: “Dylan Banagis has displayed exceptional leadership within his community by marrying his passion for outdoor recreation with a profound commitment to philanthropy. Dylan's entrepreneurship started with recognizing a desire to aid the less fortunate while adhering to his faith. His journey commenced with the establishment of "The Wanderheart Project" and later evolved into "Life Unplugged," leaving a significant mark on the community.” -
Gladwin County Awardees
John Andrist, 36, Master Scheduler, Saint-Gobain
I’m very active in my community through the Beaverton Lions Club, recently finishing a two-year term as president of the organization. Volunteering can be contagious and fun! I served nearly 10 years as a firefighter and medical responder for the Beaverton Fire Department and also volunteered for Billings Township Dive Team as a certified diver, and two terms on the City of Beaverton City Council. “Alone we can do so little; Together we can do so much” is a quote by Helen Keller that we should all embrace.
I am very thankful for the opportunities that have been provided by my employer for professional advancements, allowing me to remain in and serve my community. I’m also very excited to join the business community as my wife Taylor and I recently launched a new business, Cedar River Rentals. Nothing means more to me than my two children, who I hope find as much joy in serving others as I have.
I have a twin brother, Phil, who also has a passion for serving and leading his community as Fire Chief of Beaverton!
Biggest Fan: "
In addition to being an outstanding public servant and community member, John has also built a successful career locally. Having the opportunity to engage with the youth through the Beaverton High School LEO Club, John is able to mentor and encourage the youth to become involved by giving back and serving the community." - Matt Lang
Kennedy Cripps, 26
Director of Graduate Programs at Northwood University’s DeVos Graduate School
Leadership: I was born and raised in Beaverton, MI and I couldn't be prouder to give back to the community that has given so much to me. Attending college in Midland at Northwood University and staying in the mid-Michigan area for my chosen career has allowed me to build a solid network with people in the region. I also am a co-owner of a flower and gift shop in Beaverton, Sugarbeet Blooms & Bridal. I serve on the board at the Beaverton Activity Center and we are a proud member of the Beaverton Area Business Association (BABA). I am also a member of Midland Young Professionals (MYPros).
Highlights: Since buying the local flower shop in Beaverton in March, it has allowed me many opportunities to give back to my community. One that comes to mind is the opportunity to become involved in the fundraising and business sponsorship for the Beaverton 4th of July Fireworks, done by a committee of volunteers on behalf of the Beaverton Area Business Association. We proudly increased business sponsorships over 50% from 2022 to 2023 and we have some even more exciting ideas in store for next year! The Beaverton Activity Center is a non-profit that repurposed an old school in Beaverton, built in 1936. It was renovated and reopened in 2015 and now serves many purposes, including a fitness center, a gymnasium for youth sports and school plays, meeting rooms, houses a cafe, our local library, preschool, My Michigan Health rehabilitation, and more. Overall, it is an iconic piece of Beaverton's history and is the hub of all activities and interests. I proudly serve on the board for this great organization that is a pillar in our community.
Who Knew?: 1. I graduated with my MBA at 20 years old. 2. I thoroughly enjoy the outdoors - hunting, side-by-side riding, etc. My husband and I own a little over 280 acres in Gladwin and Ogemaw County.
Biggest Fan: “Kennedy has been a visible leader throughout her entire life in Gladwin County, striving to make the community a better place, she was rewarded with numerous personal accomplishments along the way. She currently serves as Director of Graduate Programs at Northwood University, and previously worked in manufacturing at Robinson Industries. Cripps also serves on the board of directors for the Beaverton Activity Center.” - Matt Lang
Brock Dennings, 39
President and Owner of FED Corporation
Leadership: I am passionate about the growth and development of Gladwin. I invest in our community's youth organizations. Together with my team, we strive to bring as much business into our small town as we can. We have spearheaded developments that have brought hundreds of jobs to our community and that has made a lasting impact.
Highlights: I serve on multiple boards that are community focused and support youth athletics and extracurricular activities. I also strongly believe in developing and investing in my team and business. Through this training and development of my team I have helped influence and mentor other leaders within our company and community. I believe helping individuals reach their goals and highest potential furthers impact in our community. I am a proud member of the Young Presidents Organization, a group of young executives taking companies to the next level to help better their communities.
Who Knew?: Me and my family swim with sharks every year.
: “Through hard work and dedication, Brock has elevated his professional career while keeping his community forefront through volunteer and philanthropy.” - Matt Lang
Taylor Eaton, 32
Accountant, Smith and Associates & Owner, Beaverton Tavern
Leadership: I am an active member of the BABA, coaching little league softball, basketball and volleyball, owner of the Beaverton Tavern and Accountant at Smith & Associates. I do multiple things with the school. Anytime my two daughters need a volunteer in their classrooms I always sign up.
Highlights: My family opening the Beaverton Tavern was huge for the community. The Tavern is a huge staple in the community. I have also coached quite a few little league sports teams over the years. Teaching the kids how to do sports is one of my prides. The reaction when they finally accomplish something they have been struggling with is the best.
