Susan G. Komen Michigan’s Jennifer Jurgens Receives Excellence in Staff Leadership Award at 2015 Annual Komen Leadership Conference

Media Contact:
Ashley Pearson
616.752.8262 x2018

The success of the organization’s recent merger brings national attention to Michigan and Jurgens’ innovative approach to non-profit efficiency

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – July 1, 2015.  Susan G. Komen Michigan’s executive director, Jennifer Jurgens, was honored for her leadership on June 27 by the global breast cancer organization during its Komen Leadership Conference held in Fort Worth, Texas.  Jurgens received the “Excellence in Staff Leadership Award,” which recognizes a staff member of a local Komen Affiliate for accomplishments that exceed normal job responsibilities and expectations.

“Jurgens has been an influential leader who is critical to all aspects of Komen Michigan’s success,” said Miguel Perez, vice president of Susan G. Komen’s Affiliate Network. “Her undeniable devotion to Komen’s mission and effective leadership has stemmed far beyond her work internally and has been demonstrated throughout the communities they serve.”

Jurgens was instrumental in the merger of three Michigan Affiliates earlier this year: Mid-Michigan, Southwest Michigan and West Michigan. This monumental undertaking “showcased Jurgens’ innate ability to empower those around her, stepping forth as the originator, visionary, executor, delegator and face of the merger.” Jurgens’ leadership was crucial to the consolidation of systems, communications with Komen headquarters in Dallas, Texas, and ensuring all voices were being heard in the process. In January Komen Michigan became a legally merged entity with a stronger, broader, more financially stable and dedicated Affiliate known as Komen Michigan.

Jurgens expressed surprise at winning the national award.  “I was honored when my team and board nominated me and then I didn’t think much more about it.  I was at first shocked to hear my name and then quite overwhelmed as it sank in” she said.  “I am most excited by what this means for our mission to end breast cancer forever.  It validates everything we have been working on to support our merger. If we can successfully consolidate and use proven business models to become more efficient and effective at serving the people of Michigan, then others can learn from us and improve their operations as well.  I believe the ‘Komen Michigan Model’ can scale, and that our lessons can be shared, helping countless others save more lives.”

“As a breast cancer survivor herself, Jen inspires everyone involved with Komen,” said Carol Perschbacher, Komen Michigan board president and also a survivor. “This inspiration is what drives her team to do whatever it takes to accomplish their important mission.” According to Perschbacher, Jurgens has been an integral part of continuing the tradition of the affiliate’s Race for the Cure series which helped garner a broader base of media support than was possible earlier.  “Jen’s passion for finding the Cure drives her to find unique and innovative ways for us to diversify and reach more people” Perschbacher continued.  “Jen and her amazing staff have touched so many lives through the success of the Pink Tie Guys, Powerfully Pink, Ride the Pink Elevator, Pink in the Pews and countless other fundraisers and educational programs in the state.  She’s also contributed to key efforts with the Michigan License Plate project and most recently the Breast Density Inform law.”

“We are ecstatic, honored and humbled by her award and what it means to our local organization,” added Kristin L. Sauerhoff, PhD, member-at-large of the Komen Michigan Board of Directors, and the author of the award nomination letter. “Jennifer is innovative and creative and encourages her team to be the same.  This combined force, the staff of Komen Michigan, consistently put forth new ideas that help the organization meet their mission goals more effectively, and in turn, save more lives.”

Individuals that have questions about breast health or need help accessing services can direct their inquiries to Komen Michigan by calling 616-752-826 or emailing


About Susan G. Komen Michigan
Komen Michigan is an independent, local non-profit organization that is dedicated to combating breast cancer. Seventy-five percent of the organization’s net proceeds go towards programs and funding grants to local hospitals and community organizations that provide breast health education, screenings, diagnostics and survivorship programs for underserved men and women in Michigan.  The organization supports three distinct service areas:

West Michigan: Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, Newaygo and Montcalm counties.
Southwest Michigan: Allegan, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren counties.
Mid-Michigan:  Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Jackson, Livingston, Shiawassee and Washtenaw counties.

The remaining 25% of net proceeds funds global, leading-edge research focused on the prevention of, and cures for, breast cancer as well as the support of the 3 million breast cancer survivors world-wide.

Komen Michigan’s mission is to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality of care for all, and energizing science to find the cures.  For more information call 616-752-8262 or visit

About Susan G. Komen®
Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $847 million in research and provided $1.8 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Visit or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at