Who We Are

Team Bios

Team Bios

Photo of Danielle Hilliker

Danielle Hilliker, Interim Executive Director


For over a decade, Danielle consulted with and led various nonprofit organizations through organizational design and growth. Hilliker currently leads as the Executive Director/CEO for Southeastern Michigan Health Association and Interim Executive Director for Joy Southfield Community Development Corporation.  She has worked with impactful organizations including; PYXERA Global, Special Olympics of Michigan, Center for Success Network, Read to a Child, and the Michigan Womens Foundation. Through these ventures Danielle gained an expertise in building capacity, diversifying revenue sources and strengthening communications. During her tenure with the Michigan Womens Foundation she was awarded an opportunity to participate as a fellow with the Cross Generational Women Leaders in Washington D.C., a program that partners young and senior women leaders on key issues at local, state and national levels. A very prestige accomplishment funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the fellowship only accepts five applicants a year. Danielle also served as a board member for Teen Hype (Helping Youth by Providing Education), an organization targeting peer and educational, and she served on the Diversity and Inclusion Council for Troy School District. With progressive leadership, Hilliker remains passionate about systemic change and focuses on issues of social justice, race and gender equity, public health, and community development. Danielle holds a Master of Science from Spring Arbor University, concentrating in management organizational development and is currently pursuing her PhD in public policy and administration focusing on international nongovernmental organizations.


Photo of Ida Hendrix

Ida Hendrix, Operations Manager


Ida Hendrix joined the Joy Southfield Community Development Corporation in 2017.  She is responsible for managing the physical and administrative processes to support the safe, high quality and cost effective delivery of community development programs and services.

In her role as Operations Manager, she oversees financial transactions, employee payroll, donor receipts and work performed by various contractors.  Ida enjoys supporting the J-SCDC staff in achieving its mission of community revitalization.​

Ida brings over 30 years of operations experience to the Joy Southfield organization.  She oversaw the project to build the Motor City Exhibit at the Detroit Historical Museum. After working many years in the automotive industry doing operations and project management, she transitioned to shopping center management. Ida was the General Manager of Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor for twelve years.  She retired from Briarwood and began volunteering in the Joy-Southfield community.

She is an active member of Second Grace United Methodist Church; the founder of the Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Ida enjoys creative projects and sewing.

Photo of Gary Ringer

Gary Ringer, Director of Community Economic Development


For the past twenty years, Gary Ringer has served his community as a Firefighter for the great City of Detroit. The bulk of his commitment to the citizens of Detroit has been dedicated to the Cody Rouge/Warrendale community. After witnessing the mortgage foreclosure crisis devastate our area, he created Conscious Communities, a grassroots organization, to address the numerous inequities created by abandoned, blighted, and fire damaged properties. Gary was honored with the Cody Rouge “Trailblazers of Transformation” activist award for spearheading community relations, youth engagement, and blight remediation throughout the city. He’s been nominated, selected, and recognized in the 7th edition of “Who’s Who in Black Detroit” and received a Spirit of Detroit award presented by the Detroit City Council.  Gary has also received several prestigious accolades from the Detroit Fire Department including Community Service and Commissioner’s Citation Awards.

Gary was nominated for the Michigan Chronicle 40 under 40 Award, honoring individuals under the age 40, who are creating movements in their professional fields, personal lives, and community connections successfully. He aquired the inaugural Detroit Violence Prevention Initiative Award for “Safer Communities”. At the recognition ceremony, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy of service and non-violence, Mr. Ringer and other community leaders were applauded for creating an allegiance to Detroit Public School youth concerning the conditions within their built environment.

Gary has served on the Governance Committee for Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance and the Board of Joy-Southfield Community Development Corporation.  Gary is passionate about helping students achieve their dreams. As Founder/Executive Director of Conscious Communities, he and numerous volunteers, help to increase math & science test scores. This is accomplished by addressing environmental issues and health inequities. Graduate of the Leadership Academy sponsored by University of Michigan – Detroit, he’s been trained to build capacity, economic wealth, and sustainability. He also completed Southwest Solutions – Prosper Us Entrepreneurship Training, Kaufmann Fast Track and Build Institute’s – BUILD Social programs, which are designed for Metro Detroit residents in the City of Detroit seeking to start or expand a small business. And in 2018, Gary had the honor of being selected to participate in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – Culture of Health Leaders, three-year leadership development course. Culture of Health Leaders are people working in every field and profession who want to use their influence to advance a Culture of Health where everyone living in America has a fair opportunity to live a long, healthy life.

Tess Lusson,Community Health Program Manager


Tess is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a Bachelors of Science in Public Health, and a native of Columbus, Ohio. They spent the past year work-exchanging on farms across the United States with her partner and puppy while living in the teardrop trailer the two of them built. Tess’ passion for food and community empowerment began with reading about the work of Malik Yakini and the community-driven creation of urban food and green spaces in Detroit. In her hometown, Tess worked with organizations such as Local Matters to promote food, nutrition, and cooking knowledge. She hopes to continue building on these relationships, skills and values in her role with Joy Southfield. As Community Health Manager, Tess looks forward to continuing to grow the presence of the Sowing Seeds Growing Futures Farmers Market, partnering with the Covenant Covenant Community Care clinic, and learning more from the expertise that only those with more experience living in the area can provide. In her free time, Tess is a routine visitor of nearby dog parks with her pup, Norah, an avid Sudoku puzzler, and enjoys baking bread to share with friends and loved ones.