After 20 years of exemplary service on the Southwest Solutions Board of Directors, Dan Share and DeWayne Wells are retiring from the Board at the end of the year. Both Dan and DeWayne joined the Southwest Solutions Board in 2001 when it was first established.
Both were honored at the Southwest Solutions Board meeting on December 8. As part of this recognition, a presentation was made featuring comments about Dan’s and DeWayne’s commitment to community service and advancing the mission of our organization. Here are the comments from the presentation:
In appreciation for service on the Board of Directors
(2001 – 2021)
From John Van Camp, former President and CEO of Southwest Solutions for 37 years before retiring in 2018:
“Dan, I join with others in thanking you for your 20 years of dedicated service on the Board in steering the mission and vision of Southwest Solutions and overseeing its operations. As a founding member of the Board, you have helped govern an organization that has enhanced the quality of life, success and self-sufficiency of tens of thousands of individuals and families in our community.
I remember when your wife Sophie, who was working at the time as a therapist for Southwest Counseling, alerted me that I needed to be prepared, as you took the role on the Board very seriously.
I vividly recall the first meeting you attended, Dan. When you opened your Board packet, sure enough, as Sophie warned, there were red markings all over, some with a single or double or even triple underlines!
You would often raise issues or concerns that I did not necessarily want to hear, but absolutely needed to hear.
I think that Southwest Solutions was able to pursue opportunities and take on new ventures because of the diligent work by the Board of Directors that you modeled so well.
While the people we’ve had the privilege to serve may not know your name, Board members and senior leadership are aware of your impact on the organization.
Thanks for all that you have done that benefited so many.
And enjoy the extra time with your family!”
From Seth Lloyd, who joined the Board the same year as Dan and DeWayne, and was chair from 2005 until the end of last year:
“Dan is the person ‘central casting’ would send if you asked for the perfect Board member. He is always willing to help, always prepared, unfailingly generous, always ready with pertinent comments and questions, and, last but by no means least, a true pleasure to be around.
Can Southwest Solutions persuade you to stay, Dan?!”
From Joe Tasse, who was interim President and CEO for two years before Sean de Four:
“Dan’s tenure and commitment to Southwest Solutions is legendary. I always appreciated his steady hand, keen mind and diplomacy. He will be missed on the Board, but he is part of the fabric of the organization and its auspicious future because of his expertise in advancing the ball.Thank you, Dan, for your support to Southwest Solutions and to me.”
From Sean de Four, President and CEO:
“During my nine months with Southwest Solutions, I’ve had the privilege of observing the many ways that Dan embodies the ideal nonprofit board member. He is deeply committed to our organization’s success and mission, and doesn’t hesitate to raise concerns when he feels either may by threatened – whether by external or internal issues. He is thoughtful, wise, and solution-focused. He is an incredible meeting facilitator, and he is incredibly generous with his time, resources and connections. Dan’s presence will be deeply missed.”
From Michelle Sherman, COO / CFO:
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Dan over the last five years. During this time, Dan has guided us through some tough times. He is legally and financially astute, and offered sound judgement and good advice. Ever direct, Dan never hesitated to share his opinions and concerns, yet he has always been supportive of Southwest, its mission and our team. Most of all, Dan has exhibited an incredible amount of patience.
Thank you for your service and support, and for leading and riding the Audit and Finance Committee rollercoaster with my team and me.
From Eugene Driker, a founding member of Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker (Dan’s law firm) and a paragon of service and commitment to the community:
“Dan Share epitomizes community service. His twenty years of work on behalf of Southwest Solutions has been the perfect blend of a powerful intellect, tremendous practical skills, and passionate dedication to the critical work this organization has provided for so long to so many.
The best we can all hope for is that Dan has taught others by example what it means to be an effective leader of a major social service agency. Detroit is so much the better for having Dan working for the public good in such a meaningful way.”
