Penny Bailer

Board Member, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy

Penny Bailer retired in 2015 after 32 years of nonprofit leadership: 14yrs, Executive Director, City Year Detroit and 17yrs, CEO, Michigan Metro Girl Scout Council, receiving CRAIN’s 2nd annual “Best Managed Nonprofit” award.

In 1976, Penny helped Co-Found the DPS Golightly Education Center where her children attended grades 1-8.  She served as Founding President of the Golightly Parent Organization.  Golightly was later named a National Blue Ribbon School. 

In 1990-94, Penny was elected/served on the Detroit Board of Education.  She earned her Executive MBA/Advanced Management degree/1989 at MSU/Troy and a BFA in Music/Piano Performance, UGA/1962.   

Penny serves on/leads several nonprofit boards, including New Detroit and the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy; Chair, Detroit Promise Zone Authority; Vice Chair, Detroit Housing Commission; Education/Co-Chair, Clark Park/Osborn Promise Neighborhood; Board/Chair, Detroit Collegiate Prep @ Northwestern HS.  She is on the boards of Detroit Rotary, City Connect Detroit and the WSU College of Education.  She served on the Governance Committee of the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren and is a Facilitator for Citizen Detroit.

For 29 years, Penny was married to the late Kermit Bailer (1921-1996) and in 2008 married John Van Camp of Detroit.  Since 1975, Penny has lived downtown in Lafayette Park.