News and Press

April 2018

Stewards In Actions Honored at 7th Annual Muskegon Area Sustainability Champion Award Ceremony

Karen Cheathem accepts a Sustainability Champion award on behalf of Stewards In Action. The 7th Annual Muskegon Area Sustainability Champion Award ceremony took place April 23, 2018 at Orchard View High School. Champions are awarded in the categories of Individual, Non-profit, Corporate, Government, Education & Special. The Muskegon Area Sustainability Coalition organizes the event each year. DARLING CETACEANS sponsored it this year.

June 2017

A Book Review of The Promise by Karen Cheathem
As published by Red City Review

A novella about the power of love and what it means to keep your word, The Promise by Karen Cheathem explores the idea that good things can happen to good people, and that anything is possible if you have faith in the Lord. The narrative follows a woman named Luella Mae White, who grew up in terrible poverty and suffered cruel abuse. Luella persists through her hardships, determined to succeed and build a life of love and happiness for herself, finding strength through her Christian beliefs. The story is told as a modern day parable where a woman who has little finds power within herself to persevere and bring love and kindness to all those around her, even though the same is not always given to her in return.

Coming in around only sixty pages, The Promise is not a very long book, yet it still packs an emotional punch as the content within these pages will keep readers engrossed in the story. With a heavy focus on religion, Christian values, and the comfort a close relationship with God can give, it is sure to appeal to those who find strength in the Lord. Nevertheless, it also has the ability to appeal to those who might not be as spiritual or religious. Cheathem paints a strong character in Luella, and the supporting characters who surround her add further dynamic layers to this story about keeping promises, striving against difficult obstacles, and never giving up.

The Promise is available for a donation of $10.00.

May 20 2017

Karen Cheathem Honored by MHAAI

On May 20, 2017, The Muskegon Heights Alumni Association Inc., held the Ninth Annual Honoree Awards Banquet. At the event, Karen Cheathem, Stewards In Action co-founder, and other graduates of Muskegon Heights High School, were recognized for their community involvement in all things.

March 15, 2017

SIA Co-Founder & Cancer Survivor, Perry Cheathem, Jr., Urges Grand Rapids Griffins Players & Coaches to Join the National Bone Marrow Registry

Perry Cheathem, Jr, is an advocate for joining the National Bone Marrow Registry.

Hockey players and coaches got an up-close look at what it means to save a life by being a bone marrow or stem cell donor when an actual stem cell recipient spoke to them about how a stem cell donor saved his life. Perry Cheathem, Jr., in an appearance at a Grand Rapids Griffins luncheon, told players and coaches about being diagnosed on October 2, 2014, with peripheral aggressive stage 4 T-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The luncheon, sponsored by Spectrum Health, was held at Intermissions restaurant.

To learn more about joining the Be the Match donor registry, go online and join at You may also contact Spectrum Health at 800 627-7692.

February 2016

Stewards In Action Brings Weekly Worship Services and More to The Hume Home

Stewards In Action (SIA) has entered into an agreement with The Hume Home to provide weekly non-denominational worship services for residents, their families and the community. Stewards In Action offers the weekly events through its SIA Hume Home Outreach Program. The agreement also includes workshops covering Medicare/Medicaid and estate planning. Residents and their families or community members may request different topics.

In addition to providing residents with an additional activity choice, the activities provided under the SIA Hume Home Outreach Program are designed to further enhance the interaction between The Hume Home and the surrounding community. The weekly 60-minute worship service offers inspirational music, prayer and scripture study. Residents are encouraged to relay their life experiences and request their favorite songs. They are also urged to invite their families to attend. Karen Cheathem, the co-founder of SIA and a gifted and talented pianist, singer and prolific bible scholar, leads the weekly service.

The workshops offered through the SIA Hume Home Outreach Program are intended to educate on the importance of planning for the future and will provide the information needed to do so. Workshop presenters include estate and elder law planning attorneys and representatives from the Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP).

"The Hume Home and Stewards In Action partnership is a great fit, providing our residents and surrounding community with access to a weekly worship service, as well as, educational workshops that will help prepare for the future,” said Sandy Becker, administrator of the Hume Home. “We are so thankful and blessed to have made this connection. We invite the community to join us.”

