Board of Directors
Jennifer Cole- Founder
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.
Kelly Jandernoa- Vice President
Kelly Jandernoa is excited to contribute to Brody’s Be Cafe board with her creative problem solving skills and advocacy for inclusion. She sees growth, love, and hope when people of all abilities live and work alongside one another. Kelly comes to Brody’s Be Cafe for the good feelings and warmth from the staff and stays for the pastries and hot tea.
She is executive director of the Red Glasses Movement and a registered nurse with Cancer & Hematology Centers of West Michigan. A graduate of Grand Valley State University, Kelly holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She is mother to Tommy, Samantha, and Audrey and lives with her husband Carl in Grand Rapids.
Kevin Curtis- President
Kevin and his wife and three children have resided in Allendale for the past 20 years, and he currently owns two State Farm Agencies within the Grand Rapids area. The Cole family, especially Brody, has been a huge part of our lives for the past 9 years. I vividly remember the day when I had the chance to play basketball with Brody in his driveway and those 15 minutes forever changed my life. I sat back and watched a 9-year-old boy with a deep love for life, a smile you would long to have, and the deepest laugh you could imagine. I remember thinking to myself that if I lived my life with half the amount of joy that Brody shows on a daily basis my life would be more fulfilled. I believe that my discipline in the workforce, attention to detail, and passion to change lives will allow me to be a positive part of the Brody’s Be Cafe board. Brody has always amazed me with his ability to show unconditional love to everyone he meets, and i believe my leadership on the board will follow his example.
Jane Weatherford- Secretary
“Change won’t just happen. You need to make it happen. Nothing will change if we don’t ask for it to change.” This is a mantra Jane has repeated many times.
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!
Dawn Carbines- Board Member
Dawn Carbines, Marketing Specialist, mother of 2 daughters, wife to Jeff Carbines, strives to create a place where everyone feels accepted, valued, and supported. With her extensive experience in profit management and long-range strategy development, Dawn believes that smart, ethical initiatives and long-range thinking can make the world a better place.
Dawn fell in love with charitable work when she was only 13. Heavily guided by her Faith, she quickly developed a deep passion for anyone who felt different or unsupported. Her charitable work spans many organizations including the United Way, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and the Noorthoek Academy, an organization that helps individuals with special needs go to college.
Dawn provides marketing support for Brody’s Be and is firmly rooted in our mission. She is the happiest when spending her days keeping the West Michigan area and amazing place for everyone to live.
Chris Manion- Board Member
Chris Manion is an Environments Consultant for Ada Bible Church— coordinating campuses with design for easy flow, spatial organization, and consistency in environments. She enjoys sharing this skill set with other churches, businesses, and organizations.
Her most recent adventure has been to partner with the Tim Tebow Foundation to organize and design a Night to Shine event at Ada Bible Church. Night to Shine is an incredible prom experience for people with special needs and their families.
Chris is a wife, mom, and grandma to 5. She is blessed to have Hazel, her granddaughter who was born with Down syndrome.
Chris is excited to be a part of Brody’s Be Cafe board of directors because she believes everyone is beautifully created and have a special gift they can share with the world. Brody’s Be Cafe is providing opportunities for those gifts to shine.
Rachel Stadt- Executive Director of Brody’s Be Cafe
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.