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Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

Your source for Michigan news in 2023 and beyond

Bridge Michigan’s year-end fundraising campaign is happening now! We have big plans for 2023, including holding elected officials accountable for promises on the campaign trail, following the latest developments in public health, the Great Lakes, K-12 and post-secondary education, helping you understand and prepare for a turbulent economy and much more. Will you help us achieve these goals? Your tax-deductible support makes it possible!

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Staff

John Bebow
John Bebow
Chief Executive Officer

John Bebow has served as the organization’s executive leader since 2006. He worked previously as an investigative reporter for Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, Ann Arbor News, and Traverse City Record-Eagle. He covered the 2003 invasion of Iraq for The Detroit News and Gannett newspapers and served as editor-in-chief of MLive. He holds a bachelor's degree with honors in English from Western Michigan University and a MBA with distinction from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. John can be reached at jbebow@centerformichigan.org.

Amber DeLind
Amber DeLind
Membership & Engagement Director

Amber stewards relationships with readers for Bridge Michigan and with all individual investors in the work of the Center for Michigan. Previously, Amber led the public engagement team at the Center for Michigan, worked on college access and success grant programs for the Michigan Nonprofit Association and completed two years of national service as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Dearborn and in Lansing. Originally from St. Johns, Amber is a proud alum of Michigan State University (BA) and Grand Valley State University (MPA) and recently completed a nonprofit leadership fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School. A current resident of Farmington, Amber was named one of Oakland County's 40 under 40 in 2020. She resides with her husband, daughter, and dog Coney (AKA Truth Dog). You can reach her at adelind@bridgemi.com.

Bill Emkow
Bill Emkow
Growth Strategy Director

Audience acquisition, deepening engagement, loyalty metrics, revenue. Bill's role is to enhance and improve all levels of the marketing funnel. With over 25 years of digital media under his belt, Bill helped dramatically broaden the digital reach of every organization he's worked at in his career; including WXYZ-TV, the Detroit Free Press, and MLive.com. Bridge Michigan's triple-digit growth has been the focus of several case studies for organizations including Meta (Facebook), Google, and many others. Bill has a journalism degree from Michigan State University and is a former vice president for the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, three kids, and a tiny Yorkie dog named Mackinac. You can reach him at bemkow at bridgemi dot com.

Robin Erb
Robin Erb
Health Reporter

Robin leads health coverage for Michigan Health Watch. A long-time health writer, she documented the shock and grief of Michigan families in COVID’s wake, but also chronicled the triumph of research breakthroughs in the face of heartbreaking disease, the human spirit's will to survive, and the policy shifts that will shape Michigan for years to come. Robin previously spent six years covering health at the Detroit Free Press, documenting the battle over — and the eventual passage of — the Affordable Care Act and Michigan's Medicaid expansion. She studied communications and political science at Miami University and has a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Lourdes University (Toledo, Ohio). She and her husband raised two wonderful children — but failed miserably at training their beagle-Bassetts — in southeast Michigan. Contact Robin at rerb@bridgemi.com or 734-725-1155.

Rebecca Fedewa
Rebecca Fedewa
Development and Communications Specialist

Rebecca pursues institutional fundraising and communication goals for all Center programs and activities. Previously, Rebecca served as the Executive Director of the Flint River Watershed Coalition (FWRC), working to protect, promote, and improve the Flint River and its watershed. Prior to her position with the FWRC, Rebecca worked as the Director of Grantwriting and Foundation Relations for the Ecology Center, and began her career in nonprofits with the C. S. Mott Foundation, supporting organizations working to conserve freshwater ecosystems. Born and raised in Lansing, Rebecca is a proud Spartan. She spent 14 years in Flint/Genesee County and now lives in Hartland with her husband and son.  You can reach her at rfedewa@centerformichigan.org.

Josiah Foster
Josiah Foster
Fund Development Associate

Josiah surveys and facilitates the membership logistics for Bridge Michigan and Bridge Detroit. For all of his adult career he had experience with institutional advancement including grant writing, annual appeals, events, and sponsorships with various organizations including the Ypsilanti Public Library and The Grosse Pointe War Memorial. Josiah is a proud Wolverine and a life-long Ypsi native. Josiah loves to try new foods and restaurants no matter how far the distance.

