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Board of Directors

As a 501(c)(3) organization, the Kalamazoo Experiential Learning Center is run by a Board of Directors. These individuals from around the Kalamazoo community give their time and talents to help make the Kalamazoo Experiential Learning Center successful. Our organization wouldn’t be possible without them and their support. Please continue reading to meet the board:

Bob Miller, Western Michigan University |

Community Advocate

Bob is recently retired and previously served as Assistant Vice President for Community Relations. His leadership was a conduit between the University and the community and continues to provide direction for programming and educational enrichment. His current involvement with downtown stakeholders and business development helps to connect college students in entrepreneurial development. 


Bobby Hopewell, Mobile Health Resources |

241 W. South Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Bobby is responsible for the day-to-day operation of MHR, which includes billing, patient experience, employee engagement, and purchasing services.  His operational knowledge is important in assessing customer experience management.  His community service experience as former Mayor and current DDA/DEGA board experience with downtown engagement focus provides the right level of understanding that is required for downtown retail, restaurant, residential, and experience management.  His social capital power provides the perfect depth of understanding and commitment to the work done by KELC for the downtown community.

Abby VandenBerg, Maple Hill Auto Group |

5622 W. Main Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Abby comes to the KELC Board with representation as the founding members of the Kalamazoo Holiday
Parade Michigan nonprofit where KELC is a fiscal sponsor. Abby’s representation comes as Human Resources at Maple Hill Auto Group as well as previous marketing assistant. Her degree is from Hillsdale College in Marketing and Marketing Management. She is also a downtown Kalamazoo resident and her connections and support of downtown event programming is critical to the ability to guide KELC programming decisions well as a plethora of networking experience.


Erin Visscher, Huntington Bank |

4300 W. Main Street., Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Erin Visscher is a Senior Private Banker and brings to KELC Events a wealth of talent in the world of financial planning and nonprofit financial sustainability.  She has served on many boards and her work with Volunteer Kalamazoo is especially valuable as KELC Events supports volunteer development and recruitment. 

Jacob Droppers, Varnum Law |

333 Bridge Place, Ste. 1300, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Jacob Droppers is a partner at Varnum Law and has been raised in the event management business. Currently, Jacob manages corporate mergers and acquisitions.  His insight into festivals and events has been through his leadership in working at The Event Company for five years prior to attending law school. His knowledge of the law and event management provides guidance required for ongoing operations.

Angela McMillan, NSDA |

5043 Woodmont Dr, Portage, MI 49002 

Angela McMillan is passionate about aligning work with purpose and firmly believes in the positive impact organizations can have in strengthening our community and our collective future. That is why she has dedicated herself to the association/nonprofit industry for over 10 years. Currently, she serves as the Director of Marketing and Advocacy for the National Speech and Debate Association, founder and keynote speaker for Talk It Forward, and core team member for Kalamazoo Social Media. Angela’s experience serving at the local, state, and national level will further KELC’s ability to build relationships and strategic partnerships.

Rebecca (Becca) Shemberger, Assoc. Product Specialist, Tactile Medical | 6927 Veronica St., Kalamazoo MI 

Becca Shemberger has been connected to KELC Events since 2015 when she served as an intern and helped to coordinate the Kalamazoo Promise 10th Anniversary event series, along with several other events. She then joined as a member of the board in early 2018 and started as program director in 2019, serving until 2022. Now, Becca works in medical sales and has transitioned back to a KELC board member. Her connection to events, community and the need to create meaningful internships in the area of public relations provides a great structure for KELC

Deborah Droppers, Executive Director |

1401 Lama Road, Kalamazoo, MI 49008

Deborah Droppers is the founder of the Kalamazoo Experiential Learning Center. She has been an event manager and director since 1988. Additionally, Deborah Droppers administers the Western Michigan University Minor program and teaches 15 credit hours a year in event management and nonprofit marketing

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