UMRC-Porter Hills Foundation Announces New President & CEO


Kelli Smith. Courtesy of UMRC


After an extensive national search, the United Methodist Retirement Communities (UMRC)-Porter Hills Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Kelli Smith, CFRE as the Foundation’s next President & CEO. The UMRC-Porter Hills Foundation is the fundraising arm for Brio Living Services (formerly UMRC & Porter Hills). Smith will lead the UMRC-Porter Hills Foundation team in its fundraising initiatives to support older adults, including the Foundation’s cornerstone—Benevolent Care—as well as Team Member Support Services, Life Enrichment programming for older adults, and capital and growth opportunities for the organization.

The UMRC-Porter Hills Foundation Board of Directors and I are delighted to announce Kelli Smith as the Foundation’s next President & CEO,” said Brio Living Services President & CEO Steve Fetyko, who has been serving as the interim President & CEO for the UMRC-Porter Hills Foundation. “Kelli is an accomplished fundraising professional with experience in the healthcare and education fields in both the Detroit and Grand Rapids areas, which Brio Living Services serves. She has a demonstrated track record of leadership and fundraising success as well as building successful relationships and programs.”

Smith comes to the Foundation with more than 25 years of philanthropic experience in healthcare, education, aquariums, zoos, and botanical garden sectors. She most recently served on John Ball Zoo’s executive team as Chief Development and Engagement Officer. She spearheaded an $18.5 million campaign in this role and led teams responsible for philanthropy, marketing, government affairs, community engagement, and membership.

UMRC-Porter Hills Foundation Board Chair, Jacqueline D. Taylor, Ph.D., said, “Kelli’s background in healthcare, her commitment to the aging population, and her outstanding experience in leadership across the state will be invaluable to our UMRC-Porter Hills Foundation.”

Current Foundation board member and incoming Board Chair, Catherine “Reezie” DeVet added, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Kelli who is such a gifted and experienced professional. She will be instrumental in our mission and success in serving older adults across Michigan.”

Smith led major and planned gift efforts to complete a multi-million-dollar campaign as Director of Philanthropy at Saint Mary’s Foundation, Mercy Health. Originally from southeastern Michigan, she began her career in public health with the Oakland County Health Department. Her experience includes progressively more responsible roles at Beaumont Health Foundation, the American Heart Association, Detroit Country Day School, and University Liggett School.

Committed to civic, professional, and community service, Smith serves on the Grand Rapids Chamber’s Create Great Leaders Council (CGL), the Board of Directors for the Children’s Advocacy Center, Immediate Past Board Chair of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the East Grand Rapids School Foundation.

“Raised closely with amazing grandparents and great-grandparents, advocating for vibrant aging has long been a personal mission and now a professional one. I am honored to take the helm as President and CEO of UMRC-Porter Hills Foundation and work alongside a stellar team and community dedicated to sustaining and improving the quality of life of aging adults. With adults 65 and older projected to outpace births in the U.S. by 2034, the Foundation’s mission is more critical than ever,” said Smith.

Smith will begin her duties as UMRC-Porter Hills Foundation President & CEO on June 26, 2023.

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