In 2009, Carolyn Cassin accepted the leadership of the Michigan Women’s Foundation, Michigan’s only public statewide Foundation dedicated solely to helping women and girls realize economic self-sufficiency and social equality. She shaped an innovative, strategic direction for the Foundation through the creation and support of high-impact programs aimed at Advancing the State’s Women’s Agenda, Developing the Next Generation of Young Women Leaders and Empowering Women Entrepreneurs.
Highlights of her accomplishments at MWF include the development of a microloan fund for women owned and managed businesses and a venture capital fund for women – Belle Michigan, of which she is the General Partner. Her leadership of the Foundation has resulted in exponential growth, financial stability, innovative programming and measurable results.
Carolyn is considered a national expert in end of life care, a highly-regarded organizational development and operations expert, and is an accomplished healthcare entrepreneur. In addition to her work with the Foundation, Carolyn started and held leadership positions with the National Hospice Work Group, a professional coalition of CEO’s from the nation’s largest and most innovative hospices.
Her professional successes include 10 years as CEO of Hospice of Michigan and the COO of VistaCare, the first venture capital backed national hospice, which became a publically traded company in 2005. She also oversaw the development of Michigan’s $1.5 billion Medicaid Managed Care Program and led Continuum Hospice Care in New York City to become NYC’s largest hospice program.
Carolyn gained much of her national public policy insight and acumen as Chairperson and President of the National Hospice Organization (1983-1986) where she served as chief spokesperson and advocate. She was called upon again in 2005 to serve on the Board of Trustees of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Of the numerous honors and special assignments given her, Carolyn is particularly proud of her achievements with NHPCO, including being honored with the 2006 Founder’s Award; serving as Governor appointed Trustee, Board of Control, Ferris State University (1997 – 1999); receiving the American Hospital Association’s “Circle of Life” award for innovation in 2006, earning the “Best Managed Non-Profit” award, Crain’s Detroit Business, 1994; being named one of “Detroit’s 100 Most Influential Women,” Crain’s Detroit Business, 1997; and receiving the first prestigious “Heart of Hospice Award”, by NHO in 1993. She currently serves on the Board of the Detroit Regional Chamber. In 2009, Crain’s Business Detroit named her a “Woman to Watch,” and she was named the 2013 Women Official’s Network’s Wonder Woman Awardee. In 2016 Carolyn was selected to the Board of Directors of the Detroit Economic Club and named by Crain’s Business Detroit as one of “The 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan”. Most recently, Carolyn was named News/Talk 760’s 2017 class of “Women Who Lead.”
Carolyn earned her Master of Public Administration degree from Western Michigan University, her BA from Miami University, and the esteemed three-year National Leadership Fellowship, from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.