with both SOS and Lighthouse leadership to integrate our program operations while identifying and implementing new opportunities for social impact. Jenny’s favorite part of her job are her colleagues: “Everyone is so positive and fun to be around. We are all committed to our mission and work tirelessly to accomplish great things.”

Russ Russell
Chief Development Officer

Russ brings over 37 years of experience working with non-profits locally, nationally, and internationally, to reach their goals and find success. He is responsible for managing the operations and resources for fundraising, corporate giving and development for Lighthouse. He also oversees the organization’s events, communications and marketing efforts. Russ has been instrumental in helping several metro Detroit organizations reach new heights in service to others. He has led such efforts as Detroit PAL’s Kids at the Corner campaign, supporting their recent $20 million Corner Ballpark development at the historic site of Tiger Stadium. Russ also led Forgotten Harvest’s development efforts as they increased their annual food supply of fresh food from 12.5 million to over 40 million pounds during the Great Recession.

Dr. Rita Fields
Chief Talent & Strategy Officer

Dr. Rita Fields serves as the Chief Talent & Strategy Officer for Lighthouse MI. She is also a dual CEO of both 313 Industries, Inc. and Copper Phoenix Consulting, LLC. Dr. Fields is faculty in the school of management at University of Michigan, healthcare administration at Central Michigan University, and a dissertation advisor in the PHOD Program at Assumption University in Bangkok, Thailand.

Dr. Fields is a SHRM Certified Senior Professional of Human Resources and a lifetime member of the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources. After being a client of SOS in 1991, she is thrilled to join the staff in working towards our mission of building communities that end poverty. Dr. Fields said. “I’m really looking forward to ensuring that the people who help our most vulnerable residents are also provided with the tools they need to succeed. I am honored to do that for Lighthouse, particularly because of the incredibly impactful role it had in my own life.”

Jennifer Lohrer-Elstone
Chief Financial Officer

Jennifer Lohrer-Elstone serves as a Chief Financial Officer for a range of clients at Financial One Accounting. She holds her CPA designation and has a Master of Science in Accounting from Eastern Michigan University. Prior to joining FOI, she started her accounting career at Baker Tilly, a mid-market public accounting firm. While there, she filled many roles and served a range of clients in both the tax and audit practices. Most recently, she managed assurance engagements serving non-profit clients, participated in new business development, and was tapped to author and present technical trainings both locally and across the firm.

She joined Financial One in November of 2017 to continue her work with a diverse set of clients in the non-profit space. In 2020, she added the role of Director – Quality Assurance & Process Improvement for the firm. In addition, Jennifer has facilitated trainings for a number of non-profit boards as well as volunteered as author and presenter for the MICPA on non-profit and assurance topics. Before she came to be a CPA, Jennifer followed her passion for teaching and music through her pursuit of two degrees in music performance (clarinet) along with managing a private studio.

In her personal time, Jennifer enjoys camping and hiking with her husband, Brad Elstone. They endeavor to hike and camp in all 50 states and each Canadian province.

Todd Burk
Chief Real Estate & Community Development Officer

Todd Burk serves as the Chief Real Estate & Community Development Officer at Lighthouse, where he oversees affordable housing development projects and mortgage lending platforms for low-income residents.

For the last 25 years, Todd has worked in real estate lending and affordable housing. He previously served as Director of Lending for Southwest Housing Solutions, where he helped create alterative lending solutions. Burk is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a degree in finance. More than two decades ago, Todd and his wife Christine worked as volunteers at Lighthouse. They would purchase homes, renovate them, and sell them at below market rate to women coming out of the PATH transitional housing program.

We are grateful to our Board of Directors and Advisory Council for their leadership, guidance and commitment to our mission.

Richard Lewnau, Chair

Jackie Buchanan, Vice Chair

Jonathan Burleigh, Treasurer

Dennis Blender, Secretary

Racheal Allen

Jim Ciroli

Manisha Dostert

Dr. Chanel Hampton

Lamontre Harris

John Harvey

James Lambrecht

Sonja Lengnick

Paddy Lynch

Harry Maisel

William Mott

Colleen Ochoa-Peters

Paul Plante

Jacqui Spicer

John Townsend

Susan Wellman

Susan Cooper