Inspired from Frustration of the lack of “Good Help” that shows up ready for work John has been working on that truth to create Team Up Academy. Through his observance and conversations with business owners and staffing companies, he has developed a comprehensive approach to help motivate those struggling to strive for a better life through working in the trial workplace that provides for a living wage with benefits. He will teach that is not enough. True success requires discipline, life skills, and a strong moral compass to garnish sustainability.

John grew up in a family business, a steel processor naturally became a serial entrepreneur having owned and operated five Tier One Automotive Suppliers in the last 40 years. Currently John is a consultant and administrator for many large automotive equipment tear-outs, equipment rebuilding projects and equipment sales programs. Specializing in robotics, John will use his expertise to develop real-world hands-on tech programs at Team Up Academy.

John is an Eagle Scout and past Boy Scout Leader. He attended both Northern Michigan and Michigan State University’s studying Business Administration. John is married to Cynthia Logli-Bones who also sits on the Team Up Academy Board of Directors.


I am pleased to be involved as a staff member and serving on the board of directors of the Team Up organization.

Team Up gives the unique opportunity for me to utilize my 40 years experience as a businessman as well as 12 years as a senior pastor to counsel and mentor people who want to change their lives. Our program  is distinctive in that it is faith based giving great importance to building character while teaching trade skills.

All of the Team Up staff are dedicated to accomplish the blessing of lives moving from passive to productive by graduating from our training program.

ABOUT Michael Relph

40+ Year Technologist and Education Development Engineer, Inventing, Coding, Building, Integrating, Configuring various technologies, processes, academics, and quality systems for Industrial, Energy, Automotive, Aeronautical,  K-12, Sports, and Technical Education Industries.

’81 BS Graduate from Lawrence Tech for Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, minors in Chemistry and Physics started college as Junior in High School.

A proponent for Small Business has assisted over 300 small businesses obtain POS, Warehouse, and e-commerce systems, and using a Masters Program in Network Marketing helped to expand those businesses.  Helping to train local help for these businesses, even to assist multi-generational family owned businesses has been a great pleasure to experience, in writing business plans, quality systems, helping to find financing and grants, helping to obtain certifications for minority, native American, woman-owned, 8(a), and SBA qualified companies.

ABOUT Tom Elkins

Tom Elkins is a retired attorney, who practiced law for 46 years, both in Minnesota and Michigan. During his legal career, he served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Minnesota; legal counsel for the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, which certifies medical practitioners who are specialist in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; an associate with the Minneapolis based firm, Dorsey Law Office, in its real estate division; and as a solo practitioner. He has sat on boards of numerous non-profit corporations, and prepared the articles of corporation for Team-Up Academy. His law practice is best described as a general practice, which included litigation (medical malpractice, personal injury, and business disputes); real estate contract law; appellate practice (including appeals in the Minnesota and Michigan appellate courts, as well as the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals) and bankruptcy litigation. A memorable high-light of his early career in the practice of law was to have Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun and his wife for dinner at his home twice, while living in Rochester. In retirement, he continues to consult clients regarding the structuring of business opportunities as well as assisting clients in litigation matters by collaborating with clients’ attorneys in identifying and assembling discovery documents and witness statements as directed by outside legal counsels.

Born and raised in Rochester, Minnesota, where he graduated from John Marshall High School in 1960, Mr. Elkins attended and is a 1964 graduate from Dartmouth College where he received his AB degree in liberal arts; and is a 1967 graduate from the University of Minnesota Law School, where he obtained his JD degree. He has been and remains active in the “Arts”, as a past member of the Rochester Symphony Orchestra, in the first violin section; as a member of the Dartmouth Glee Club, and as a tenor in church choirs in his home town as well as in Michigan. He has served as board member on various art organizations.

Mr. Elkins has six children ranging in age from 54 year to 18 years. He is married to Beth Gillies Elkins for the past thirty years, and currently resides in White Lake, Michigan.

ABOUT Barbara Pollard

Currently retired but self-employed as an accountant, I have 35 years in the accounting world from CPA firms to cost accounting to controller in various service and manufacturing settings including Tier 1.

I completed a Bachelor of Accountancy earned at Walsh College (1979) and an MBA with a concentration in Accounting from the University of Phoenix (2007). I earn 18 credits yearly in continuing education seminars and classes and pass a yearly exam to remain tax law current and be registered as an Annual Tax Preparer by the IRS.

My clients are individuals and the small business entrepreneur and has grown to 300 since 2011. I enjoy seeing and helping the small businesses of various fields continue to grow.

ABOUT Patrick Thompson

Patrick J. Thompson is a retired banker who has served in many senior management positions.  I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Business/Finance and Management from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan (1978).  During my 50-year banking career, the bulk of my responsibilities were in the commercial construction lending arena.  The final chapter of my formal employment history was with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).  As a Federal Bank Examiner, I examined financial institutions for safety and soundness relative to depositor investments. In 2018, I retired from Federal Service and I am actively seeking to participate in community service development.

In addition to my formal banking/educational training, I obtained a Journeyman Electrical License that I have renewed and maintained to date.  To that end, I have accepted a Directorship with Team Up Academy.  My responsibility will be to manage all project build-outs of both the Recruiting/Intake Office and Church.