“This outreach program supports individuals in continuing to be an integral part of their community, while raising awareness of the honor involved in the aging process, because growing old is normally accompanied by increased wisdom that should be shared,” said Karen Cheathem, secretary and treasurer for SIA. “One of the goals of SIA is to introduce individuals and families to the concept of biblical stewardship. We feel this foundation is the pivotal point that strengthens the community and sets a positive direction for every aspect of life.”

About Stewards In Action
Since 1999, Stewards In Action (SIA), a faith-based, non-profit organization, has provided classes and workshops to 4,985 people, providing them with tools to get out of debt, maximize their resources and start living better lives. Visit the website at

About the Hume Home
With a stated mission of “Honoring God by serving people as they age,” The Hume Home is dedicated to providing seniors in the Muskegon area with outstanding senior living experiences that embrace purpose, vitality and independence. Situated in a home-like environment, The Hume Home offers affordable assisted living and independent living. Care options include independent living, assisted living, memory/specialized care, respite/short-term care and day services. Visit the website at www.

January 2016


An SIA Steward is anyone - a public official, a community leader, a concerned citizen, a health or human service worker or a volunteer. Their lives serve as inspiration to others, particularly young people who have dreams of becoming successful while maintaining their ethics, honoring God and doing whatever has to be done to keep things going. The SIA Steward designation is how Stewards In Action recognizes and honors those who live exemplary lives and give of themselves to the community.

Born and raised in Muskegon, Willie C. Minor is known to many as the owner of Innovative Business Solutions. In this role, he provides tax-consulting services, specializing in personal tax returns. His 30 years of experience providing exemplary service to clients makes word-of –mouth advertising his primary means of acquiring new clients.

The Journey to Becoming a Tax Expert
Mr. Minor’s journey to becoming a tax expert started in an unplanned fashion. It was 1979 and he was employed as a planning assistant for S.D. Warren. His undergraduate and graduates studies were complete and he held a BA from Western Michigan University and an MBA from Grand Valley State University. That year, when he completed his tax return he discovered that he owed the Internal Revenue Service. In an effort to reduce his tax liability, he hired a professional tax preparer, but still ended up paying taxes and on top of that, a tax preparation fee. He had had enough and enrolled in an H & R Block tax course, graduating in 1980. For the next six years, he worked at H & R Block. During that period of time he left S.D. Warren and begin work as a job developer with Muskegon Heights Public Schools. Before leaving H & R Block he earned their master of quality tax preparation certification.

Wanted: Enrolled Agent (EA) Credentials
Not content to stop with the H&R Block certification, in 1987 he became an enrolled agent (EA). An EA is a federally-authorized tax practitioner possessing technical expertise in the field of taxation and is empowered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before all administrative levels—examination, collection, and appeals—of the Internal Revenue Service.
Establishing Innovative Business Solutions With his newly acquired credentials in hand, Mr. Minor established Innovative Business Solutions in 1988. In 1989, he made another move up the day-job career ladder and became a senior financial analyst with the State of Michigan – Department of Human Services.

Willie C. Minor

Retirement and The New Willie C. Minor Normal
In 2006, Mr. Minor had 17 years of employment with the State of Michigan and a 36-year long work history. Many people finding themselves in a similar situation would have been looking forward to a leisurely retirement. However, Mr. Minor was basking in a sense of accomplishment having completed a three-year program with the National Enrolled Agent’s Association where he earned the prestigious Fellow of the National Tax Practice Institute designation. His studies included a stringent, three-level program covering all facets of representing clients before the IRS. He also learned to guide clients through the challenging maze of IRS codes, internal regulations and agency structure.

Retiring from the State of Michigan in 2010 was the beginning of a new chapter for Mr. Minor. His company had provided services to over 200 clients. He was well positioned to sustain a successful tax practice and could now call his own shots.

Personal Life
Mr. Minor is very active in his community. He is a member and president of the Muskegon Heights Optimist club, president of the Theta Nu Chapter – Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the treasurer of the trustee board of Bethesda Baptist Church. He has chosen to reside in Muskegon, because of family and the quality of life the area offers with its scenic Lake Michigan shoreline. He believes in the growth potential of the city citing its deep-sea port and the growth of the Muskegon tourism industry. He and his wife Gloria are parents to Gary, Damon, Katrese and Kendra.