Who Knew?: I have traveled to 6 different countries. We take at least three trips a year and I love sharing travel experiences with my two daughters.
Biggest Fan: “Taylor volunteers her time coaching and leading youth activities in the community. This gives her a platform to show our youth that anyone can be successful in our community with hard work and dedication.” - Matt Lang
Whitney King, 31
Burkhart-Presidio Insurance Agency - Producer
Leadership: Through my community involvement I have taken a leadership role in several organizations. I am the President of Gladwin County Kiwanis, the Secretary of the Gladwin County Chamber of Commerce, the Vice President of Beaverton Area Business Association and a member of the Gladwin Business and Professional Association.
Highlights: I am very fortunate to have bosses who support and encourage community involvement. This has given me the opportunity to get involved with several non-profit organizations and participate in the Gladwin County Leadership Program. This has led me to take on a leadership role in our Local Festival of Lights Christmas Parade. I am passionate about helping make things happen that not only my family and friends can enjoy but the community as a whole. My main focus is on having a community who supports and encourages children. My involvement with Kiwanis started because of the investment into the children of the community. I have been the Key Club advisor for the last several years and was awarded Kiwanian of the Year in 2021.
Who Knew?: My favorite hobby is making soap.
: “Whitneys commitment and dedication to both Beaverton Area Business Association and Gladwin County Chamber of Commerce have let to positive community and economic development projects.” - Matt Lang
Kayla Krahner, 36
Site Coordinator at Saint-Gobain for Beaverton & Traverse City Locations
I was born and raised in Beaverton, Michigan and fortunate enough to be part of an international company in my back yard. It has been a whirlwind of experience and mentorship since I have been with Saint-Gobain for 19 years. I started as the high school co-op stayed on while I went to Davenport University. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Accounting. I was promoted to Cost Accountant once I graduated and worked with the Site Controller for many years. She has been a tremendous impact on becoming the leader I’m today and led into becoming the Site Controller for Beaverton & Traverse City site’s.
I have served on many different committees within the community such as Gladwin Community Foundation Grant committee, Beaverton’s Business Advisory Department & Tobacco Townships Deputy’s Clerk. I also ran the Saint-Gobain foundation grant committee for many years. I found great pride in being part of these committee’s and being able to give back to my community.
I enjoy spending time with my two sons, Mason and Brady, and my husband Zach. We love to camp during the summer and fall months trying out many different campgrounds in Michigan.
: "Kayla has shared her story with many youth. She began her career as a high school co-op, then as a college co-op while attending Davenport University. She has since earned promotions, and serves as Site Controller for multiple Saint-Gobain North America sites. Her story is proof that opportunities during our youth years can lead to success and it can all be accomplished while staying in Gladwin County" - Matt Lang
Ryan Longstreth, 33
Co-owner Mechatronics Solutions LLC
Leadership: I'm very active in youth coaching with sports such as flag football, baseball, basketball and any other activity my kids are involved with. I'm also serving as a board member on our local youth little league. Athletics have always been a big passion of mine and I was lucky to have a lot of success in my past baseball career. I look forward to being able to share skills and knowledge I learned and pass onto the next generation.
Highlights: When my family and I moved back to the area it was important to me to be involved with the community I grew up in. When the opportunity for a school board position opened in January 2021 I expressed interest and was voted in. This has been a great experience and way to take part in community growth since joining in 2021. I look forward to continuing to serve on the board and try my best to make a positive impact for our students and school district as a whole.
Who Knew?: I was a baseball player at Central Michigan University 2010-2012. Also, i was drafted by the Detroit Tigers and spent 3.5 years playing professional baseball in their organization.
Biggest Fan: "Few people from small communities are drafted to play professional sports. Ryan shares his story with the youth, that no matter where you come from, you can accomplish anything, like playing professional sports or owning your own business like he has been able to do." - Matt Lang
Autumn Matthews, 27
Director of Workforce & Economic Development, Mid Michigan College
Leadership: I have worked with the Workforce & Economic Development division at Mid for 8 years, beginning as a student worker in 2015. Over this time, I have experienced every aspect within each of our short-term training programs, collaborated with local businesses to provide customized training and workshops, and supported partners like Central Michigan Manufacturers Association. It’s very neat to now be in the role of leading our team in these areas. My experiences help to support them. I hope to always be the one that they can look to for assistance and want to empower them to be the best possible versions of themselves. Together, we will achieve our goals and reach new possibilities.
Highlights: I have had the opportunity to support and grow the short-term training programs. Short-term training provides individuals with an educational opportunity to begin a rewarding career quickly. These programs are 8-12 weeks or less and lead to an industry recognized credential that allows them to seek employment immediately. Phlebotomy is one of our biggest short-term offerings. In 2015, phlebotomy classes were only offered at Mid's Harrison and Mt. Pleasant campuses. With strategic planning and phenomenal program integrity, we now hold classes in 8 locations throughout the State, serving community needs for quality trained phlebotomists. CDL Truck Driving is another prominent short-term training. Striving to meet the industry growing demand for truck drivers, Mid developed this training offering at the Mt. Pleasant campus in 2017. To date we have trained 235 individuals who successfully obtained their CDL. We recently revamped the program to streamline administrative roles and provide a better student experience.
