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Jon talks with Lori Kitchen-Buschel, Executive Director at First Step – along with Amy Whipple and Kat Nelson about the incredible work First Step does to support survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. They also discuss the power of giving!

Lori Kitchen-Buschel, Executive Director, First Step
Born and raised in Metro Detroit, Lori’s career and family is a testament to her passions of social justice through philanthropy, women’s leadership, human safety and security, and nonprofit management. She earned her BA from American University in politics and woman-focused public policy and worked for the U.S. Agency on International Development (USAID). After 7 years in Washington, Lori returned to Michigan to work with United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM), the Michigan Women’s Foundation (MWF), Nonprofit Enterprise at Work (NEW), and Wayne County SAFE. In these roles, she led education and advocacy campaigns on basic needs, 2-1-1, food access, human trafficking, and diverse fundraising initiatives.

While at NEW, she coached and trained nonprofits and their boards on practical and tangible fundraising goals, demystified the fundraising process, and taught the strategies of fundraising priorities and tactics. She simultaneously championed the wider community to be more inclusive of marginalized groups and areas: Teaching donors and fundraisers that donations send a message about community priorities.

At First Step, Lori is able to merge her passions together of providing service leadership, and building philanthropic partnerships to support survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. In her time at First Step the agency has expanded services in Detroit, Michigan and across Wayne County. The agency has also increased revenue and staffing to meet the needs of survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

Personally, Lori and her husband Ken Kitchen-Buschel are parents of 4 children Isaiah, Cheyenne, Louella, and Scarlet. You can connect with Lori at lkitchenbuschel@firststep-mi.org.


Amy Whipple, Director of Business Development, BDO
The twists and turns of Amy Whipple’s career journey have brought her to this exciting time in her career. In November 2019, Amy joined the team at BDO USA to support the Detroit office in a Business Development role. In this strategic role, she has the opportunity to serve as a trusted advisor to clients, prospective clients, strategic partners and colleagues. Amy loves problem solving, learning and serving as a “connector” in the market. BDO’s incredibly talented audit, tax and advisory teams holistically guide and support our clients to achieve goals. It is Amy’s goal to be one of the first calls when there is an issue, opportunity or challenge in the business. If the BDO team is not positioned to help, she will try to make a connection to someone who can assist. Providing exceptional client service, positively impacting companies, and bringing forward solutions are Amy’s ultimate rewards.

BDO is a global professional services firm providing assurance, tax, and advisory/consulting services to a wide range of publicly-traded, privately-held and private-equity backed companies. BDO is the premier firm serving the middle market.

The firm serves clients through more than 63 offices and more than 400 independent alliance firm locations nationwide. BDO also serves multinational clients through a global network of 1,328 offices in 152 countries.


Kat Nelson, Volunteer, First Step
Kat Nelson is a Marketing & Video production Professional in the Engineering Field. She a huge supporter of First Step and its mission to eliminate violence in our communities.

*E – explicit language may be used in this podcast.