Inside Mott: Foundation welcomes new staff, announces new roles, bids farewell to retirees

Mott Foundation Building.
Photo: Cristina Wright

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation today announced a series of staff transitions in its Administrative Group, Communications and Programs departments:

Administrative Group

  • Mike Wright has been promoted to chief technology officer.
  • Ellen Chien has been promoted to information technology manager.
  • Kim Stoddard has been hired as facilities manager.
  • Chelsea Mohn has been hired as an administrative assistant.


  • Duane Elling has assumed a new role as communications officer for special projects.
  • Sarah Schuch has been hired as communications officer for the Flint Area grantmaking team.
  • Craig Kelley has been promoted to communications associate.


  • Carlos Rios-Santiago has been promoted to associate program officer.
  • Linnea Bassin has joined the Civil Society team as an administrative assistant.
  • Erin Best has joined the Education team as an administrative assistant.
  • Kendre Chapman has joined the Environment team as an administrative assistant.
Mike Wright
Mike Wright.

Wright, who first came to the Foundation as an intern, joined full time in 1999. In his new role, he oversees design, maintenance and administration of all digital technology used at Mott’s headquarters in Flint, as well as in field offices around the world. He is a graduate of University of Michigan-Flint, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Wright serves as a board member at Red Ink Flint and is a director and co-founder of the community makerspace Factory Two. He also serves on the agenda committee for the Technology Affinity Group, a non-profit membership organization that promotes the power of technology to advance the goals of the philanthropic sector.

Ellen Chien
Ellen Chien.

Chien began working as an intern with what was then the Foundation’s Information Technology department in 2010, returning in 2012 as a technical support analyst. A graduate of the University of Michigan, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. She also holds a master’s degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. As Information Technology Manager, she is now responsible for managing all aspects of the Foundation’s technology and communications infrastructure.

Kim Stoddard - Mott Foundation Facilities Manager
Kim Stoddard.

Prior to joining Mott, Stoddard was the director of facilities for Baker College, where she managed the day-to-day operations of the main campus, as well as two branch campuses. In her new position, she oversees management of the Foundation’s historical 16-story headquarters, the adjacent Commerce Center and other properties in Flint. Stoddard earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Administrative Assistant with the Grants Administration team poses for her staff photo.
Chelsea Mohn.

A Flint-area native, Mohn graduated from University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in Sociology. Prior to joining Mott, she worked as an administrative assistant and marketing project coordinator at Cassell & Associates, a therapeutic work program for survivors of traumatic brain injury. She’s a certified riding instructor through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International and says working with individuals with special needs provides her with an outlet to do what she loves best: helping people.

Duane Elling
Duane Elling.

Elling joined Mott in 2000 as the communications officer for the Flint Area team. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint and a master’s degree in Social Work Administration at the university’s Ann Arbor campus. Prior to joining Mott, he held positions at the American Red Cross Genesee-Lapeer Chapter and the Shelter of Flint, Inc. He has since served on the boards of local nonprofits and is passionate about introducing others to the new energy emerging from the city’s downtown revitalization.

Staff member poses on the sidewalk in fron of the Mott Foundation building.
Sarah Schuch.

A lifelong Genesee County resident, Schuch grew up in Swartz Creek, but now calls the city of Flint home. After earning a Journalism degree from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, she spent the first five years of her career as a reporter for The Flint Journal, covering health, higher education and topics of general community interest. Prior to joining Mott, she was director of communications at Kettering University, where she focused on communications strategy, social media and written storytelling.

Craig Kelley
Craig Kelley.

A talented artist specializing in both digital and marker illustration, Kelley is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design at the University of Michigan-Flint. He began his career as a visual communications instructor for the GASC Technology Center in Flint. Prior to joining Mott, he worked as an art program director for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Flint. A Flint-area native, he also serves on the board of Red Ink Flint, which operates the Flint Local 432, one of the longest-running, all-ages music venues in the country, and Factory Two, a community makerspace.

Image of staff member standing her elbow propped on a high counter.
Linnea Bassin.

Bassin, a former high school social studies teacher, earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Religious Studies from Eastern Michigan University. She went on to earn a master’s degree in Education from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and an English Certification from the University of Michigan-Flint. Prior to joining Mott, Bassin also worked as a recruitment specialist for the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan in Flint. Now an administrative assistant with the Foundation’s Civil Society program, she works from Flint supporting staff in London and Johannesburg.

Erin Best Assistant with the Education Program team poses for her staff photo.
Erin Best.

Prior to joining Mott, Best worked primarily in the field of human resources in Ann Arbor and Frankenmuth, Michigan. A Flint-area native and a competitive runner, she cites The Crim in Flint as her favorite race and serves as a Crim Ambassador. In her new position, she provides administrative support for the Foundation’s Education program.

Kendre Chapman.

Born and raised in Flint, Chapman attended Michigan State University (MSU) and the University of Michigan-Flint, where she is pursuing a degree in Sociology. Before coming to Mott, she worked in the health care field, most recently as an administrative assistant/senior secretary for the Genesee Health System. In her new role, she provides administrative support for the Foundation’s Environment team.

Carlos Rios-Santiago
Carlos Rios-Santiago.

A native of Puerto Rico, Rios-Santiago has called Michigan home since he was 10 years old and is bilingual in English and Spanish. He began his career at Mott in 2018 as a program assistant with the Civil Society team before assuming the role of associate program officer contributing to the Civic Space, Community Philanthropy and Special Initiatives program areas. He earned both a bachelor’s degree in economics and master’s in public policy from MSU.

Fond Farewells

The Foundation also had several dedicated staff members retire in recent months:

  • Gavin Clabaugh — vice president of information technology.
  • Ann Richards — senior communications officer.
  • Debbie Bullen — facilities manager.
  • Billy Powell — senior facilities maintenance technician.
  • Jean Bamberg — administrative assistant.
  • Delia Cappel — administrative assistant.
  • Michele Neumann — administrative assistant.
  • Sandra Smith — administrative assistant.

Together, they contributed more than 200 years of dedicated service, and each played an integral role in helping the Foundation advance its mission. While their presence will be sorely missed, we offer congratulations and best wishes to all.