Ron French
Ron French
Enterprise Reporter and Associate Editor

Ron manages Bridge’s internship program and guest commentary, and reports on a variety of subjects across the state. Ron came to Bridge in 2011 from The Detroit News, where he was a project reporter. Born and raised in Indiana, Ron graduated from Purdue University. He reported for newspapers across Indiana before moving to Michigan in 1995. Ron lives in Okemos, and like the true Michigander he’s become, he now has a family cabin Up North. You can reach him at rfrench@bridgemi.com or 517-214-3636.

Paula Gardner
Paula Gardner
Business Reporter and Associate Editor

Paula directs the business reporting on Bridge, writing much of it and setting the strategy for how statewide business coverage fits into Bridge’s nonpartisan policy-driven editorial mix. Paula came to Bridge in 2020 after several years at MLive.com, where she covered the state on both business and environmental teams. Prior to that, she was editor of the Ann Arbor News and news director of online startup AnnArbor,com, and also focused on business news as an editor and reporter at Michigan Business Review. Born and raised in metro Detroit, Paula moved to Ann Arbor to attend the University of Michigan, and has lived in the city for 20 years with her husband, who grew up in their neighborhood. Paula also regularly visits East Lansing and Grand Rapids to visit her college-aged children. She can be reached at pgardner@bridgemi.com

Lauren Gibbons
Lauren Gibbons
Capitol Reporter

Lauren covers state politics and policy for Bridge Michigan. Prior to joining Bridge's Capitol team, she worked at MLive, where she led coverage of the state Legislature and the redistricting process, and before that covered the state Senate for MIRS News. She has covered the ins and outs of Michigan politics for nearly a decade and has won awards both for her political coverage and her work documenting the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case. Lauren grew up in the Lansing area and graduated from Michigan State University, majoring in journalism and history. She lives in Ferndale, and her party tricks include Irish dancing and telling friends what political districts they live in without looking. Reach her at lgibbons@bridgemi.com or on Twitter @LaurenMGibbons

 Arielle Hines-Glerum
Arielle Hines-Glerum
Digital Production Specialist

Arielle maintains both Bridge Michigan and Bridge Detroit’s websites, social media platforms and newsletters. Previously, she was a digital content producer for WOOD TV8 in Grand Rapids. She reported for the Petoskey News-Review and Wausau Daily Herald in Wisconsin. She serves on the selection committee for CMU's Lem Tucker Scholarship, given to students interested in promoting diversity in media. Arielle was one of the recipients of that award in 2012. Arielle grew up in Westland. She also spent time in Emmet and Charlevoix counties. Arielle is a proud Central Michigan University graduate. She now lives in Grand Rapids with her husband.

Kelly House
Kelly House
Environment Reporter

Kelly House covers Michigan environmental issues for Bridge. She joined the Bridge staff in March 2020. Previously, Kelly reported for the Oregonian, where her coverage of the environment and other topics garnered national honors and sparked state efforts to better protect Oregon’s natural resources. She has a master’s degree in environmental law from Lewis & Clark Law School and a bachelor’s in journalism from Michigan State University. She is from Harrison and lives in Lansing. You can reach her at khouse@bridgemi.com or on Twitter at @Kelly_M_House.

AJ Jones
AJ Jones
Operations and Production Director

AJ  manages day-to-day operations and web platforms. Previously, AJ worked in development and communications for a variety of nonprofit organizations. AJ grew up in Troy, attended college in Boston, and lives in Ann Arbor with his wife and three children. AJ has been with the Center since its inception in 2006. You can reach him at ajones@centerformichigan.org.