ABOUT Joe Yamin

Joseph F. Yamin serves on the Board of Directors of Team Up Academy. Joe is a partner and owner of the Troy, Michigan law firm Lambert Leser and an attorney with over 30 years of experience representing a diverse range of corporate and individual clients helping them achieve their goals and obtain favorable outcomes for their legal objectives and challenges relating to a wide array of legal circumstances including business creation, contract negotiation, dispute resolution, business mergers and acquisitions, commercial purchase and sale of real estate, government compliance, litigation and trial practice as well as a wide variety of other legal matters.

His clientele includes both local, national and international persons and entities. Joe has been named to numerous prestigious lists some of which include Super Lawyers, Crain’s Detroit Business Top Lawyers in Michigan and America’s Most Honored Professionals.

Joe skills will be used to enhance and guide the Team Up Academy agenda and goal achievement. Joe attended the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) for his undergraduate studies and Michigan State University College of Law and the London School of Economics for his legal studies.

ABOUT Paul Reschke

Paul is a seasoned Real Estate professional with more than 25 years of experience in the Commercial Real Estate Industry. A master at developing long term relationships, he brings a unique skill set to every client he works with. Much of these skills come from having spent the first 13 years of his career in the Organizational Development and Human Performance field, where he’s had the good fortune of working with numerous executive level individuals in many Fortune 500 companies.

In the Real Estate Industry, he is at his best when he’s able to consult with his clients to provide customized strategies and solutions to reduce the company’s overall facility expense, while producing an increase in value to the corporate balance sheet.

ABOUT Kim Skowronek

Kim Skowronek is an Instructional Designer who is excited to answer the call from her Higher Power to work with Team Up Academy on this important mission to help others reach their goals. Designing and developing learning scenarios and guiding others toward knowledge acquisition gives her great personal satisfaction. Kim is a perpetual learner who has a natural drive to grow personally and professionally. She wants to learn from others and, in turn, help others to embrace new learning experiences with confidence. With a passion for how the brain learns and a sharp awareness of social-emotional learning, Kim has a knack for breaking down learning objectives into component sub-skills so that learning is well-built, remembered, and enjoyable. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Graduate Certification in Instructional Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. When she isn’t building curriculum, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, being in nature, exercising, volunteering at Oakland Animal Shelter, reading, cooking new dishes, and trying to knit.

ABOUT Marli Blackman

Marli Blackman is the Founder, Director, CEO, and expert in integrated marketing communications, corporate event marketing, i.e., trade shows, conferences, tourism, government public relations, and over one-hundred training platforms for clients in the automotive, local, and regional government, healthcare, and educational industries. Marli has over 20 years of advertising and public relations strategy management experience.

ABOUT Dr. Tamara Jefferson

Dr. Tamara Jefferson was born and raised in Detroit Michigan. She earned her Bachelor of Art degree in Journalism from Oakland University, a Naturopathic Doctor certificate from the Michigan Institute of Natural Health and holds many certifications and licenses in various industries.

Dr. Jefferson is Co-Owner of Joyful Tots Childcare and Learning Center. Joyful Tots Daycare was started as an in-home in 1999. In 2006, Joyful Tots was moved from inhome to a commercial space. In 2008, a second wing was opened and was named Joyful Preschool. It was then that Joyful brought in extra partners, which included Ms. Sue, Dr. Jefferson’s mother, and others to help operate the center. In 2015, Dr. Jefferson had a vision of giving the babies a building all to themselves. She wanted a place just for the babies. And in 2017 they opened a third wing and loving called it Joyful Babies.

In 2020 Dr. Jefferson was offered a new space in Roseville. Joyful Tots-Roseville opened in 2021. As Joyful Roseville was beginning construction, Ology was formed. Ology is a school age site, in Oak Park that was designed to accommodate the academic and extracurricular needs for Joyful’s school-age children. In February 2023, Joyful started construction on a new site in Warren, Michigan. Joyful Tots-Warren will be connected to Team Up Academy, a non-profit organization where Dr. Jefferson is a Board Member.

During her time at Oakland University, she worked as a copy editor for the university’s newspaper. She then worked as a Staff Writer for the Michigan Citizen Newspaper, then located in Highland Park, Michigan. Just before graduating college, she joined the Michigan Chronicle Newspaper in Detroit, as a Staff Writer. After spending some time writing for various publications and newspapers, she decided to leave the Chronicle to seek out a new venture and had always been interested in Public Relations and Marketing. She spent time as an Account Executive at Hermanoff & Associates and Doner Advertising. Just before resigning from the world of PR and marketing, she began speaking with her grandmother often about the joys of teaching children. Dr. Jefferson remembers going to school with her grandmother, a retired schoolteacher, on career day and coming home reenacting how she saw her grandmother, with loving patience and care, teaching other children.

Dr. Jefferson says children are her JOY. She and her husband have five children who also volunteer and help to run the businesses. She also assists her husband in operating the family’s water company Gotta Have Water which produces and delivers fresh steam distilled water and carries many water filtration products.

Dr. Jefferson is a Graduate of Goldman Sachs 10KSB, Southeast Michigan, a member of Women United, the Oakland County Childcare Council and an Empire member of the Childcare Success Company.

This fall Dr. Jefferson will launch her first Podcast Dr. T.J. Speaks. The podcast will focus on healthy living for everyone of all ages. The goal is to help continue to break the curses of illness in households. Dr. Jefferson is a humanitarian, giving to countless charitable organizations, that focus on early education missions and helping families in Metro Detroit live a healthier lifestyle within their own homes and in their communities.

5713 E. 13 Mile Road Warren, Michigan 48092

Team Up Academy (248) 867-5320
Landmark Church (248) 545-8800

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