Tamela A. Spicer, M.A.

Senior Program Manager

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

Talk to Tamela about strategy development and training.

Tamela Spicer is available to discuss board development, board executive communications and relationships, and strategic thinking and change management. She also leads a variety of custom and open trainings for nonprofits.


Tamela is a senior program manager at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, where she has worked since 2016. As a certified executive coach, Tamela seeks to guide sector leaders and organizations on a path to discover how they can work within their own ecosystems to create community change grounded in justice and belonging. Recognizing her own privilege as a white, cis-gender woman, she intentionally works to call out and help dismantle white supremacy culture and its power in the philanthropic sector and in her own personal life.

Previously, Tamela founded and served as the principal of a boutique consulting practice specializing in board development, strategic doing and thinking, and navigating change. After several years in the business sector, she pursued her passion for community impact and justice as a regional development director for The Salvation Army, regional director for the Arthritis Foundation, and executive director for Flat River Outreach Ministries.

A lifelong resident of West Michigan, Tamela lives on the land of the Odawa and Peoria First Nations. Her work has been largely shaped by her many years as a volunteer, service that has included leadership roles with the Grand Rapids and Michigan Jaycees, Rotary International, and the Alliance for Nonprofit Management.

In addition to her role at the Johnson Center, Tamela teaches at Grand Valley State University. She also serves as a board member for the Grand Valley University Club and A Mother’s Touch. She loves to host dinner parties, enjoys the symphony, and serves on the creative team at her church.

Related Articles
Tue September 20
West Michigan community leaders came together in 2016 to develop a plan to foster more inclusive nonprofit boardrooms. The resulting project helped inform the Johnson Center's new curriculum and microcredential for board service.
Thu February 17
Donors of color are leading — or are playing an increasingly visible role in leading — many of the shifts we’re seeing today in the field of philanthropy.
Tue February 23
Passion often drives leaders to create change in their communities. Here, Tamela Spicer offers resources, insights, and advice for those who may be considering starting a nonprofit organization in the U.S.