Joel Kurth
Joel Kurth
Managing Editor

As managing editor, Joel oversees daily operations of Bridge Michigan, as well as coverage of politics, state government and data. He joined Bridge in 2017 after 17 years as an editor and reporter at The Detroit News, including five years as investigative and projects editor. He has worked in Michigan media for nearly 30 years, including stints in Saginaw and the Upper Peninsula, winning more than 50 state and national awards. He lives in West Bloomfield with his wife, two children and dog, Red. You can reach him at jkurth@bridgemi.com.

Katy Locker
Katy Locker
Chief Operating Officer

As COO, Katy works to facilitate the Center’s continued growth while also continuing to provide a quality, inspiring and inclusive workplace for its employees. For more than a decade, Katy led philanthropic efforts in Detroit on behalf of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Hudson-Webber Foundation. An attorney, she holds degrees from Cornell University and the University of Michigan Law School. Katy has served the boards of Gleaners Community Food Bank, Detroit Future City, the Diversity Pledge Institute, Downtown Detroit Partnership, Detroit Artists Market, and Citizen Detroit. In 2016, Crain’s Detroit Business named Locker one of the state’s 100 most influential women. Born in and a current resident of Detroit, Katy has also spent time in Midland, West Branch, Ferndale, Oscoda and Holly, Michigan. Lake Huron is her preferred Great Lake.

Isabel Lohman
Isabel Lohman
Education Reporter

Isabel reports on early childhood, K-12 and higher education for Bridge Michigan. She loves visiting schools and analyzing how policies made in Lansing affect students and educators. Previously, she was the children’s issues reporter for the Knoxville News Sentinel in Tennessee. There, she reported on the state's third-largest public school district's COVID-19 response and how a community copes after losing teenagers to gun violence. Isabel grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and has also lived in Missouri, Tennessee and Belgium. Isabel moved to Ann Arbor in January 2022 where she experienced her first Michigan winter. She has a warm winter hat with a snap-on puff ball.

Jonathan Oosting
Jonathan Oosting
Capitol Reporter

Jonathan works to inform readers, hold elected leaders accountable and speak truth to power while covering Michigan government and politics as a member of Bridge's Capitol team. Jonathan was named 2021 Journalist of the Year by the Michigan Press Association. He covered the state Capitol for The Detroit News and MLive before joining Bridge in September of 2019. He's from Grand Rapids, lives in Lansing and loves spending time Up North.

Mike Wilkinson
Mike Wilkinson
Data Reporter

Mike has been a reporter for Bridge Michigan since 2013 and focuses on data-assisted reporting, often finding stories by analyzing maps and data sets and has created Bridge's dashboards on COVID-19, the state's  economy and Michigan's elections. He held similar positions at The Detroit News and The Blade of Toledo. A native of Michigan, Mike grew up in Macomb County, graduated from the University of Michigan and started his reporting career in New Baltimore before his career took him to Illinois, Tennessee and Ohio. You can reach him at mwilkinson@bridgemi.com

Yue Stella Yu
Yue Stella Yu
Capital Reporter

Yue Stella Yu (pronounced Yu-eh Stella Yu) is a state politics reporter at Bridge Michigan. She covers ballot proposals and campaign finance at Bridge for the 2022 election cycle while also producing projects on social movements and cultural issues. Before joining Bridge, Stella covered state politics for The Nashville Tennessean for a year. She had also covered politics in Mississippi, Washington, D.C., Utah and Missouri. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2019 with a master's degree in investigative journalism. Stella is interested in exploring policy impact on Michiganders, with a specific interest in housing, unemployment, incarceration and child care.

David Zeman
David Zeman
Senior Editor

David spent two decades at the Detroit Free Press as an investigative reporter and editor. As editor, his reporters won some of the nation’s highest honors, including the Pulitzer Prize, the George Polk Award, the Worth Bingham Prize and the National Headliner Public Service Award. Before returning to his hometown of Detroit, Zeman was a reporter at The Miami Herald and The (Raleigh, N.C.) News and Observer. He spent two years as an attorney at a commercial litigation law firm in Miami. Zeman holds a law degree from the University of Miami, a master’s in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He lives in Beverly Hills. You can reach David via email at dzeman@bridgemi.com, or call him at 248-210-8476.