Midland County is a place where people care about each other. The 2015 United Way campaign was a great illustration of that compassion and caring, as we came together to raise $4,916,827 to meet the needs throughout Midland County.

If you’re interested in how that investment is paying off, you are encouraged to watch the United Way of Midland County’s 2015 Annual Report video. To save money and resources, the report is being made available exclusively online. Visit www.liveunitedmidland.org and look for the feature link at the top of the page.

The real value of United Way goes beyond the dollars it raises—it’s about how lives are being changed in the community. We drive collaboration and impact by bringing the people, organizations and resources together. This important work continues to be rooted in listening to our community, identifying needs and working collaboratively to address root problems.

“United Way has evolved from its roots as a fundraising entity to a community impact organization that brings the community together to ensure everyone reaches their full potential,” shared Ann Fillmore, Executive Director of United Way of Midland County. “We invest in the building blocks for a good life—education, health and self-sufficiency.”

Education is the cornerstone of individual and community success. Strong, productive communities depend on a skilled workforce that can compete in a global economy. This work doesn’t just happen during high school. It is crucial to reach kids early—even before they start school. United Way works to ensure that all kids are equipped with success from birth through career

“Once a child falls behind, it can be difficult to catch up,” shared Holly Miller, Vice President of Community Impact and Communication. “If a child isn’t reading at grade level by 3rd grade—they may never catch up.”

Health of individuals is a strong indicator of a healthy community. Achieving and maintaining good health and safety is important during all stages of life, from prenatal care through retirement. In additional to physical health, United Way focuses on emotional and mental health, safety and avoiding risky behaviors.

Our community will only prosper and grow if all families and individuals are stable and self-sufficient. Fewer financial stresses lead to healthier lives, improved work performance and better education outcomes. United Way invests in programs that help adults maintain employment while providing a safety-net of basic needs along with stable and affordable housing.

The Board of Directors held their annual meeting on March 8th at the Strosacker Center. In addition to celebrating the many impacts taking place in our community, the board took pleasure in announcing that Rich Wells, Site Director, Michigan Operations at The Dow Chemical Company, will serve as the Campaign Chair for the 2016 United Way of Midland County campaign.

“Rich is an incredible community leader,” shared Ann Fillmore. “He is an active participant in our community, lending his voice and passion to improving the lives throughout Midland County. We are thrilled to have him at the helm this year.”

The board also recognized outgoing board members Sid Allen, Robert Klomparens, Tim Lemke, Erick Forshee, and Brian Marinik.  Current board members who committed to a second three-year term are Diane Nold and Dominic Zoeller.

Seven new board members were elected, including: Michael Gavin from Gavin and Associates, LLC; Andy Weisbrodt, Three Rivers Corporation; Craig Stevens, Trinseo, Dr. Doug Ford, Advantage Orthodontics; Kelly Moldovan, Midland Cogeneration Venture;  Vic Hosfeld, MidMichigan Health; and Laura Rhodes, representing Northwood’s Student United Way.

The Officers for 2016 were elected as well, including: Jerry Ladwig, President; Wally Mayton, Vice President; Tori Meyer, Treasurer; Sarah Opperman, Secretary; and Bill Bateman, Past President.

“This has been an incredible year of impact and change,” shared Board Chair Jerry Ladwig. “It is a true testimony to the dedicated staff of United Way.”

The 2015 Annual Report, allocations and financial statement can be downloaded via United Way’s website at www.unitedwaymidland.org under About Us/Finances.