Lily Brewer, Executive Director of Michigan Works! Berrien,
Cass, Van Buren
Lily Brewer serves as the Executive Director of Michigan Works! Berrien, Cass, Van Buren, where she has been driving change in the workforce space for roughly 20 years and is directly responsible for the operations.
Lily joined the Kinexus Group team as a receptionist in 1998, moved to case manager in 2000, and management in 2004. Brewer now oversees multiple programs, including Benton Harbor YouthBuild, Region Eight Offender Success, Adult Education and the Kinexus Bridge Academy. Additionally, she manages teams at the Benton Harbor, Dowagiac, and Paw Paw Service Centers.
She is passionate about improving the lives and making a difference for individuals in Southwest Michigan through exceptional customer service, enhanced service delivery and driving positive organizational outcomes.
Brewer earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management from Bethel College. In her free time, Lily enjoys physical fitness and watching her son play sports. She currently resides in Niles, Michigan but has called Southwest Michigan home for over 25 years.
"you may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."
Quin Braylock, Director of Operations of Michigan Works! Berrien, Cass, Van Buren
Quin Braylock is the Director of Operations for Michigan Works! Berrien, Cass, Van Buren, and has served in the workforce development arena for over a decade. Quin is directly responsible for oversight of the Benton Harbor, Paw Paw and Dowagiac service centers.
Quin joined the Kinexus Group team in November 2019, she is a native of Benton Harbor, Michigan and recently returned home from Arizona to make a difference within her hometown. Quin is passionate about helping her community and driving change and economic growth. Empowering, inspiring, and making a life-changing difference in the lives of others is truly her calling.
Quin is a visionary leader with exceptional management skills, including a knack for driving company operations in a growth-minded direction, she has been helping companies reach their true potential for over a decade. As the Director of Operations, Quin has leveraged her leadership and teamwork abilities to ensure the objectives are implemented and quality service delivery is at the forefront of operations.
Braylock earned her bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, listening to music, photography, traveling the world, and hiking.
Her ability to quickly assess situations and learn on the spot has enabled her to make lasting decisions for the company and improve quality outcomes and growth, in addition to fostering a welcoming environment for her employees.
"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude."
Allie Knapp, Bridge Academy Director
Allie Knapp serves as the Director of the Bridge Academy, 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
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."
Dwane west, Director of YouthBuild
Dwane West is the Director of YouthBuild for Michigan Works! Berrien, Cass, Van Buren, where he oversees the YouthBuild program that assists youth with training in several fields including construction and healthcare. The program puts a strong emphasis on hard work, personal development, and genuine relationships.
Dwane came to the Michigan Works! team with a wealth of experience in construction. He owns and operates own construction company, West Construction, for over 25 years. In addition, he worked for Habitat for Humanity for five years.
He earned an Associates Degree in Accounting from Southwestern Michigan College and a Bachelor’s Degree from Bethel College. Dwane currently resides in Niles, Michigan where he enjoys golfing and gardening in his free time.
"I’ve learned that people will forget what you’ve said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."