Melissa Damaschke


melissa damaschke sept 2023 new

Melissa Damaschke is president of the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation. As president, she guides the Foundation in strengthening its operations, building staff expertise and capacity, and executing the organization’s strategic plan for its final decade. A passionate leader in philanthropy and sustainability, Melissa supports the Foundation’s mission of advancing environmental health, cultural vibrancy, and sustainable business in the Detroit area and promoting a flourishing Great Lakes ecosystem. 

Previously, Melissa was vice president of programs. She excelled in that role for two years as she oversaw and made improvements to the organization’s grantmaking process. She joined the Erb Family Foundation in 2015 as program officer for the Foundation’s Great Lakes program. During her time as program officer, she cultivated new partnerships and went beyond grantmaking efforts to support leadership development and host a variety of convenings to bring organizations together to discuss challenging topics. 

Melissa was presented with a 2022 Environmental Achievement award from Northland College, her alma mater, for her outstanding contributions to environmental health and restoration. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies from the institution. 

Before joining the Foundation, Melissa worked for Sierra Club for twelve years and was the director of its binational Great Lakes program. In that role, she also served as a trustee of the Fund for Lake Michigan, co-founder and co-chair of the City of Detroit’s Green Task Force Water Subcommittee, a vision keeper for Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit, and a member of the Governance Board for the Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Coalition. 

When Melissa isn’t working, she enjoys hiking with her children along southeast Michigan’s rivers, visiting local arts and cultural institutions with her husband, kayaking, and cheering on the Green Bay Packers.