Board of Directors
Our Board Of Directors
The More We Care,
the more meaningful each moment becomes.
- Founder and Director of Mother Teresa House
Karen Bussey is consecrated to Christ in the Diocese of Lansing. Envisioning a community model of hospice care, based on understanding the dying person’s inherent dignity, she heeded a personal call to provide a such a home where the dying person is cherished. With many others joining in the effort, Mother Teresa House opened in 1997, shortly after the passing of the patroness for whom the home was named.
Prior, Karen served the community as a clinical social worker, including many years for those in hospice care and their families. She received a Masters in Social Work from Michigan State University, and served as a field instructor for the school.
“What is needed is a willingness: to set aside our own concerns; so
that we can come to the side of the suffering person, and, simply, be there for
As Mother Teresa indicated… “in doing small things with great love,” we are called to contribute time, treasure, and talents to something bigger than ourselves. Phil Mondro says, “Helping each other on the journey of life is a noble, spiritual, and necessary obligation. We must do this for each other, and Mother Teresa House is one of the finest organizations I’ve been part of to experience peace, love, and joy at a surreal level. MTH is a special place I joined 20+ years ago.”
Michael MacLaren grew up in Grand Rapids (MI), where he graduated from Catholic Central High School. He earned a B.A. in Economics and English from Albion College, married Kathryn (Thompson) MacLaren and served as Executive Director of the Michigan Press Association until 2016 when he retired to care for his parents. While attending weekday Mass near the Capitol, he learned about (and fell in love with) Mother Teresa House. In addition, he’s served as Delta-Waverly Rotary Club President, Delta Township Planning Commissioner, Central United Methodist Church Trustee, Newspaper Association Managers President, St. Vincent Catholic Charities Youth Advocate and Refugee Services Coordinator, St. Mary’s Cathedral Catechism Teacher and Delta Tau Delta Fraternity Rush Chairman and Pledge Educator. He and Kathy have two grown daughters and a pair of Shetland Sheepdogs.
Chris Bourque retired from the Michigan Department of Treasury as Bureau Director. She worked 36 years in various positions, primarily with individual and business taxes. Chris started volunteering as a caregiver in 2011 and, after retirement in 2016, she joined the Board of Directors as well. Chris says, “Helping care for the terminally ill allows me to live my faith. I am humbled to be a part of their life, providing whatever support they or their families and friends need as they transition from this life to the next.”
Mary VanPoppelen was born and raised in Saginaw, MI. She has lived in the metro Detroit area and the western suburbs of Chicago until moving to the Lansing area in 1999. She has four children and 11 grandchildren. Mary and her husband were business owners/operators for 24 years and are now retired. She has been a volunteer caregiver at Mother Teresa House for three years and also serves on the board. Mary says, “I am blessed to be a part of such a wonderful mission.”
Sister Elizabeth Mary Przedwojewski
Sister Elizabeth Mary Przedwojewski, RSM, belongs to the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, MI. Presently, Sister works full time as a registered nurse at the Sacred Heart Mercy Health Care Center, which is operated by the Religious Sisters of Mercy to extend comprehensive health care to those in need. Love of God and the desire to serve the poor and the sick through the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, so much a part of the charism espoused by their foundress Venerable Mother Catherine McAuley, provided the experience and preparation for Sister Elizabeth Mary to serve on the Board of the Mother Teresa House.
Ryan Timmer was born and raised in the Grand Rapids area. He attended Hillsdale College where he met his now wife. He lives in Charlotte, MI on a small farm and has seven children. He works in financial risk management at Jackson National Life Insurance. For years he has served the Lord in multiple roles with a local Knights of Columbus council and on the Finance Council of St. Mary Cathedral. He now feels called to serve Him in a new way on the Board of Directors at Mother Teresa House.
Lauren Dunn is the Assistant Vice President, Corporate Legal at Jackson National Life Insurance Company® (Jackson®). Lauren leads Jackson’s Corporate Legal team and supports the Treasury department on various initiatives, including debt and capital markets transactions and shareholder return planning and implementation. In her role, Lauren also advises human resources on employee benefit related items including the Jackson 401(k) Plan, nonqualified deferred compensation plans, and the company’s welfare benefit programs. During her career at Jackson, Lauren has held roles in increasing responsibility and was, notably, a key team leader in the transactional work necessary for the transaction by which Jackson was demerged from Prudential Plc. Before joining Jackson, Lauren was a shareholder at Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C., where she specialized in ERISA and employee benefits law. She received her bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy from Western Michigan University and her juris doctor degree from Wayne State University.