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Building intergenerational connections

Former school superintendent busier than ever at Fox Run

Created date

February 23rd, 2015
women being sworn into City Council

Doreen Poupard is no stranger to being involved in her community. She spent her career working for the Ann Arbor Public School System, where she served as assistant superintendent from 1985–1999. Now retired, Doreen serves on the Novi City Council for Novi, Mich. 

She relocated from Ann Arbor to Novi in 2005 when she decided to move to FoxRun, an Erickson Living community.

“I have always believed that if you are in the community, you need to be connected with that local community,” she says.

Doreen was sworn in last November after the council chose her to fill the vacancy left by a former councilman who moved overseas to pursue a new career. She beat out seven competitors for the spot on the city council. She says being chosen was a surprise and an honor. 

“I left the meeting thinking, ‘There are two people who I would vote for,’ so I didn’t expect to win,” Doreen says. “An hour after I had gotten home, there was an email with an official notice from the mayor and the council members congratulating me. I really was surprised.”

Connecting the generations in Novi

Doreen will serve a one-year term on the city council. She says one of her goals is to build intergenerational connections in the city of Novi—a task she is particularly well suited for, as she lives among 1,000 active retirees at Fox Run. When her term on the city council ends, Doreen says she would like to pass the torch to one of her Fox Run neighbors. 

“We’re really active and involved here at Fox Run,” she says.

She is also interested in helping to build a vibrant downtown area in Novi. Doreen says she has already enjoyed working with her fellow council members and expects accomplishing goals to be a relatively smooth process. 

“The [City of Novi] has an excellent staff. The materials [budgets, reports, and other documents] are thorough and based on data,” she says. “Everything is well planned, and the council members do their due diligence.”

Sharing her passions at Fox Run

Not surprisingly, Doreen has been an active member of the Fox Run community since moving there about a decade ago. 

She played a critical role in launching Fox Run’s political awareness committee, which brings in elected officials and candidates for office to speak to residents. Through her involvement with that committee, she became acquainted with Novi’s political players.

“The first event we had for the political awareness committees was around the elections for city council,” she says. “Then every time we had an occasion here, I always invited the mayor and the council members. I kept in personal contact with all of them.”

Doreen’s neighbors at Fox Run elected her to fill the sole seat on the community’s board of directors that is reserved for a resident. She says she keeps her fellow residents informed about what the board discusses by distributing a bulletin after each monthly meeting. 

Doreen also cofounded Fox Run’s eco-initiative, and she started the community’s recycling committee. 

“Fox Run is just a wonderful place to live because if there is something you think is important, like recycling or eco-awareness, you can start it, and you will have a lot of staff support,” she says.