Nominee’s nameAngela Aufdemberge

SEEN Changemaker CategoryNonprofits

A picture of the nomineeA picture of the nominee
Nominee’s job titlePresident and CEO
Nominee’s cityDearborn Heights
Please describe why the nominee is a SEEN Changemaker:

Angela Aufdemberge became President and CEO of Vista Maria in October 2011 after 14 years as a volunteer and member of the Board of Directors. Under her leadership, Vista Maria has embraced a commitment to Trauma Informed Care and has trained the entire staff to use this philosophy in all interactions. As part of Vista Maria’s dedication to helping female survivors of human trafficking, a new $4.8 million building will open on campus in 2020 to serve more than 30 females who were victimized.

Tell us about the individual’s accomplishments:

In 2019, she received the Miller Fellowship that honors outstanding, experienced leaders of McGregor-funded nonprofit organizations in metropolitan Detroit. During the Fellowship in June 2019, she traveled to Washington with one of Vista Maria's human trafficking survivors to lobby legislators on the need for increased attention and spending on the human trafficking issue. She was named a Notable Women in Nonprofits by Crain’s Detroit Business in 2018.

Prior to her position with Vista Maria, Angela served as executive vice president of operations and sales development for Entertainment Publications. Angela has also served as the executive responsible for human resources in North America for a metal cutting tool manufacturer headquartered in Warren; MI and as head of human resources for Arcadia/IHS and Delta Dental Plan of Michigan.

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

Vista Maria today touches the lives of approximately 1,100 youth from its campus in Dearborn Heights. They provide a continuum of programs designed to wrap around a child and his or her family. The goal is always to restore children to families in home settings when possible. When that is not possible, Vista Maria works with the youth in its care to develop a path that includes life skills development, employment experiences and independent living programs.

Since its creation at the end of 2015, the Vista Maria WINGS program has provided refuge and restoration to more than 200 young women who were victims of human trafficking. Sadly, WINGS has been at or above capacity since the beginning. Angela has identified a need for improved safe harbor and increased bed capacity within Michigan for these survivors so Vista Maria is building the Aaron and Helen L. DeTroy Treatment Center. It will be largest building on Vista Maria’s campus and the only one of its kind in the state to give victims security and comfort when it opens next year.


The SEEN Changemaker Awards are brought to you by

Peter and Danialle Karmanos