Meet Our Staff
Board of Directors, SOS
South Oakland Shelter is a non-profit 501(c)(3) emergency homeless shelter who has been serving Oakland County since 1985. The organization's Board of Directors is a dedicated group of individuals, from diverse backgrounds, that is committed to strengthening and improving the community and serving the homeless population. On behalf of the Board of Directors, thank you for all of your support.
– Lawrence J. Murphy
President – Tawnya Bender
Vice President – Robert Doyle
Treasurer – Deborah Paruch
Secretary – David Currin
Edward T. Boutrous
Rev. Jim Maxwell
Marilyn M. Price
Mary K. Stahl
South Oakland Shelter's Advisory Board is a committed group of leaders throughout Oakland County and the Metropolitan Detroit area who provide guidance and expertise to our programs and services.
Rabbi Joshua L. Bennett, Temple Israel
Mr. John Birney, Brother Rice High School
Rev. Peter Brazle, Heritage Church of Christ
Robert Carr, Olympia Entertainment
Rev. George Covintree, First United Methodist, Berkley
Mary Jo Dawson, Sacred Heart Academy
Noreen Keating, Enhancing Your Nonprofit
Dr. Bruce Kresge, DD
William Morrow, Crain’s Communication
Rev. Edward Mullins, Christ Church Cranbrook
Marie Osborne, WWJ Radio
Kenneth Peterson, The Peterson Group
Sr. Lenore Pochelski, Marian High School
Richard Rassel, Butzel Long
Gregory J. Schwartz, Gregory J. Schwartz & Co., Inc.
John Villa, retired
Msgr. John P. Zenz, Holy Name
Ryan B. Hertz, MSW, Executive Director
Ryan Hertz has served as the Executive Director of South Oakland Shelter since May of 2010. Previously, Ryan was the Executive Director at HOPE Hospitality and Warming Center, Inc. in Pontiac, MI. In his time with HOPE, the agency experienced a remarkable transformation and 144% annual growth in revenues.
In 2009, Crain’s Detroit Business recognized Ryan for his community efforts, naming him to their “20 in their 20s” list. Ryan is also Principal of EcoZoic, L3C, a consulting firm specializing in organizational transitions, social enterprise, multi-sector collaboration, process facilitation, and new media applications to achieving social outcomes.
Ryan completed his undergraduate degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He achieved his Masters of Social Work degree from Wayne State University, with a focus on community practice and social action. In January, Ryan’s research on human rights violations in Port-au-Prince, Haiti was presented at the Society of Social Work Research annual conference in San Francisco.
Currently, Ryan, a resident of Ferndale, is actively involved in several local and global community initiatives. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Detroit Network of Social Innovators, as well as for the Upland Hills Ecological Awareness Center. He is a co-founder of the Water for Huicholes initiative, a social enterprise in partnership with the indigenous community of La Laguna, Jalisco, Mexico. Ryan is also actively involved in the Oakland County Taskforce on Homelessness and Affordable Housing.
Please join the Board of Directors and the staff in welcoming Ryan to the SOS family! We are excited about his energy and enthusiasm, as well as his experiences and passion for serving the homeless population in the Southeast Michigan region.
Daniel Kelly, BA, Housing Coordinator
Mr. Kelly is a graduate of Michigan State University with a BS in Psychology. Dan advocates for and assists clients with meeting their needs. He has 8 years experience working in a small business environment. Dan uses this strong background to help SOS in an ever-changing, dynamic work place. He is an avid basketball player and a dedicated Spartans fan.
Elisabeth Mirer, Director of Development
SOS welcomes Elisabeth Mirer to our team. Elisabeth joins us from Henry Ford Health System.
Kiya Williams, Housing Support Specialist
Hi, my name is Kiya Williams and I am the Housing Support Specialist at South Oakland Shelter. I am excited and privileged to work and assist the homeless families and individuals at SOS. I am a devoted mother of two wonderful children, which is my full-time job! In addition to SOS, I am attending classes at Oakland Community College and studying the Mental Health/Social Work field. I believe that with my background and experiences in direct care work, child care, and assistant teaching, I bring excellent skills to SOS. It is my pleasure to serve all the individuals who are facing life’s challenges by making their experience a little brighter.
Meghan Kindsvater, Business Manager
Meghan is very honored and excited to be a part of the South Oakland Shelter team as the Business Manager. Meghan graduated from Northwood University with a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing/Management with a minor in Social Sciences and Language Arts. During her time at Northwood, Meghan was a member of several organizations on and off campus that created a strong passion for Non-Profit work. After spending 4 years volunteering for a Domestic Violence Shelter in Midland, Michigan, Meghan assisted in starting an organization called Happy to Help Haiti. Meghan brings a high level of enthusiasm, commitment and motivation to the team as well as a passion for the fight against homelessness!
Austin Kralisz, BA, Volunteer Coordinator
Austin works with all of the congregation coordinators and volunteers for South Oakland Shelter. He graduated in May of 2008 from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Human Resources with a minor in Economics. After college, he taught one year of 7th grade mathematics in an inner city middle school in Dallas, Texas. After spending one year in public education, Austin decided his talents may be better utilized in a non-profit organization where he could assist the underserved population. Austin is an avid sports fan, who was fortunate enough to be a member of Oakland University’s First Men's Basketball Team to reach the NCAA tournament in 2004, where they lost to the eventual champions, the North Carolina Tar Heels. Austin hopes to start school again in the fall to pursue an MBA part-time while continuing his career here as SOS.
Jim Williams, Front Desk Coordinator
Jim has volunteered extensively within the Detroit metropolitan area for many years; working with the Rouge Rescue project, being a docent at the Detroit Zoo, and volunteering and serving on the board of directors of the Clinton River Watershed Council since 1997. Jim came to S.O.S. as a volunteer and was hired shortly thereafter to run the front desk. Jim has a B.S. from Central Michigan University and before coming to S.O.S, enjoyed a successful career in medical research for over 16 years at Wayne State University and the Detroit Medical Center. In his spare time, Jim enjoys volunteering with the CRWC, kayaking, fishing, hiking, camping, or almost anything outdoors.