Hon. Maureen Stapleton, former State Representative, MI
For over two decades, Former State Representative Maureen Stapleton (D-MI) has been a tireless and committed public servant whose focus has been on helping children, families and communities prosper.
One of two children born to James and Ella Mae Stapleton, whose public service work came as a Detroit Police Officer and a Detroit Schools administrator, respectively, Maureen grew up on Detroit’s Northwest side. Through their example, Maureen learned the importance of a strong work ethic, the value of community service and the need to affect change.
"I learned at an early age about the need to serve others," says Maureen, who traces her first activism to trips with her mother to help at women's shelters. "I also learned at a very early age to take part in the political process."
That early age was 10 years old, when Maureen began helping pass out flyers for judicial campaigns. While attending Howard University in Washington, D.C., Maureen interned with U.S. Congressman John Conyers, D-Detroit, where she helped draft House bills and resolutions.
After brief work as a bank manager, Maureen’s passion for service and love for children led her to teaching. Maureen served 6 years with the Detroit Public Schools as a teacher and summer youth employment supervisor and in 1994 was tapped by Mayor Dennis Archer to serve with the City of Detroit's Youth Department where she worked on education issues and services for youth. She spent six years in leadership roles with the Youth Department and the Detroit Recreation Department helping to capture federal and local dollars to improve the city's capacity to serve youth. Her work was varied and included assisting community organizations in their efforts to provide programs for young people and helping administer the Recreation Department’s $16 million recreation division budget.
Representative Stapleton continued her public service with the City of Indianapolis' Department of Metropolitan Development in 2000 as an Executive Assistant, and within 6 months was promoted to Administrator of the Division of Compliance, where she managed a 100-person staff, and a $9 million budget, and helped with the agency's training and recruitment. She served in that role for over two years, before making her way back home.
In 2003, she was hired by Wayne County and last served as the Director of Organizational Effectiveness. In 2009, under Maureen’s leadership, Wayne County received an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties for the creation of the division and the work that the division accomplished. Until 2009, the division was responsible for process improvement activities, training and development programs and strategic planning initiatives for the county's 5,000 employees.
In 2010 Maureen was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives representing Downtown Detroit and the near east side. Representative Stapleton, served on three committees: Children, Family and Seniors; Natural Resources, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation; and Local, Intergovernmental and Regional Affairs. During her tenure in the legislature, Representative Stapleton was recognized for her advocacy on behalf of the City of Detroit and for her years of work on behalf of children. She was recognized as an education reformer and noted for her work on teacher tenure reform. While in office, she sponsored a Parent Notification Bill. She was honored to be recognized by Michigan’s Children as a Freshman of the Year and equally humbled by recognition from MIRS, the Capitol source for news and information, as a first term member to watch.
Separately, Representative Stapleton has also operated her own private consulting business since 2003 and is now doing so full-time. Her company helps organizations build capacity to better serve clients and make lasting impacts on the community.
Away from work, Maureen has been active in helping to improve the lives of others. She has worked for 17 years as an advisor with the Co-Ette Club Inc., a leadership development program for high school girls, and is a past board member of the Horizon House, a day shelter for the homeless in Indianapolis. She is a current and active member of the Board of Directors of Karmanos Cancer Center and the Belle Isle Women’s Committee.
In addition to attending Howard University, Maureen completed graduate coursework at Wayne State University and received a Master’s in Organizational Development from Bowling Green State University. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Links Incorporated and a member of Plymouth United Church of Christ. Maureen has spent the majority of her adult life as a resident of the District she served in while working in the Michigan House of Representatives and currently lives in downtown Detroit.