Pokagon Fund Hires New Director

The Pokagon Fund has announced the hiring of its new director. Dan Petersen started on Monday. The 38-year-old Petersen was previously the president of EightCAP, Incorporated, a community action agency in Ionia County. WSJM News asked him what attracted him to the Pokagon Fund.

“Really, it’s the uniqueness of the organization, and it’s in line with my background and the professional experiences I’ve had,” Petersen said.

The organization where Petersen most recently worked runs programs focused on early childhood education, basic needs assistance, and housing, among other things. At the Pokagon Fund, Petersen says he wants to remain true to the mission of the fund.

“Funding initiatives that are related to community vitality, poverty reduction, and education, and working with the board, working with the grantees, working with the community members to identify what that vision is for the community.”

Petersen takes over following the June resignation of Janet Cocciarelli, who stepped away from the Pokagon Fund after four years to spend more time with family in Grand Rapids. The Pokagon Fund gives out a portion of Four Winds Casino revenues to community organizations and projects. Since 2007, it’s provided more than $26 million in grant awards and scholarships.