In appreciation for service on the Board of Directors
(2001 – 2021)
and the Counseling Board
(1996 – 2001)
From John Van Camp:
“DeWayne, you have been the longest serving Board member and have served in more roles than anyone else starting as a member of the finance committee of Southwest Counseling in the 90s, to becoming chairperson of the Counseling Board, to being a founding Board member of Solutions in 2001, where again you served many roles.
You played a pivotal role in the development of our organization. You were chair of Counseling in the late 90s when housing was an evolving division of the organization, but its potential was hampered as it was seen as only serving mental health clients.
When the idea was proposed of spinning Housing off into a separate corporation to facilitate its growth, while also creating a new ‘parent’ corporation, you concurred and helped the Board through the structural changes. The rest, as they say, is history!
The impact you’ve had on bettering lives in our community – through your work at Southwest and, moreover, other organizations that you have led – is known by many and applauded by all.
I add my heartfelt thanks to you for your many years of selfless service to others.”
From Gerry Brisson, President and CEO of Gleaners Food Bank:
“Gleaners is honored be part of celebrating DeWayne as he departs the Southwest Solutions Board.
DeWayne made a profound difference for our community through his leadership at Gleaners, where he was president for nearly six years.
DeWayne led Gleaners through the ‘Great Recession.’ It was a very challenging time for so many of our hungry neighbors, and he helped us reach record numbers in food distribution and outreach.
We are grateful for all DeWayne has done for Gleaners and our community, including his service on the Southwest Solutions Board for two decades.”
From Linda Campbell, Director of Detroit People’s Platform:
“I met DeWayne about two decades ago, and we have worked together in a variety of roles at a number of nonprofit organizations in Detroit. In each of the settings and roles, DeWayne has demonstrated the administrative and critical thinking skills that show why he so richly deserves the handle: ‘The Go To Guy.’
DeWayne’s steadfast commitment to mission is deeply rooted in his sense of fairness and empathy and the desire to make sure the needs of community members are prioritized.
Congratulations on your years of service with Southwest Solutions, DeWayne.”
From Tracy Hall, Executive Director of Office of Metropolitan Impact at the University of Michigan-Dearborn
“I’m delighted to recognize my dear friend and colleague, DeWayne Wells, as he steps down from his long-term Board role with Southwest Solutions. Working with DeWayne across a number of community leadership arenas, I know him to be a passionate leader who is deeply committed to the advancement of Detroiters and bettering their standard of living. He advances important public and community transformation through caring advocacy.
Simply put, DeWayne shows up.”
From Lenora Hardy-Foster, President and CEO at Judson Center (and former CFO/COO at Southwest Solutions for 36 years):
“DeWayne, I have known you for 30 years and you have truly touched my life in so many ways. Thank you so very much for being the outstanding man that you are, and for the longevity you devoted to Southwest Solutions and the great legacy you leave the organization.
Wishing you much continued success and happiness.”
From Sean de Four:
“DeWayne’s deep commitment to service and the community is evident through his volunteer work and long career as a leader in some of the most significant nonprofit organizations in metro Detroit. We are so fortunate to have had the benefit of DeWayne’s talent on the Solutions and Bridgeway Boards for so long. He will most certainly be missed!”
From Seth Lloyd:
“I’ve served with DeWayne for many years, and in all that time Dwayne has been true to Southwest’s mission. He took the Board to task when we inadvertently strayed. The ability and the willingness to do that — always gently! — made him a truly valuable Board member.
Can Southwest Solutions persuade you to stay, DeWayne?!”
From Stephanie Miller, current Board Chair of Southwest Solutions:
“As the saying goes, many hands make light work. Working on a team with wise, talented and open-minded individuals who also have a good sense of humor makes the work load lighter. DeWayne Wells and Dan Share are two such persons. It has been my great honor to serve on the Southwest Board with them.
As they move on to their next adventures, may each of them continue to thrive and contribute their wisdom, good nature and good humor to further improve the well-being of the people of this city, this state and this country.
Stay well, my friends.”