Michael's Place - Let the Healing Begin

History and Leadership

A healing center for grieving children, teens, adults and families

Michael's Place builds hope for those who grieve, and purpose for those who wish to help.

Michael’s Place was founded in 2001 by Chris Dennos as a healing center for grieving children, teens, adults and families suffering the death of a loved one. Chris developed the community resource as a way to provide hope to those who grieve. As death involves so many complicated practical issues such as funeral planning, medical expenses, and economic survival, Michael’s Place was established to help families identify the equally critical emotional factors of loss.

Left unmanaged, grief is a powerful contributor to many crises:

  • Depressive behaviors are common for those who grieve.
  • Alcohol and drug use and abuse may be coping mechanisms for teens and adults who are grieving.
  • School struggles and/or failure is associated with children who suffer with grief.
  • Most of all, grief robs children and adults of peace and hope.

Visit our Testimonials page to learn more about how our services have made a positive impact on the lives of our families. 

Michael’s Place Services Provided at No Cost
Michael's Place board and supporters believe it is important that all who grieve have the opportunity to receive grief support services without cost.  We understand that most families suffering the loss of a loved one area already burdened with financial hardship.  The organization is non-profit and is supported by fundraising events and the contributions of many donors, large and small.


Michael’s Place Board of Directors is comprised of northern Michigan business and philanthropic leaders who keep the organization’s mission in focus with every decision and initiative. Board members shepherd Michael’s Place in our efforts to develop new ways to comfort grieving families and educate the public on the life-changing benefits of grief support.

Board of Directors

Chris Dennos
Founder and Board President

Erik Gruber, CRPC
Prinicipal, Sagemark Consulting

Rorie Lewis, J.D.
Board Secretary

Karen Browne

President - TBA Credit Union

Dan Brady
Owner – Dan Brady Painting and Wood Restoration

Gretchen Overbeek
Vice President of Compensation and Benefits, Hagerty Insurance

Dr. Bill Smith, M.D.
West Front Primary Care Family Physician (Retired)

Marika Bevier
Strategic Marketing Consultant

Doug Morgenstern

Vice President, Business Banking, Huntington National Bank



  • Mindy Davis Buell, Executive Director
  • Melissa Fournier, LMSW, Program Director
  • Pam Jones, LLMSW, Volunteer and Resource Management
  • Elizabeth Myre Boomer, Robin's Nest Coordinator
  • Breanna Nickerson, BSW, Social Worker
  • Connie Wintzinger, Development Director

 View Frequently Asked Questions