Our Leadership

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Todd Gustafson, President & Chief Executive Officer

Todd serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Kinexus, where he has been driving their repositioning into a nationally recognized community development organization since 2005.  His leadership has transformed Kinexus into a multi-million dollar statewide asset that integrates workforce, economic and community development into a family of organizations.  Their innovative solutions to some of the most pressing problems earned them recognition by such organizations as the NonProfit Times, MiBiz Magazine, and Crain’s Detroit Business.

"If you have the will, more things are possible than you realize."
-Alger Gustafson

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Jennifer Deamud, Chief Operations Officer

Jennifer M. Deamud is the Chief Operations Officer of Kinexus Group. Deamud is an accomplished authentic and humble executive with over twenty years’ experience leading teams, establishing strategic direction and achieving operational excellence. Respected for helping organizations innovate, thrive and grow. Known for optimizing resources to achieve goals while satisfying stakeholders. Well-known throughout Michigan and nation as a forward-thinking leader who has a passion to serve.

"Look to the past to learn, look to the future to succeed."
-anonymous

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Allie Knapp, Bridge Academy OF SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN SCHOOL LEADER

Allie Knapp serves as the School Leader of the Bridge Academy of Southwest Michigan, where she has been driving change in the education space for more than seven years and is directly responsible for the operations of the program. 

Allie joined the Kinexus Group team as a Youth Instructional Specialist in 2013 and moved to Manager of Education Services in 2016, where she oversaw both youth and adult education services. Knapp now oversees multiple programs, including the Bridge Academy and Michigan Works! Adult Education. In addition, Allie facilitates partnerships between the Bridge Academy and Berrien Springs Public Schools in order to deliver a collaborative approach to education. 

She is passionate about improving the lives of others through exceptional customer service, intense barrier removal, and truly serving each student as an individual. 

Knapp earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education for English and Communication from Western Michigan University. In addition, she holds a State of Michigan Provisional Teaching Certificate. In her free time, Allie enjoys spending time with her husband and young son, traveling, and hosting gatherings with friends. She was born and raised in Southwest Michigan and currently resides in St. Joseph, Michigan.

"The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. It's whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere." -Barack Obama

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Derek Knuth, Director of Offender Services

Derek (Deke) Knuth is the Director of Offender Services for Michigan Works! Berrien, Cass, Van Buren, where he oversees the Offender Success Program that increases public safety by reducing the regional, offender return-to-prison rate through an employment-focused plan of services and supervision.

Prior to being a member of the Kinexus Team, Derek worked at Timothy’s Fine Dine Restaurant in the summers while attending college. He has a background in corrections and early experience in Kinexus has given him over four years of direct service for reentry populations.

While playing four years of collegiate baseball, he received his Associates of Arts Degree at Lake Michigan College and then attended Concordia University Ann Arbor, where he obtained a bachelor’s in Criminal Justice.

Passionate about his hometown community, Derek returned to Saint Joseph, Michigan where he enjoys being around over 100 family members.

"Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be."
-John Wooden