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Our Event Staff

Deborah Droppers

Founder & Executive Director

"My mom, Shirley Van Hoeven, inspires me every day and it is in her spirit that I founded the Center.  She lived her life for college students when she was teaching at Western Michigan University.  Her impact still resonates through her Scholarship Fund in the Communications Department.

 

This center is my dream. I love working with non-profits and enjoy the chaos of working with interns. I am inspired to think of new ideas to make events more interactive, customer-focused, and multi-layered.  I teach at Western Michigan University and run the Event Management Minor.  It's insanely fun.  Every day I learn something new in preparation for the lectures that hopefully engage, inspire, transform.  Within this pledge, we celebrate the passion of the product and the people we serve.

 

 It's an amazing adventure".   

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Rebecca Shemberger

Director of Events

"After working as an intern at the learning center upon graduation from Western Michigan University, I hoped that my passion for events and community outreach would eventually bring me back. I became a KELC board member in 2015 and, after 4+ years in corporate sales, I decided to take the leap back into the non-profit and event planning world. Deb has been such a great role model and mentor to me and I only hope that I can follow in her footsteps during my time here.

I wake up every day excited to go to work and do something to make a difference in the community. The center is a dreamy place to work, and no day is the same. I love having the ability to be actively involved in the community, while coaching interns, and meeting new people. I am excited to continue to grow as an individual as well as grow this organization alongside Deb. I can’t wait to see what the future holds in store.

 

Cheers!".

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Olivia Darmos

Event Coordinator

"The crazy part of events is you never stop learning from them. My internship here has taught me so much, from the details of planning to the anticipation of event day. Working for KELC, and for nonprofits in general, you get that intimate experience with events, you really get to build them from the ground up in some cases, and that's the coolest part. 

Our team is so dedicated to the surrounding community and putting our best foot forward, not only at every event, but throughout the entire process and all that goes into them behind the scenes. I am blessed and so grateful to be doing what I love and surrounded by people as passionate as I am about others, our community, our vision, etc.  

I couldn't imagine doing anything else surrounded by anyone else at this point in my life. I love what I do and who I do it with, & I couldn't ask for more"

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Current interns

Anastasia Sikkila

Major: Interpersonal Communication and Spanish
 
Minor: Event Management

Favorite Event: Food Truck Rally

KELC Project: Social Media

I enjoy planning and assisting events that impact the community in a positive way.  Seeing the joy that the event we plan bring to the community makes all the work worth while. 

Tess Abbott 

Major: Sport Management 

Minor: General Business and Event Management 

Favorite Event: Classic Car Club of America 

KELC Project: Community Engagement 

I love KELC because it's an environment where I can be hands on and have opportunities to work unique events alongside people that are working towards similar future career goals. 

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Carolina Ayapan 

Major: Sport Management 

Minor: Event Management 

Favorite Event: Kal-Haven Trail Run 

KELC Project: Event Implementation   

What I enjoy most about working at KELC is seeing the outcome of the behind the scenes work we do here. Interacting with the community and watching them enjoy the events we put together is a rewarding experience.