Staff & Board of Directors



Kelly  Bidelman, Executive Director


Kelly Bidelman is the Executive Director of CCJ. Ms. Bidelman graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy in 1989. Kelly has devoted her many years of practice in legal services. Prior to joining CCJ, Kelly was the Managing Attorney of Legal Aid & Defender Association's Oakland and Macomb County staff offices along with its Legal Aid for Children and Families program at Beaumont Hospital; and prior thereto as the Managing Attorney of UAW-GM Legal Services Plan in Detroit.

Edward J. Hoort, Of Counsel


Mr. Hoort graduated from University of Detroit Mercy with his JD in 1975. Prior to joining CCJ, Ed was the Executive Director of Legal Services of Eastern Michigan, a position which he held for 29 years. He has worked in the legal services arena for 40 years. He has been counsel in over 50 state wide class actions and has been instrumental in legislative changes in domestic relations, public benefits, housing, nursing home rights, and consumer issues. Ed has taught Non-Profit Administration courses at University of Michigan for the past 14 years. Mr. Hoort formed CCJ in 1995 when federal restrictions prohibited legal services programs from undertaking many types of advocacy on behalf of the poor.


Mario Azzi, Public Benefits Law Attorney


Mario Azzi is the Public Benefits Law Attorney for CCJ. Mario graduated from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School in 2012. Prior to joining CCJ, Mario worked as an attorney with the Legal Aid & Defender Association's Macomb County office, where he assisted and advocated for hundreds of low-income individuals.


Mario also worked as a private attorney and mediator, during which time he resolved numerous cases on behalf of his clients.


Gregory Abler, Housing Advocate


Gregory Abler is the Housing Law Attorney for CCJ.  Mr. Abler graduated from law school.  Greg has over 18 years of extensive experience in representing clients in consumer and real estate litigation and appeals.  Prior to joining CCJ, Greg was the Supervising Attorney of Legal Aid & Defender Association's Detroit office.

Mary Vizcarra, Health Advocate


Ms. Vizcarra graduated with a B.A. in Communications from the University of Michigan-Flint. Mary was previously the Food and Nutrition Program Coordinator at CCJ. She has been with CCJ since 2002. Se habla Espanol.



Due to legal requirements of one of CCJ’s major funding sources, 50% of CCJ’s Board of Directors must be attorneys. If you are interested in potentially serving on the board, please send a letter to

Executive Committee:

  • Bruce Petrick, President, Attorney, Underground Railroad, Saginaw County

  • Antwan Edson, Secretary, Consumer Representative, Genesee County

Board Members:


  • George Heron, Retired, former Director United Way of Bay County, Bay County

  • Charles Grossman, Attorney, Genesee County

  • Samuel Angus, Attorney, Genesee County

  • Ameer Rutherford, Genesee County


Thank you for helping to provide the legal and advocacy services that would otherwise be inaccessible to our most vulnerable neighbors.

To donate directly to CCJ, go to the "Donate" tab above.

To donate to the Access to Justice Campaignuse the DONATE NOW link on our sidebar.