About Us

The Hero Foundation is an all-volunteer organization with the sole goal of providing financial assistance for Michigan families impacted by cancer. We help families pay their medical bills, their mortgages, keep the lights on, and put food on the table. Learn more about the core of our staff of heroes:

Katie Larsen
Founder & Chief Executive Hero

Katie Larsen is the Chief Executive Hero of the Hero Foundation, reporting to the Board of Heroes.  She directs the overall strategy and direction of the Hero Foundation, and maintains contact with patients and families along with cultivating partnerships with hospitals like Karmanos Cancer Institute and other organizations.  Katie has an extensive background in event management and experiential marketing, working with large automotive clients and fundraising for local universities.

“When we started this foundation, our goal was to help local Michigan families in honor of my father’s survival of pancreatic cancer. We have experienced incredible growth since our inception, which is directly attributed to the amazing support of our local Heroes.”

Katie is also the head of PR, Marketing and Media, and is the main contact for The Hero Foundation.

When Katie isn’t working on The Hero Foundation, she enjoys being outdoors, loves boating and spending time at the beach (when Michigan weather permits). She is married to Joe and together they have 2 children, Dylan and Laney.

Adam Henige
President, Hero Foundation West Michigan

Adam joined the Hero Foundation in 2011 after exhibiting remarkable success in SEO management.  In 2008, Adam was one half of the team that launched Netvantage Marketing. Now Adam leads the SEO team for both Netvantage and the Hero Foundation, conducting site audits, building content strategies and managing link-building campaigns. In 2012, Adam and his business partner Joe Ford were the recipient of the Emerging Economy Award at the 2012 Celebration of Regional Growth Awards.

Adam and his wife Sarah are active members of the Grand Valley State University Alumni Association.  They enjoy spending time with their family and friends, as well as traveling.

Bryan Funke
Vice President & Director of Corporate Sponsorships

Bryan oversees the corporate strategy for the Hero Foundation and delivers our story through compelling marketing and face-to-face discussions.  He joined the Hero Foundation in 2012 due to his incredible track record of business knowledge, a proven track record for growth, and a passion for helping Michigan families.

Bryan is a global traveler who enjoys camping and spending time with his kids, Kevin and Sydney.

Jesse Jones
Vice President & Director of Corporate & Event Sponsorships

Along with Bryan, Jesse oversees the corporate strategy for the Hero Foundation as well as taking on the additional task of coordinating Event Sponsorships.  Applying his unwavering passion for helping Michigan families, he works directly with business owners, large corporations and local event organizers to further the reach of the Foundation and satisfying the overall goals of the Board.

Jesse and his family (wife, Lynne, and three kids: Jackson, Lucas and Sarah) have lived all over the country.  They enjoy traveling, camping, and spending time with family and friends.

Michael Smith
Vice President & Director of Design

Michael, whom we affectionately call “Mikey”,  joined the Hero Foundation in 2017 as the Director of Design.  After his years and years of fundraising for The Hero Foundation, and raising over $7,500 for Michigan families suffering from cancer, he was given a role as one of our Board of Heroes.  He is responsible for the all design elements, including displays, signage, logos, etc., while also maintaining his role as an incredible fundraiser.

Mikey lives in Fraser.  He enjoys working out, spending quality time with his family and friends, and traveling.  Mikey is a graduate of Grand Valley State University.

Sarah Henige
Director of Events & Fundraising, West Michigan

Sarah joined The Hero Foundation in 2017 as our Director of Fundraising due to her insane dedication to fundraising events for the families we help.  There is no one that works harder than Sarah when it comes to planning and executing an event for The Hero Foundation. Her determination to raising funds for Michigan families suffering from cancer is second to none, and we are proud to have her on our team.

Sarah lives with her husband, Adam, in Grand Rapids.  She enjoys traveling the world, running, spending time with Adam and their dog Larry.  Sarah is a graduate of Grand Valley State University.

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