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Board of Directors
Jennifer Cole- Founder/President
As the founder of Brody’s Be Cafe, Jenny Cole feels extremely blessed to have a coffee shop run by such wonderful people right here in the Ada community! Jenny began planning and organizing the opening of Brody’s Be Cafe in October 2018, opening the doors for the first time in October 2019.
Jenny knew from a young age that her passion was working with children and teaching kids of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. As a 1999 graduate of Grand Valley State University’s teaching program, Jenny was anxious to begin teaching. After several years as an elementary school teacher, Jenny decided to pursue her teaching career at Lowell Middle School in Lowell, Michigan. She continues to teach and impact the lives of the students she encounters.
Jenny’s desire to open a coffee shop was inspired by her son, Brody, who was born with Down syndrome. The birth of her son, although unexpected and unfamiliar, has now been the gateway to opportunities beyond her wildest dreams. Her continued love and support for individuals with various intellectual and physical disabilities is displayed in the beloved Brody’s Be Cafe. Jenny is so grateful for the employees at Brody’s Be as well as the support from local communities making Brody’s Be Cafe possible and providing equal working opportunities.
Jane Weatherford- Secretary
For twelve years, Jane has passionately advocated for her son, Cam, born with cerebral palsy. In turn, Cam has taught her to advocate for herself as a professional business woman in a career dominated by men. Cam exudes a pure joy and happiness that can lift up his mom even on her worst day. His compassion for others is always evident, and he accepts every challenge put before him.
Jane is a manager and communications specialist for Atos, a global company headquartered in France. As a remote worker, using technology and building relationships is second nature, and Jane hopes to use those skills as a member of the board. In addition, Jane has board experience in Grand Rapids with United Cerebral Palsy Board of Directors, GVSU PT Advisory Board, and she is a Guild Member of the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.
Jane is positive by nature and believes every day is an opportunity to make someone else’s day brighter. Brody’s Be Cafe is all about change and advocating for others. It’s the first and ONLY place in our community that is purpose-built for acceptance. She is passionate about its message of inclusion, acceptance, and bringing everyone together. From its inception, Cam has told his parents that when he is old enough, he cannot wait to work at Brody’s Be Cafe. It is hard to say if it’s because of the cafe itself or the fact that his best buddy, Brody, will probably be there too!
Kyle Summit- Treasurer
Sarah Cooper- Trustee
Cheryl Staley- Trustee
Rachel Stadt- Executive Director
Rachel feels it is a great privilege to be a part of this amazing community. When Jenny first presented the idea to Rachel, she could have never imagined the journey she was about to embark on. Rachel loves coffee, and more than coffee, she loves people. This journey so far is nothing short of a mom’s love for her son. Rachel has been perplexed by how she has seen herself changing and she now looks at all people through a different lens. Rachel feels honored to be a part of this dream, and she looks forward to helping bridge the gap.
Sarah Miller- Trustee
Allie Cowden- Intellectual Disability Trustee
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