The Firestone Center Board is made up of committed community members with diverse backgrounds. Each member is passionate about providing a great volunteer and lodging experience for all who come to stay with us in Flint. Read below to learn more about each of our board members.
Katie Baidel is honored to serve on the Firestone Center board. She has volunteered in the Flint community over the years and was inspired to help grow the opportunities for service learning in the city. She is a long time parish member at St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor, a part time speech pathologist, and a parent to 3 children. Katie knew from the moment she first visited the rectory that is now the Firestone Center, that it would provide volunteers with a place for their hope to become community action.
Father Tom Firestone
Board Member and Namesake
Father Tom was appointed pastor for St. John Vianney Parish of Flint in 2005 by Bishop Carl Mengeling. Father Tom’s duties expanded and he now serves Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, St Mary Parish, St Matthew Parish, and St Michael Parish, all in Flint. He has diligently worked to bring the Catholic parishes and missions in Flint together to best serve the needs of the community.
Father Tom Firestone has help to facilitate an Alternative Spring Break program in Flint for nearly 10 years.
Steve first heard of alternative spring break when he began working at St. John Student Parish in 2006. From there, he has remained involved and has seen first hand the impact sustainable service experiences can have on an individual and the ripple effect these programs can have on other communities. He believes, “It is not what you do while you are here – it is what you do when you go home.” Having a space dedicated for these types of experiences in Flint is truly a dream come true.
Steve works for SIPI (Social Impact Philanthropy and Investment) whose mission is “To transform legacy cities into economic hubs of opportunity for everyone” and is located in the lower level of the Firestone Center.
Service learning, reflection and intentional community has been at the heart of Kelly’s work since attending college. She identifies alternative break experiences in undergrad and graduate school among the most transformative experiences of her life. After graduating, Kelly spent a year of service with the Brethren Volunteer Service in Belfast, Northern Ireland. From there, she went on to serve as a campus minister for over a decade and has led numerous alternative break trips and retreats both domestically and abroad. She is thrilled to bring her experience and passion closer to home by serving on the Firestone Center Board.
Kelly currently lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband Paul and two children and works at the University of Michigan in the Center for Campus Involvement.
Kristin is a Flint native and works as an Urban Planner for the City of Flint. Her work focuses on community revitalization efforts to rehabilitate distressed public housing, improve neighborhood connectivity, and increasing. Kristin sees her work as an opportunity to develop relationships with community members in order to keep them engaged in the long journey of neighborhood stabilization. As a resident of Flint who walks to work and rides her bike to get around town, Kristin recognizes how much the built environment has become a barrier to achieving a sense of community. The mission of the Firestone Center is particularly exciting to her as she sees it as a concerted effort to bring boots on the ground investment to Flint neighborhoods and organizations. She enjoys meeting all of the people who come into town and sharing her perspective of her hometown, a City on its way back!