Michael's Place Founder
Chris Dennos has been a donor and philanthropist for more than 40 years. Her passion to give a voice to the voiceless resulted in the founding of “Michael’s Place” in Traverse City, Michigan in 2001, where she served as Board President for 16 years. The only resource of its kind north of Lansing, Michael’s Place was established as a healing center for children, teens, individuals and families grieving a death. The organization was named in honor of a young cousin who died after contracting a fatal illness.
It is one thing to have a good idea. A good idea you feel passionate about. It is yet another to take that idea and that passion and act upon it. Chris did just that.
Creating this start up with the founding executive director, Mindy Buell, a handful of committed board members, and a shoe-string budget, Michael’s Place has grown from one core program of weekly support services to six programs designed to meet the various needs of adults, children, teens, workplaces and school communities. Providing a safe place to heal and express individual stories is the core mission of Michael’s Place and the realization of a lifelong goal of Chris Dennos.
Chris’ commitment to Michael’s Place remains as focused today as when the organization first started in 2001. Her greatest desire is to use her own voice to advocate and educate on behalf of children and adults who are grieving. She will continue to devote her time and talents to Michael’s Place as a board member, helping the organization fulfill the mission in a growing community. Her hope for the organization is to realize the vision of reaching more in the Traverse City area, as well as those in surrounding counties and outlying areas.
Beyond her passionate commitment to Michael’s Place, Chris has served in multiple roles to support the Dennos Museum, including chair of the capital campaign for the Dennos Museum addition and member of the committee to recruit and hire the new director for the Dennos Museum.
Chris has volunteered with the Dennos Museum, The State Theater, and Traverse City Health Clinic and has served as a panel consultant on development for Northwestern Michigan College. Past accomplishments include volunteering and board membership for other Traverse City organizations, including Parallel 45 Theatre, Pathfinder School, and the Women’s Resource Center. These organizations fit closely with Chris’ personal commitment to serve those who are in need of a representative voice.
Chris Dennos received a BA from Michigan State University. She has been a high school teacher, a business-owner, presenter of parenting workshops in Traverse City and in Cleveland, Ohio, and has raised two wonderful sons.