The Speakers (2024)

Terrance Grantham

Event Emcee

Terrance is a brother, son, father of 3, and husband of 5 years. With his degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Michigan State University, and life experience, he has been able to navigate fatherhood in a very insightful way. He served as the Fatherhood Facilitator for Ingham County’s Strong Start Healthy Start for 3 years before he and his family relocated to the Metro Detroit area where he accepted the Fatherhood Coordinator position with the Detroit Healthy Start Program through the Institute for Population Health. This job has shown him a passion for fatherhood advocacy he did not know he had. And it has allowed him to impact an audience of parents, colleagues, and peers with information, inspiration, and encouragement.

Shon Hart

Shon Hart is a married father of three, a certified Eric Thomas, Game Changer, motivational speaker and an authority on fatherhood. He is the founder and Executive Director of InvolvedDad, where he strengthens families through father engagement. His organization provides various front-line and gap services that impact and transform families and communities. Despite Shon not excelling in high school academically, he used the negativity of others to take control of his life and earn an athletic scholarship and degree from Michigan State University. He later authored 5 books; his most well-known is From Average to Elite. With his energetic and infectious personality, he is driven to help those he serves to grow from the inside out to dominate their lanes. The motto he lives by is, “Don’t chase the bag (money), chase your assignment; the bag is wrapped in your assignment!”

Demetrius Starling

Demetrius Starling is the senior deputy director for Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' (MDHHS) Children’s Services Administration (CSA), where he oversees the state’s child welfare system, including Children’s Protective Services (CPS), the foster care system, adoption services, family preservation services, and juvenile justice programs.

Starling has worked in the child welfare field for more than 20 years, beginning with his career as a CPS specialist at Wayne County MDHHS. He has since served in numerous managerial positions at MDHHS, including the director for Sanilac and St. Clair counties’ MDHHS.

Prior to his appointment as CSA executive director in May 2021, Starling served as CSA’s in-home services bureau director overseeing prevention, preservation, and protection programs. During his time at CSA, he has been an integral part of formulating diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, human trafficking initiatives, and served on various continuous quality improvement teams.

Starling earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Ferris State University.

Amy Lindholm

Amy Lindholm is a Management Analyst for the Michigan State Court Administrative Office’s Friend of the Court Bureau (FOCB) and has worked in that role since 2017. She previously worked at the Kent County Friend of the Court for five years. Amy has a master’s degree in Public Administration from Grand Valley State University with a concentration in Policy and Planning).

One responsibility in her current role with the FOCB is stakeholder engagement. Amy currently serves as Fatherhood Liaison and Corrections Liaison to friends of the court, bridging gaps for fathers and incarcerated parents – two groups who often struggle to navigate the friend of the court system and to feel heard by it. Amy currently serves as a Co-Chair of the Michigan Action Plan for Father Involvement.

Tony McDowell

Tony McDowell is Director of the Genesee County Friend of the Court and has served that office since 2014. He previously worked as Deputy Director and Staff Attorney in the office, and as a Judicial Advisory Assistant in the Genesee County Circuit Court. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Michigan State University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Toledo College of Law.

Jevona Fudge

Jevona C. Fudge is an experienced attorney with a diverse background in law, education, and social relations. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Social Relations from James Madison College at Michigan State University as well as a degree in Secondary Education, and later earned her Juris Doctor from Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University.

After becoming a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Jevona began working as a Civil Law Attorney with Legal Aid and Defender Association-Macomb. In 2012 she joined the Macomb County Friend of the Court as a Judicial Service Officer. Here, she focused on child support, parenting time, and custody issues and enforcement of court orders entered by the 16th Circuit Court Family Division.

Currently, Jevona is making an impact as Deputy Chief/Assistant Prosecutor in the Cooperative Reimbursement Unit.  Her commitment to equal access to justice, diversity, collaborative and accountable parenting is unwavering. 

Deputy Chief Fudge has worked on both sides of the justice system and uses this insight to advocate for and effectuate change for the underserved and vulnerable.

Ian Agee

Ian Agee, born and raised in Flint, MI, is a father of  two beautiful daughters, ages 10 & 17. He has a passion for art and serving the community by supporting the missions of those whose purpose is to impact lives through creative solutions, media support, social service, and volunteering. Ian has a videography/production company, NAG Somebody Productions and works at Factory Two, Flint's community maker space. Ian also works with InvolvedDad as a monitor and is the new program manager for Flint's DiSCo Tech.

Kevin Lavender, Jr.

Kevin Lavender Jr. founded the Fatherhood Network in 2015. He is the proud father of three daughters and has a deep passion and commitment to supporting fathers and coordinating opportunities for dads to build community amongst each other while connecting with community resources. His hope is that fathers feel encouraged and supported in their role as a father. 

Derek Miller

Derek Miller is supervisor of the 4DAD and Healthy Babies Healthy Start Programs for Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services. Derek is an active member of the Kalamazoo community and the father of two sons. He's passionate about teaching and helping others reach their goals. After experiencing a rocky start to his fatherhood journey, he joined the Fatherhood Network in 2015. His hope is that fathers don't feel alone on their journey as a father.

Clay Roberts, Jr.

Clay Roberts, Jr., a native of Grand Rapids, MI, is a multifaceted individual with a passion for empowering others. A graduate of Alma College with a Bachelor of Arts degree, he wears many hats as a coach, mentor, motivational speaker, writer, and entrepreneur. Alongside his roles, Clay is a dedicated husband and father of five children, blending both biological and stepchildren into his loving family. As the founder of the organization All Things Fatherhood, he channels his experiences and expertise to advocate for and support fathers in their journey through parenthood.

Chris Hook

Christopher Hook is a father of a young son, land caregiver for his mom and is based in Kent, OH. In his professional role, Chris is a Councilperson for the City of Kent, supporting sustainable development and dignified lives. Chris also works with Equimundo, a leading international think tank on masculinity and fatherhood. In this role, Chris leads research on caregiving, work and manhood, and has made high profile speaking appearances in front of the Ohio Fatherhood Commission, Global MenCare Campaign, the United Nations, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Chris has a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and BA from Kent State University.