Crain's Detroit (3/29/21): 2021 Notable Nonprofit Board Members

Jim Berline

Chairman and Founder, Berline; Board Chair, The Blood Cancer Foundation of Michigan

The Blood Cancer Foundation launched in 1952 as the Children’s Leukemia Foundation. When an adult father received a leukemia diagnosis and requested assistance while caring for his family, the board, under Jim Berline’s direction, voted to provide services to their first adult patient. Soon, nearly 80 percent of the nonprofit’s patients were adults. In September 2020, the foundation changed its name to reflect its new mission to care for blood cancer patients and families.

Despite losing funding as a result of COVID, the foundation provided more holiday packages than ever to diagnosed children, their siblings, and the children of diagnosed adults.

“Jim’s talent lies in understanding how to tap both the passions and the skills of board members to provide the requisite board oversight without yielding to the occasional temptation of managing day-to-day operations. And he does it all with a smile on his face,” said fellow board member and Butzel Long Shareholder Claudia Rast.

Berline, who is former chair of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, also chairs Sparky Anderson’s CATCH Charity for Children.

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