Stay tuned to hear about the empowHER Leadership Retreat 2024 date and registration information! See you next year!

April Bocian
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The empowHER leadership retreat was created in honor of April Bocian.

April was born on April 28, 1998, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Family, friends and teammates have countless memories of how April made them laugh and brightened their day, whether she was clowning around with basketball friends, playing practical jokes on her sisters or spending time with her family.

April was an amazing girl with a powerful spirit whose life, unfortunately, ended too quickly. In honor of April, Suzy Merchant and the Eli Broad College of Business have partnered to launch the empowHER retreat. 

Michigan State women's basketball head coach Suzy Merchant and the Eli Broad College of Business have partnered to create empowHER. The empowHER leadership retreat is a grassroots initiative designed to reach young girls at the right time and give them the skills they need to take on personal and professional challenges in their lives. We want them to embrace their strengths and differences and take positive steps forward, knowing they matter and they have the power to make a difference for themselves and their communities.

Volunteer Coordinator Chair OPEN

The Volunteer Coordinator Chair is responsible for recruiting, training and supervising volunteers for the annual empowHER Leadership Retreat. This includes:

  • Serving on the Executive Board and working with the board to ensure volunteer assignments align with the schedule and needs of the retreat

  • Providing the Communications Chair with all necessary recruitment information and forms for the event website

  • Creating volunteer teams for each necessary segment of the event

  • Recruiting volunteers

  • Creating training materials for volunteer team leaders and volunteer teams; Communications Chair can assist with design of these materials

  • Training volunteer team leaders; providing team leaders with materials and information they need to train their teams

  • Confirming volunteers are able to meet their commitment to empowHER

  • Ensuring all volunteers have filled out a background check form

  • Serving as point person on-site for volunteer questions during the event

  • After the event, crafting an email thanking volunteers for their time

  • After the event, collaborating with Mentor Chair, Content Chair and Communications Chair to craft post-event survey

  • Food & Drink Responsibilities: 

    • Securing and coordinating food donations for the annual retreat

    • Contacting previous food donors to ensure they will provide food again

    • Soliciting new in-kind food donations

    • Leading a team of volunteer to pick up donations as needed and managing volunteers to coordinate food service throughout the retreat

  • After the event, thanking all food donors for their contributions

Please fill out the form below and upload your resume and cover letter

Our Team

Suzy Merchant

Suzy Merchant

MSU Women's Basketball Head Coach
Lydia Weiss

Lydia Weiss

Board Co-Chair & Content Chair
Preventive Outreach & Education Dept., MSU
Julie Pagel Dombroski

Julie Pagel Dombroski

Board Co-Chair & Event Co-Chair
MSU Women's Basketball
Kristin St. Marie

Kristin St. Marie

Co-Founder & Former Sponsorship Chair
Carlisle Companies
Janelle Manolakoudis

Janelle Manolakoudis

Event Chair
AF Group

Ann Samuel Crain

Board Operations Chair
Program Coordinator, Multicultural Business Programs, Eli Broad College of Business
Kristine Kletke

Kristine Kletke

Communications Chair
PMSI Marketing Group

Brekelle Wiedenmannott

Operations Chair
MSU Broad College of Business
Shayna Allen

Shayna Allen

Mentor Chair
TämBwoy Branding and Marketing
Angela Michael

Angela Michael

Mentor Co-Chair
MSU Student Affairs
Heather Shea

Heather Shea, PhD

Registration Chair
MSU Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging
Director of Women's Student Services
Meghan Ziehmer

Meghan Ziehmer

Volunteer Chair
Greater Lansing Sports Authority
Jodi Albaitis HS

Jodi Albaitis

Sponsor Chair
Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation (GRCCT)
Margaret Selasky

Margaret Selasky

Board Operations
MSU Women's Basketball
Gabby Wahla

Gabby Wahla

Volunteer Co-Chair
Assistant Director of Women's Student Services at MSU