Community Press Release – MGCF Announces New Program Officer

Program Officer, Nicole Mireles. Photo submitted by Michael Rowland.

MGCF Announces New Program Officer: Buchanan Promise Coordinator

July 6, 2022 – For Immediate Release

Michigan Gateway Community Foundation is pleased to welcome Nicole Mireles as its new Scholarship Program Officer and Buchanan Promise Coordinator. 

“We are so excited for Nicole to be joining our team”, said Gateway President and CEO Michael Rowland. “It’s an exciting time for our work with scholarships and Nicole provides our organization with a new level of energy and inspiration. With her role being focused on Buchanan Promise and our scholarships, we are going to be able to create even more opportunities for young people in Berrien & Cass Counties.”

Mireles brings past experience working with youth and in the non-profit world, having worked with local organizations such as the YMCA. “I am extremely excited to be joining MGCF. It is an honor to have the opportunity to be part of the amazing impact that MGCF has and I look forward to continuing to serve the community.” She said. 

In the position, Mireles will oversee the application and distribution of the various scholarships that Michigan Gateway Community Foundation offers for South Berrien and Cass counties. Including the Buchanan Promise, a place based scholarship for students of Buchanan Community Schools. 

Mireles will be filling the position formerly held by Jayne Lamb, who retired on June 30th. Jayne was a fixture and integral part of Gateway’s operations for over 17 years.

Jayne Lamb, who retired on June 30th, and was a fixture and integral part of Gateway’s operations for over 17 years. Photo submitted by Michael Rowland.

“Jayne had a remarkable career at Michigan Gateway Community Foundation and was instrumental in the development of the Buchanan Promise.” Said Rowland of Lamb’s role. “There are so many stories of how she helped young people foster the very best in themselves. Ultimately that is what I believe Jayne’s career legacy will be, someone that made a meaningful impact in the lives of young people in our community. Is there a better way to spend your career? She will be missed greatly by our team here at Michigan Gateway Community Foundation, but Jayne will always be family for us. We wish her the very best in this next chapter.”

Lamb had similar thoughts on her time at Gateway. “I love to tell people this is the best job ever – people come in to give us money and we turn around and hand it back out! I had the following quote taped on my computer monitor “When you work with people who make a difference, it is easy to love your job” and that certainly held true here at Michigan Gateway Community Foundation. I have worked with wonderful board members, committee members, volunteers, donors and awesome staff! Career highlights for me included being here when the Buchanan Promise began and again when we increased the award amount. It was also an honor to be the first Buchanan Promise Coordinator and I will carry that distinction with pride. I will miss this place but know it is left in good hands!” 

Michigan Gateway Community Foundation was founded in 1977 in Buchanan, Michigan. Since that time they have grown to incorporate Southern Berrien County and the entirety of Cass County Michigan.

For more information on Michigan Gateway Community Foundation visit

About Michigan Gateway Community Foundation: From our single community beginning in October of 1977, we have evolved into a full service, accredited, and standards compliant Foundation serving Southern Berrien County, focused on Niles and Buchanan, and all of Cass County. Our mission: fostering a community of philanthropy, for good, forever. Strong community support has steadily grown the Foundation. We now have over 135 separate funds, with new ones added every year. The largest single gift to the Foundation was transferred in 2016 from the estate of Walter E. Schirmer, Jr., son of one of the original founders of the Buchanan Area Foundation, which today is Michigan Gateway Community Foundation. In excess of $8,000,000, the gift funds the Buchanan Promise, a place-based scholarship for graduates of Buchanan High School. The Foundation doubled in size with this gift, today holding endowment assets totaling more than $25,000,500.

Contact: Michael P. Rowland, President & Chief Executive Officer

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