New Niles nonprofit hosts ribbon-cutting ceremony

Published 1:03 pm Thursday, September 15, 2022

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NILES — Community members from Niles, South Bend and the beyond attended the enFocus ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday at 423 Sycamore St. Suite 103, Niles.

enFocus is a nonprofit organization that empowers talent to transform communities in the Michiana region. It recruits recent graduates into a two-year fellowship program and develops them into “the next generation of community and business leaders.”

With the support of the Edward and Irma Hunter Foundation and local community leaders, enFocus has opened a regional hub in Niles to engage the Southwest Michigan community.

“We’re very excited to have enFocus here in the city of Niles helping to spur on economic growth throughout the community,” said Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ryan Boeskool.

enFocus Fellows work alongside experienced mentors in the corporate, nonprofit, education and public sectors to discover, design, and implement innovative solutions to benefit the community. It partners with local organizations to provide value on sponsor projects, and we give Fellows the tools to launch entrepreneurial businesses or social ventures.

enFocus is partnering with local organizations in Niles and Buchanan and throughout Berrien County to offer services to their communities this year. Over the past 10 years in operation, enFocus Fellows have completed over 450 innovation projects for over 150 organizations throughout St. Joseph, Elkhart and Marshall Counties. This launch, combined with enFocus’ successful track record, inspires excitement among local leaders for this new opportunity.

“We’ve seen firsthand the success of enFocus and its ability to uplift the communities they serve in the South Bend-Elkhart region,” said Jim Keenan, President of the Edward and Irma Hunter Foundation, a leading investor in enFocus’ Southwest Michigan expansion. “We’re excited to bring a talented team of fellows to Southwest Michigan as we look for innovative and collaborative new approaches to problem solving.” 

“The communities in Southwest Michigan have so much to offer,” said Andrew Wiand, Executive Director at enFocus. “We’ve received a warm welcome from a vast array of community and business leaders and we look forward to our collaboration on projects in the near future.”