Alumni Spotlights

Jordan Brown '13

Jordan Brown '13

SIPI Inc., Vice President

LinkedIn Profile

1. Tell us about your journey since graduation.
My journey since graduation has been a dynamic blend of professional growth and personal fulfillment. Straight out of college, I worked in equine pharmaceutical sales with FarmVet in Tennessee, managing a territory spanning from Baltimore to West Palm Beach. This role not only sharpened my sales acumen but also deepened my understanding of pharmaceuticals and medical terminology. Returning to my roots in Michigan, I transitioned into malpractice insurance sales, where my clients were primarily doctors, dentists, and lawyers. This experience was invaluable in refining my ability to tailor communication to diverse audiences while providing essential services and great local relationships. However, the birth of my lovely and tenacious daughter Charlotte in 2015 marked a significant turning point for me. Fueled by a desire to further my education and make a lasting impact, I resigned and decided to pursue an MBA at the University of Michigan-Flint. Balancing motherhood with academics was no small feat, but I'm proud to have completed the program in just 14 months, thanks to unwavering support from my family and my eagerness to re-enter the workforce. Upon my return, I found my true calling at the Hurley Foundation in Flint, MI, where I served as the Director of Volunteer and Community Engagement. Working within the supportive framework of a nonprofit hospital was deeply fulfilling, as I had the opportunity to oversee volunteer operations, forge strategic partnerships, manage the retail Lobby Shop, and contribute to meaningful projects like the History of Hurley book, a publication I later used to fundraise. My time at Hurley coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, presenting both challenges and opportunities. As the sole in-person staff member during the crisis, I played a pivotal role in coordinating donations and supporting frontline workers, an experience that reinforced my commitment to serving others in times of need. Hurley Medical Center is a one-of-a-kind place, that I adore. I’m so glad our community has this beacon of health resources. During my time there I actually was interviewed by a current GV student who I later onboarded as an intern, and eventually became a full-time member of the Hurley Foundation team. I’m honored to be a part of Kelsey Parker’s journey and even more so to stand up at her wedding this year. Today, I am privileged to serve as the Vice President at SIPI Inc., a for-profit organization dedicated to empowering grassroots initiatives in Flint. In this role, which I truly call my dream job, I have the honor of working closely with nonprofit and small business partners, providing tailored support to help them thrive in our community. At SIPI Inc., my role entails much more than traditional nonprofit consulting. We operate at the intersection of community development and business growth, providing a range of services aimed at empowering grassroots organizations and small businesses in Flint. From grant-funded capacity-building initiatives to free workshops and cohort programs, our goal is to equip our partners with the tools and resources they need to thrive. What truly sets us apart is our trust-based approach, where we embed ourselves within the teams we support, working hand-in-hand to address their unique challenges and opportunities. This collaborative model not only fosters a deep sense of partnership but also ensures that our efforts are truly impactful and sustainable. I am deeply passionate about this work because it allows me to witness firsthand the transformative power of community-driven initiatives and the incredible resilience of the people of Flint. It's a privilege to be able to contribute to the growth and prosperity of our city in such a meaningful way. Outside of work, I cherish my role as a mother to Charlotte and find comedic relief and joy in our two cats, Peeve and Gordita, and our beloved French Bulldog, Gaston. In my free time, I'm an avid volunteer- I serve as Vice Chair of the Shelter of Flint board of directors and HOA President, and I absolutely love my volunteer work at St Luke’s NEW Life Center providing interview training. I personally enjoy expressing my creativity through watercolor painting and grounding myself in outdoor activities like mountain biking, hiking, and meditation. Reflecting on my journey thus far, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities that have shaped me into the person I am today, much of which started with my falling in love with the nonprofit sector in my first elective course in my freshman year. My commitment to community service and passion for making a positive impact continues to drive my aspirations, and I look forward to exploring new educational opportunities in 2024 as I seek to expand my expertise further.

2. Share a favorite Grand Valley memory.
Living in North B during my freshman year was truly a transformative experience for me. As I settled into the second floor, I found myself becoming part of an incredible community that felt more like family than just friends. We were a diverse group, but that just added to the richness of our interactions. We did everything together – there was this sense of unity that just naturally formed among us. Whether we were collaborating on a challenging homework problem or just seeking the company for a late-night snack run, someone was always there. Our hallway became this vibrant hub of activity, where you couldn’t possibly feel lonely. Some of my fondest memories are from those spontaneous hall hangouts where conversations stretched into the early morning. That sense of community we built was incredible. It was about more than just fun; it was the emotional support, the daily interactions, and the little moments that truly made us a family. We celebrated each other's successes and were there during tough times, too. To this day, many of us have kept in touch. Despite our lives taking us in various directions, the friendships I made in North B have endured. It's remarkable to think that a group of strangers brought together by chance could form such lasting bonds. That's the magic of the college experience – it's not just about the education, but the relationships that shape us just as profoundly.

3. What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
I love this question, and I have a whole section in my notes app dedicated to this very subject. Choosing a favorite is tough, but it has to be the daily affirmation I share with my daughter – "Be the kindest person in the room." This simple principle is transformative. Leading with kindness acts as a beacon, ensuring that, irrespective of the circumstances, you navigate with integrity and grace. When kindness is at the forefront, the course of interactions shifts positively, making it a fail-safe approach to life's complexities, especially in tricky situations (like 2nd grade).

4. List three words you would use to describe your Grand Valley experience.
Transformative and enlightening chapter.

5. What difference would you like to make in the world?
I am passionate about challenging bureaucratic systems to spotlight and address the injustices and inefficiencies they sometimes inadvertently create. This approach paves the way for individuals who typically lack access to these systems. Ultimately, my goal is to unlock opportunities for people who have been traditionally excluded, empowering them to achieve remarkable feats. Unleashing this potential fosters innovation and creativity, which I find incredibly rewarding and ultimately feels like my purpose in this world. Community>Competition

February 2024

Interest Area(s)
Health Communication, Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership

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Page last modified February 7, 2024