Sam’s story is one of civic engagement. Sam’s parents immigrated to Michigan from India in the 1960′s for a better life – an opportunity for the American Dream. From an early age, Sam’s parents taught him the value of giving back to the country that has given them so much. Sam took those lessons to heart, knowing how hard his parents worked to provide a good life for him and his brother.
As a leader at Michigan State University (MSU), Sam Singh helped create Alternative Spring Break and Into the Streets, two service-based programs that give students the opportunity to give back and volunteer. Sam was named Spartan of the Year for his efforts. Tens of thousands of students have participated in these programs over the last 20 years.
After graduating from MSU, Sam was elected to the East Lansing City Council at age 24. During his 10-year tenure on council and one term as Mayor, Sam worked to strengthen ties with MSU, promote regional cooperation and support economic development. Sam’s work led to the development of an innovation center that combines the technology base at MSU with mid-Michigan’s entrepreneurial spirit to offer support services for small business, ensuring that they have the tools to thrive in the region.
As the President and CEO of the Michigan Nonprofit Association, Sam managed a multi-million dollar organization that provided training and helped bring in foundation and corporate funding for over 1,100 non-profit organizations around the state.
Today, Sam continues to work with non-profits, including the New Economy Initiative. His efforts support moving Michigan to a knowledge-based economy with education and job training to ensure worker competitiveness, and helping new businesses and entrepreneurs create thousands of jobs.
Sam and his fiancée, Kerry, have chosen mid-Michigan as their home. Like Sam, Kerry graduated from MSU and works on public policy initiatives to improve the quality of life in Michigan. She has also helped coach Lansing Eastern High School’s girls swim team. They plan to raise their family here because they know our best days are yet to come.