I am excited to be a part of The Otsego County United Way as the Executive Director.
I was first introduced to the Otsego United Way at the Power of the Purse Event and remembered being amazed at the event's uniqueness, the kind, generous people, and the overall mission that the organization was working to carry out. Immediately I could see that the mission drove the staff, volunteers, and board, and all had hearts for service.
I bring 25 years of municipal and non-profit experience to this position, including fundraising, community relations, strategic planning, marketing, and board relations. I am tenacious in pursuing what is right, which is why I feel so called to this position and take my role of supporting the mission daily in all that I do seriously.
As I look to the organization's future and how we can continue to grow to meet the needs of our neighbors, I plan to build on the foundation that Erin Mann and her staff have solidly built to this point. I am thankful for the opportunity to get to know Erin and work with her over the past month. Her continued dedication to the organization and those we serve and her role as a mentor to me are invaluable.
Otsego County is a resilient community that has overcome so much in the last few years. I am humbled by the collaboration I already see and feel here and energized by the challenges ahead. I will continue to work daily to improve lives by mobilizing the LARGE caring power of communities around the county and the world to advance the common good.
I look forward to the opportunity to work with you – our donors, volunteers, community partners, and neighbors.
I am currently a Senior at Central Michigan University, pursuing an Undergraduate Degree, with a Concentration in Recreation and Event Management. I joined the United Way team in August 2022, and I am very excited to learn, grow, and to work with the wonderful Otsego County community.
I have a passion for community and helping others. Since I was a child, I have been a volunteer with various organizations, it has been a staple in my life. At CMU, I was the Community Outreach Chair for the Association of Recreation and Event Professionals. I coordinated all volunteer opportunities for our members, and helped build our community network. I find working with community members, and volunteering alongside them, is what fills my heart with joy and content.
Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, I moved to Mount Pleasant, Michigan in 2018, to pursue higher education. Over the past year I have spent every weekend in Northern Michigan, before officially moving here in May 2022. I have fallen in love with the Northern Michigan community, atmosphere, and beauty. I am an avid reader, enjoy the outdoors, and spend my time with family and friends.
My husband, Ken and I have been residents of Gaylord for almost 30 years. We have loved raising our four children here in the Gaylord area. We enjoy all the different activities we can do with each of the season’s Northern Michigan offers. I actually grew up spending time in Gaylord every summer at my grandparents property. I always felt that my grandfather had a role in my decision to make Gaylord my home.
My background is in sales and business administration. I previously owned and operated Great Northern Rentals. We provided property management in Otsego County for 13 years.
Being involved in nonprofits has always been important to me. I served two terms on the Special Olympics Michigan Board of Directors focusing on their Development and Marketing Committees.
I feel fortunate to have this opportunity to work for my community. My work as the Operations Manager supports all the great efforts of our team at the Otsego County United Way and our community partners. It amazes me each day when I get to work to see all the efforts of the volunteers and staff joining together to assist all individuals and families achieve their human potential through education, income stability, and healthy lives.
Linda Durant, owner and operator of The Holistic Spa/LMT, moved to Gaylord from California in 2009. Linda is heavily involved in her community by involving herself in many organizations such as DMA, Chamber, United Way, Alpenfest, etc. She currently holds a seat on the DDA board, Chairs the GACC Program Committee, Chairs OCUW Power of the Purse Committee, the Development Coordinator for OCUW, and coordinates Alpenfest’s Art tent.
During the 2020 COVID shut down she advocated for OC graduating high school seniors creating the Facebook group Otsego County Adopt a 2020 High School Senior and spearheaded the 2020 Procession and Drive-In graduation for Gaylord High School seniors. She never understood what the word community meant until moving to Gaylord and she is proud to be part of it.
I have spent my career helping others in need.
The most fulfilling part of my time with United Way/RSVP program is by helping place people where they are needed most. The relationships are genuine and heartfelt. I hope to be a bright light in the lives of others. Being active helps me stay connected to our community.
I am proud to be a part of the umbrella of services that are coordinated through Otsego County United Way. Our community is excellent at networking to help those in looking for services with its array of close partnerships with other agencies.
I am very passionate about the medical transport programs (1:1 and TACKLE van) that take patients to their much needed medical appointments and cancer treatments.
RSVP Volunteer Coordinator
Alice McPherson has lived with her family in the Gaylord area for the past 22 years. She recently retired from a teaching position with the East Jordan Public Schools. Alice is looking forward to working with the staff at the Otsego County United Way and the volunteers in the Gaylord area.
She has a passion for wanting to help make a difference in her community. Her husband, Scott, works for the City of Boyne City. Together, they have two daughters – both currently students at Michigan State University. She enjoys reading, gardening, and camping.
RSVP Volunteer Coordinator
I started with the United Way in May, three days before the tornado. It was such an uncertain time for so many in our community. It has been an honor to see how quickly this community responded with donations and support.
I have transferred over to R.S.V.P. working as the Volunteer Coordinator with Alice McPherson. I am enjoying the time I have spent, thus far, working with all of the dedicated volunteers. I look forward to growing with this organization and help to bring volunteers to exactly where they are needed in this community.
I was born and raised right here in Gaylord. My husband Kevin and I have a very busy household. We have 7 children who are involved in sports and all sorts of extra activities. I loved being a stay at home mom for the last 9 years but I am so happy for this opportunity to work with the OCUW staff and share my time and talents to help as many people as I can. In my spare time I love to cook, read and do all sorts of art and craft projects.
Board of Directors
2nd Vice President