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Nominee’s nameJenny Brown

SEEN Changemaker CategoryNonprofits

A picture of the nomineeA picture of the nominee
Nominee’s job titleCo-Founder, President/CEO
Nominee’s cityRochester
Please describe why the nominee is a SEEN Changemaker:

Jenny Brown is the definition of a SEEN Changemaker as she changed her life plan to help change the course of the lives of adults with disabilities. After starting a promising college career headed down the path of law, Jenny recognized very quickly that her passion was not for law itself, but in fighting against injustice. She wanted to be an advocate for society's most vulnerable. While that is a tall order, Jenny knew she could make an impact in the area of adults with disabilities, co-founding a nonprofit that would work to give people purpose, inclusion and dignity in the world. Inspired by her sister, Rebecca Smither, who was born with the gift of Down Syndrome and joined in force by her mother, Michele Smither, Dutton Farm was created. Jenny continuously works to advocate for and pave a way for those who cannot fight this battle alone. Her refreshing and bold way of getting the message out, nonstop creativity and unwavering compassion for the mission is inspiring to all those who she surrounds herself with. When the world presents a challenge, Jenny puts her money where her mouth is and is the first to step into the unknown to find a solution. Jenny does all of this while remaining grounded and humble, always keeping her team focused on appreciating the little things and celebrating all the moments in their day.

Tell us about the individual’s accomplishments:

Jenny is not only the driving force behind the nonprofit, Dutton Farm, but she also created from that a social enterprise as a solution to unemployment of adults with disabilities. Dutton Farm Market was the result of one person, one adult with disabilities who advocated for a job. Jenny made a promise that she would find this individual a job and when she wasn't having success, created one herself. It all began with one bar of soap and exploded from there to what is now a successful natural bath and body products company, all handmade and packaged by adults with disabilities.

Jenny's is an accomplished young professional, having been one of the three finalists in the Oakland County Executive's Elite "40 Under 40" class of 2016. She has successfully secured sponsorships and grant funding, ensuring financial security for the nonprofit organization, all while advocating for and bringing awareness to the need for funding for in the area of disabilities. Jenny is an active member of the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for the city of Rochester Hills.

When not working, which is not often at all, Jenny is a mom to five amazing and active children. She volunteers as a basketball coach, can be seen with her children immersing them in the sights and sounds of new experiences, volunteers for other local nonprofits and enjoys attending a local concert or soaking up the culture of Detroit.

How is he/she impacting the community or the lives of people in Metro Detroit or across the world.

Jenny's impact on the local community and Metro Detroit area is one that leaves you speechless. Her resilience and persistence to change the narrative on the capabilities of adults with disabilities is leaving those she comes in contact with asking "How can I help?" and forging a new wave of advocates. Jenny is showing that amazing humans just like her sister, Rebecca, are beyond capable and deserving of so much more than what society has labeled them with. As she continues to empower these individuals, their families and supporters to make room at the table, she does so with the utmost respect and dignity, creating collaborative partnerships that benefit the community as a whole along the way.

 

The SEEN Changemaker Awards are brought to you by

Peter and Danialle Karmanos