OXFORD TWP. – Crossroads for Youth’s new president has a very familiar face.
Last week, the agency’s board of directors appointed Marc Porter to the position effective immediately.
“I’m still taking it in,” said the 46-year-old. “I’m just humbled and grateful for the opportunity. It’s a great place to work and it provides such great services for the kids and the community.”
Porter has worked for Crossroads for 15 years, most recently serving as vice president of the private, nonprofit treatment agency that’s spent 63 years serving at-risk youth, giving them second chances and preparing them to lead better, brighter lives.
“I wanted the job (as president) because I love the mission,” he said. “At Crossroads, the mission, it kind of grows on you over time and it just becomes a part of you. Once I was given the opportunity to put in for this (position), it’s something I had no second-thoughts about. I jumped right at it.”
He replaces Dr. Janet McPeek, who earlier this year announced she will be officially retiring May 31 after 23 years with the agency, 21 of which were spent as president.
“Hopefully, I can live up to the standards that Janet has exemplified,” Porter said. “I’ve learned a great deal from Janet. She’s mentored me quite a bit and given me a lot of knowledge and wisdom over the years. I think I’ve gained a lot from her.”
Porter was born and raised in Shelby Township, Michigan and graduated from Utica Eisenhower High School in 1988.
Prior to Crossroads, he served as a firefighter and emergency medical technician in the U.S. Air Force from 1991-99. He spent three years in Panama (1992-95) and did a tour in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
He received his bachelor’s degree in social psychology from Missouri’s Park University and a master’s degree in counseling from Oakland University.
While living in Montana, Porter spent time as a group home worker and assisting developmentally-disabled patients.
He came to Crossroads in 2000 and served in a variety of positions prior to becoming vice president including treatment specialist, associate supervisor, program supervisor and program director.
Porter joked he’s done “everything but maintenance and cook.”
“I have a pretty wide view of what goes on in the agency and I can see how decisions that I would make (as president) would affect everybody,” Porter said. “Hopefully, I’m humble enough to see that the decisions I make can affect people in positive and negative ways, and make those decisions accordingly to (ensure) I’m not negatively impacting anyone’s life.”
Why did he stay at Crossroads?
“I just grew to love it,” he explained. “I had no plans to work with kids. I just wanted to work in the human services field, but then I found as I started working here, it was a niche that fit my personality, helping kids, seeing them grow, seeing them improve. They energize me. These kids are very resilient. It’s something that, I think, (has) helped me not only as a human being, but as a leader.”
He also loves the folks he works with and enjoys making decisions as a team.
“I’m just surrounded by great people.” Porter said.
Porter currently lives in Lapeer County’s Elba Township, but he plans to live on the 320-acre Crossroads campus, something the agency’s previous leaders, including McPeek, have done.
“I think that’s a good tradition to continue,” he said.
Coming with Porter will be his wife of nearly 19 years, Jennifer, and their seven children. The couple has four boys and three girls, ranging in age from 2 to 16.
And there’s one more on the way. Porter’s wife is expected to give birth to a bouncing baby boy in just a few weeks.
Looking to the future, Porter plans to “continue the mission” that McPeek put into place by meeting the needs of both families and youth.
“I think it’s a strong foundation that she’s (laid),” he said. “If we need to expand to meet the needs of the community, we’ll do that. I think we’re flexible enough now (because of McPeek’s leadership).”