Our staff of hundreds of professionals is committed to being passionate, accessible and reliable, while meeting those we serve wherever they are in their life journeys.
We provide assistance to more than 12,000 adults and children each year through our more than two dozen mental health & prevention programs, in addition to offering a comprehensive array of varied housing placement services, employment readiness training, early childhood education, and much more.
Our Volunteer Board of Directors
Chair: Cheryl Hawkins PhD, Vice President & Chief Academic Officer Schoolcraft College
Vice Chair: Rodger Prong, MBA, Oakland Physicians Network
Treasurer: Melvin Houston, Attorney, Accountant and Professor, Wayne State University
Secretary: Kevin Outland, Pure Energy Marketing
Jerry Allen, Owner, Allen Maintenance Co.
Nicholas DuBose Owner, GT Transportation, member of Head Start Policy council
Dr. Subash Gulati, Retired Physician
Kathy Operhall, Retired Educator
Daicia Price, Clinical/Asst. Professor University of Michigan
Sharon Smith, Student Member of New Directions
Frederiek Toney, President Global Ford Customer Service
Chief Executive Officer: Dr. Catherine Liesman
Catherine (Cathy) Liesman, Ph.D. has served as CEO of Development Centers since May 2018, but she has been part of the Development Centers team for nearly 40 years, beginning as Children’s Coordinator in 1983 before being promoted to Deputy Director in 1984 and Chief Operating Officer in 2014. She has worked to position Development Centers as a leader and core provider of community mental health services, workforce development programming, and Early Head Start and Head Start services within the City of Detroit. She supported the expansion and diversification of funding sources, growing the agency from one primary funder with an annual budget of $4 million to multiple grants and contracts now totaling $24 million annually.
Dr. Liesman leads the organization’s strategic planning efforts, board development, and capacity building in several core areas. She provides oversight of all operations, directs agency-wide fiscal operations, and leads teams to facilitate projects such as quality improvement systems, Evidence Based Practices, and CARF accreditation status.
Dr. Liesman holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from Saybrook University in San Francisco, CA. She has dedicated her entire career to supporting healthy families and communities and serves on several committees and boards within Wayne County and the state of Michigan, always maintaining her convictions to advocate for children, adults, and families with the greatest need. Currently, Dr. Liesman serves as the co-chair for the Michigan Behavioral Health and Wellness Collaborative, as well as the Treasurer and former President of the Michigan Association of Infant Mental Health (MI AIMH). She is also a current board member of the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health. Throughout her career, she has been recognized as an exemplary public servant with awards from groups including MI AIMH, The Brightmoor Alliance, and Wayne County Systems of Care. She is also an active volunteer in the St. Vincent de Paul Conference through her church.