United Way of Midland County has submitted nominations for two Governor’s Service Awards, nominating Trinseo for the Corporate Community Leader Award and Jen Lee for the Volunteer of the Year Award. Ann Fillmore, Executive Director at United Way of Midland County, was nominated for the Governor George Romney Lifetime Achievement award by the Michigan Association of United Ways. The Governor’s Service Awards are one of Michigan’s most prestigious volunteer recognition events, which are presented annually to celebrate Michigan’s volunteers. Hosted by Michigan’s governor each year, the event includes a reception for award winners and sponsors followed by an awards presentation.
Trinseo, the recipient of the 2017 United Way Caring Company of the Year award, has been nominated for the Corporate Community Leader Award. This award honors corporations that are committed to all levels of volunteerism and service in their communities and/or the state.
Since 2014, Trinseo has organized its Volunteer Days initiative—a global program that encourages employee volunteerism at all 41 locations to cultivate morale, enhance company culture and support the communities in which they operate. Over the last five years, Trinseo’s 210 Michigan-based employees have led the effort globally and have put in 2,540 service hours (averaging 12 hours per employee) benefitting 12 non-profit organizations in Midland and Detroit.
In Midland in 2016 and 2017, Trinseo participated in the Floyd Elementary Summer Slide program, reading to students and playing literacy games with them to keep their skills sharp during the summer months. In 2018, Trinseo funded and built a 160’ boardwalk through a wetland on Floyd Elementary’s Nature Trail, enabling year round trail access for an enhanced science curriculum. Each quarter, Trinseo’s Community Outreach Team focuses on offering volunteer opportunities for employees to participate in, such as serving lunch at a local soup kitchen, community garden maintenance, fall yard clean-up projects for local seniors and quarterly drives to collect basic needs items such as books, non-perishable food items and winter outerwear.
“People with intellectual and developmental disabilities benefit every day by Trinseo’s generosity,” shared Jan Lampman, Executive Director at The Arc of Midland County. “Among Trinseo’s contributions to The Arc of Midland are our raised gardens, a space where people with and without disabilities can grow food, learn and feel as sense of community. They have improved the lives of people we support in so many ways!”
Trinseo also champions Project Community Connect each year by participating on the steering committee, providing financial support and supplying volunteers for the event.
“Midland’s Open Door is incredibly grateful for Trinseo’s leadership within our community,” stated Renee Pettinger, Executive Director at Midland’s Open Door. “Their financial support and volunteer commitment is having an impact on the homeless, hungry and hurting men, women and children who rely on the Open Door each year.”
United Way of Midland County also nominated Jen Lee, Marketing Coordinator at Three Rivers Corporation, for the Volunteer of the Year award. This award honors individuals over the age of 25 who strive to improve the lives of people in their community or state. These individuals make an impact through volunteering in various capacities with nonprofits and organizations, showing a commitment to strengthening communities.
A longtime community volunteer, Lee serves on a wide array of community boards and committees and volunteers her time with various projects and initiatives throughout the year. Since 2015, Lee has served on the United Way Young Leaders United executive council. Serving a term as the group’s Chair, Lee has been responsible for helping steer direction of the group and driving an increase in charitable giving and overall engagement. Lee stays active in the United Way network, having served on the UWMC Board of Directors and Communications Committee, as well as participating in volunteer projects such as March is Reading Month, Community Garden Planting Day, Story Adventurers and more throughout the year.
“Jen is not afraid to roll up her sleeves and help out with any project. Regardless of need, she’s always one of the first people to step up and help out, and she’s ALWAYS WILLING to recruit other people to get involved as well. This has made her an invaluable member of our Young Leaders United affinity group,” stated Ann Fillmore, Executive Director at United Way of Midland County.
Lee sits on a multitude of boards elsewhere in the community, serving as the Chair of the ABC Greater Michigan Event Planning board, Chair of Leadership Midland Alumni Association Board, MyPros Steering Committee, Co-Chair of the Adams Elementary Carnival and she also serves as the fundraising coordinator for a local travel hockey team. Along with her colleagues at Three Rivers Corporation, Lee volunteered with the Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build and street revitalization, served Christmas dinner and distributed gifts to area seniors through Senior Services and gives tours to students from Junior Achievement and Boy Scouts to help them understand their work at Three Rivers Corporation. In the aftermath of the devastating flood in Midland County in 2017, Lee gathered 20 colleagues from Three Rivers Corporation to organize a food drive for local residents impacted by the flood.
“Jen has an unbridled amount of energy towards making our community a better place. She never takes a break and expects everyone else to put forth the same effort. Spending five minutes with Jen makes you want to be better for everyone in our community,” shared Nicholas Powell, The Dow Chemical Company and Past Chair, Young Leaders United.
Additionally, Ann Fillmore, Executive Director at United Way of Midland County, was nominated for the Governor George Romney Lifetime Achievement Award by the Michigan Association of United Ways. This award honors an individual who demonstrates a lifetime commitment to community involvement and volunteer service, and is highly regarded for making a tremendous impact in their community and/or state.
Stepping down from her role as Executive Director after 12 years, Fillmore has led United Way of Midland County through a number of record-breaking and impactful achievements. Under her leadership, United Way of Midland County eclipsed the $5 million mark in the 2010 campaign, leaving a lasting impact on dozens of area nonprofit agencies, and has maintained the status of being in the top five United Way offices in the United States for per capita giving. Fillmore also led the transition of United Way of Midland County from being solely a fundraising entity to a community impact organization. Fillmore has chaired the Michigan ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Steering Committee, helping to shine a light on the hardworking Michigan families that are struggling to get make ends meet and helping connect them to the resources that they need to succeed.
“In serving as Chairperson of the ALICE Steering Committee, Ann spearheaded a statewide movement to improve the odds for people who are working but still struggle to make ends meet. Ann’s visionary leadership on the ALICE project is helping all of us to do what we can to make Michigan a great place to work and raise a family,” stated Mike Larson, President and CEO at Michigan Association of United Ways.
Fillmore has served the community in many capacities including past Board of Directors of 211 NE Michigan, MidMichigan, Urgent Care and the Midland Area Chamber of Commerce. She served as President of the Tri-County Economics Club, was a member of the MidMichigan Medical Center Planning Committee, Vision Tri-County Leadership Institute, Zonta International, Michigan Department of Education After School Partnership Council and is a charter member of MiTech Plus. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for MidMichigan Health and is the Chair of the Operating Committee for the GLBR Community Advancement Network. She is also a member of the Health and Human Services Council, Safe Communities Coalition, and Community Success Panel. She is a past member of the Midland Morning Rotary Club having served as President, District Resource Director and Literacy Chair. Nationally, she represents Midland on the United Way Worldwide Network Engagement Corps and UWW Leadership Giving Advisory Council.
Fillmore received the Athena Leadership Award for demonstrating excellence, creativity and initiative in her profession in 2008 and the 2014 Naegele Distinguished Community Service Award from Northwood University. She was also selected as Grand Marshall of the 2015 Santa Parade for her commitment to her community. Fillmore will be joining Omni-Tech International, a Midland-based consulting firm, after stepping down from her position at United Way of Midland County.
The 2019 Governor’s Service Awards winners will be announced in April. For more information on the Governor’s Service Awards, please visit michigan.gov/mcsc.