About Us

The members of our board of directors are thought leaders who have made a significant contribution to our society. Each and every one of them brings a unique set of skills and expertise to our organization.

Our Mission

The mission of Full Circle Foundation is to support the activities that foster a sense of self worth and independence in persons with disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disabilities, by providing opportunities to contribute and participate productively in their community.

Full Circle Foundation is a fully accredited 501 (c)(3) charitable organization working in conjunction with the Grosse Pointe Public School System to provide opportunities for increased independence for individuals with special needs. Our vision is to provide diverse training experiences and independent living skills for persons with these disabilities in our community. As part of our mission to foster independence, our goal is to prepare participants for employment, either in local businesses or one of the Foundation’s enterprises.

Our Core Values

At Full Circle Foundation we believe in:

  1. Achieving personal potential
  2. A transition to independence
  3. Early and continuing advocacy
  4. Collaboration/Partnership
  5. A strong sense of community

How We Started

Full Circle Foundation was born in the Grosse Pointe Public School System in 2009. The goal was to fill a need to offer new or gently loved donated upscale prom dresses and blazers at an incredibly discounted price to thrifty local high school students who may have not been able to afford to go to prom otherwise.
For $5-$15, local high school students snapped up the dresses and blazers of their dreams in the Performing Arts lobby at Grosse Pointe North High School. Proceeds supported area young adults with special needs.
It was so successful, organizers were begged to return the next week. Soon, multiple clothing racks were full of gently used merchandise.What was supposed to be a weekend project turned into our fourteen year old history.

How We Grew

Increased demand led FCF cofounder Mary Fodell, a retired Parcells Middle School art teacher with a daughter with special needs, to open the Full Circle Upscale Resale Shop on Kercheval and Beaconsfield in Grosse Pointe Park. Offerings again expanded to donated upscale women’s clothing, suits, ties, hats, shoes, costume jewelry and accessories.

Full Circle continued to grow and moved to even bigger store at Kercheval and Lakepointe and later at its current location on Mack and Harvard, in GPP.

First at Kercheval and Lakepointe and later at its current location on Mack and Harvard, both in GPP.

What We Added

Along the way, Full Circle added microenterprise services, such as shredding, online selling, laundry services and the Edible Garden. Such microenterprises allowed Full Circle young adults opportunities to learn and expand their skills and interactions with and within the community.

The TEAM 26 program was added for those who graduated or aged out of the school system but continued to require support in maintaining skills, or learning new skills.
For more information, visit FullCirclefdn.org, or call Stephanie at 313.469.6660.

Thanks to GPPSS

Thanks to the Grosse Pointe Public School System, scores of local young adults with special needs now live independent lives and every day share their skills and smiles with those in the community.

Indeed, at Full Circle and at GPPSS, it’s a Circle of Love.

Our Team

Sue Banner

Sue Banner

President of the Board

Sue most recently served as FCF Director of Operations. She is a retired administrator from Grosse Pointe Public Schools where she worked for 18 years. She has been involved with the Full Circle Foundation since the beginning. During her GPPSS career, she was a Teacher Consultant for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Principal at Barnes Early Childhood Center, and Supervisor of Programs for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Cognitive Impairment. In her early career, she worked for Macomb County Community Mental Health and Detroit Public Schools. After receiving her Bachelor Degree in Special Education and Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling, she eventually completed her Education Specialist Degree in Special Education from Eastern Michigan University.

Mary Fodell

Mary Fodell

Founder and Vice – President of the Board

Mary is a retired Grosse Pointe Public Schools art teacher with degrees in education and administration. As a mother of a daughter with special needs, Mary knows of the challenge facing these young adults to live independently in our community. Seeing the need for transitional support for families with children with special needs, Mary envisioned a partnership between the schools and our community to provide such support. Thus, she and her daughter became the inspiration for Full Circle Foundation.

Christian A. Fenton

Christian A. Fenton

Treasure of the Board

Chris received a BA from Hope College and an MBA from the University of Detroit. He worked for 7 years for a CPA firm and a Fortune 500 company prior to joining the Grosse Pointe Public Schools.
He finished his 37 year career at GP Schools as Deputy Superintendent of Business and Operations. After retiring, the district honored him by renaming the North Performing Arts Center, the Christian A. Fenton Performing Arts Center.  Besides doing consulting work for some private trusts/estates he also is a member of the Grosse Pointe Woods Planning Commission and the Grosse Pointe Woods Community Events Committee.

Jill Campbell

Jill Campbell

Board Director

Jill is a parent of three children who attended Grosse Pointe Public Schools, one of which is a daughter on the Autism spectrum. She is a Board Member of the Grosse Pointe South Blue Devils and active member of The Friends of the Grosse Pointe Public Library. Jill has been a practicing nurse and is currently a licensed nurse in New York & Michigan. Jill has coordinated several Full Circle Foundation events, as well as has served on several Full Circle Foundation Gala committees. Currently she is Co-Owner of Dragon’s Landing (micro-brewery connected to 1st Dragon Mead brewery.

Rich Ansell

Rich Ansell

Board Director

Rich is Vice President of Marketing for Mahindra Automotive North America. He started his career with Young and Rubicam in 1985 after graduating from Michigan State University. He has more than 25 years of international automotive marketing experience. He has extensive global experience, having led teams in China, India, Japan, Europe and Brazil. Rich joined Mahindra in 2014, and is leading Marketing, PR and Community & Government Relations work for the North American automotive activity. He grew up in Detroit. He has three daughters, one of whom has autism. He spent eight years in leadership roles with Autism Speaks Michigan, raising over $2 million to help research autism spectrum disorders. In 2017, he joined the Full Circle Board of Directors.

Bob Graziani

Bob Graziani

Board Director

Bob is a shareholder with the law firm of Howard & Howard. His principal areas of practice include business law, commercial litigation, complex insurance coverage matters and alternative dispute resolution.. He is admitted to practice in both Michigan and Ohio, and professional accomplishments include the prestigious Michigan Super Lawyers, the D Business Top Lawyers, and Leading Lawyers in Michigan. He has been an active participant to the community, having served on the Planning Commission, Grosse Pointe Township Clerk and Trustee, Village Clerk, and a City Council Member for Grosse Pointe Shores. He is actively involved and supports Special Olympics. Bob believes he has been blessed and is very fortunate to be able to give back and help those with special needs. His goal is to encourage others to do the same.

Stephanie DiVirgil

Operations and Programs Coordinator

Evie Ansell

Store Manager

Regina Grant

Assistant Store manager

Nika Nemtseva

Store Associate

Kim Beck

TEAM 26 Job Coach

Dianne Stall

TEAM 26 Job Coach

Elizabeth Farrell-Russano

Art Therapist

Drew Monaghan

Administrative Assistant