Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan Names Sarah Wedepohl as VP of Program

Sarah Wedepohl
Sarah Wedepohl

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan in Detroit named Sarah Wedepohl, current director of its health and human services initiatives, as the organization’s new vice president of program effective Sept. 4.

In her new role, she will report to Nicole Sherard-Freeman, chief operating officer of the organization. Wedepohl succeeds Katie Brisson, who will remain with the foundation through the end of year and will play an important part in charting the organization’s future direction.

“This is an exciting time at the Community Foundation,” says Sherard-Freeman. “We are in the midst of a strategic plan process being led by our board and president Ric DeVore, is anchored in feedback from the communities and donors we serve and informed by our staff. Sarah is a strong leader who has been deeply involved in the planning. She and the Program team are reimagining our grantmaking.”

Wedepohl joined the Community Foundation in September 2017 and has more than 25 years’ experience working in partnership with communities to best understand and address inequities across multiple sectors.

During her time with the foundation, she has managed the DMC Foundation during a key time in its development. She has also led the growth of multiple initiatives including the Michigan Opioid Partnership, a public-private collaborative of foundations and state government.

Born and raised in Detroit, Sarah holds a Bachelor of Psychology from Wayne State University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan.

“At the same time, the Community Foundation has been so fortunate to have Katie at the helm of our grantmaking,” says Sherard-Freeman. “Katie is the ultimate convenor and has worked on some of the region’s most critical issues. Her contributions have improved the quality of life for thousands of southeast Michigan residents.”

After more than two decades of leadership and dedication to the Community Foundation, Brisson has decided to take her career in the teaching/consulting direction.

Brisson has been with the Community Foundation for 24 years, serving as the vice president of program role for the last 11. Under her leadership, the Michigan Opioid Partnership, Michigan Justice Fund, Pontiac Funders Collaborative, Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund, and several other important projects were launched to support Detroit, southeast Michigan, and the state. In 2022, Brisson was named one of Crain’s Notable Women in Nonprofits.