Who Knew?: I enjoy visiting Michigan Lighthouses and have a goal to see all 121 lighthouses that are accessible to the public. I have been to about 40 so far. It's intriguing to learn their history and a neat experience to tour some of them!
: “Through her dedication to work, Autumn is helping businesses, communities and talent emerge, shaping the future and ensuring long term success of our region.” - Matt Lang
Samantha Oard, 35
Service Level Manager, Dow
I am very passionate about advocacy and volunteer work in our community to help our Gladwin County youth achieve great things.
: I currently act as Beaverton districts Parent Advisor alongside other CGRESD parents where I have the opportunity to connect and mentor other families. I have been a part of many youth sport boards, in the past I actively participated in the Beaverton youth baseball organization. I now serve as President for the Gladwin Area Hockey Association and serve in an active role on our Gladwin Arena board. In addition, I am an active participant with our Disability Network at Dow where I enjoy advocating and bringing awareness to different needs.
I have an identical twin sister :)
: "Through various community channels and the school system, Samantha has made it her mission to ensure that the community and its programs are inclusive to all of its members by helping the younger generation understand that differences are what make each person unique and special" - Matt Lang
William Oard, 37
Material Data Administrator, Dow Chemical & Trustee, Tobacco Twp
I was raised with the belief that the greatest ability is availability. I have never had to search out opportunities; they always seem to find me. In my mid-20s I was approached to become involved with the local city council and now, as a township trustee, I am about to enter my 10th year in municipal leadership. I have been blessed to be able to give my time and energy to our local organizations, whether it is attending meetings and workshops or getting my hands dirty helping clear land for community projects. We can all be great leaders simply by leading by example.
Through the township, as a trustee, we strive to protect the rights of those in the community. We have worked with and supported the many organizations that have stepped up to help rebuild our dams that were destroyed in 2020's flood. As part of our local Fire Department's board, we come together to support the volunteers, purchase new equipment, and have recently created the first full-time chief position in the department's history. On the Trail Authority, we have brought a recreational bike and walking path from Gladwin City to Beaverton City, with trail heads and kayak launches along the trail. I also helped start and organize our area's only 5k fun run: the Beaverton Firecracker 5k.
My wife and I love camping and traveling with our daughter. I enjoy running and participating in race events in my free time.
Biggest Fan: "By serving in local government, William "BJ" has been leading by example for the next generation to get involved, be active and participate in roles that affect the community." - Matt Lang
Shauna Puchel, 37
Founder and CEO, Beach Club Seltzer
Leadership: Leadership takes integrity, decisiveness, resilience, accountability, adaptability and exceptional communication. All of these things are what make good leaders in business but also in municipal management. Articulating a vision clearly has always come naturally to me and creating a strategic plan to accomplish those goals are my specialty. But what's more important than the vision is the team. A team that can communicate, problem-solve, adapt, strategically think, conflict resolve and encourage is the ultimate goal. We all have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Highlights: I've worked with local non-profits to showcase how social media awareness along with online payment can drive donations.
Who Knew?: I have four children and love summers in Michigan! I've traveled all over the world and truthfully, nothing beats all that Michigan has to offer!
Biggest Fan: “A bona fide entrepreneur, Shauna continues to turn dreams into reality. By choosing Mid-Michigan as headquarters for her most recent venture, Beach Club, Shauna is committed to growing the local economy, creating meaningful employment opportunities and giving back to the community that helped raise her.” - Matt LangAnother Top 40 Under 40 winner in Gladwin County is Lance Tenwalde.
Gratiot County Awardees
Alex Catlin, 37
Supervisor of Rehab Services at MyMichigan Health - Mt. Pleasant
Leadership: I have provided physical therapy services to community members of both Gratiot and Isabella counties over the past 12 years. In the last two years I have taken on the role of supervisor of rehab services in Mt. Pleasant. Together with my team, we have been recognized as a top performer in rehab services in the Isabella County people's choice awards. We have also established a relationship with CMU athletics and are now their exclusive provider of sports medicine services.
Highlights: I have a strong passion for athletics. Being a former college athlete, I understand the importance of mentorship in youth sports. Much of the success in my life comes from following the teachings of the men and women that volunteered their time to mentor me. I feel an obligation to give back in the same way, volunteering my time as a youth football and wrestling coach. I am also actively involved in my local church on the Crisis response Team, using my skills as a physical therapist to help in emergent health situations. Most recently, I was selected for enrollment in the Rollie Denison Leadership Institute where I hope to make connections with other local leaders to see where I can use my skill set to best serve our community.
Who Knew?: I love hunting deer and Alma Scots football!
Biggest Fan: “Alex Catlin leads first and foremost through service. He is willing to step in and fill the gaps that would otherwise go unfilled. He will see the need and fill it without being asked or prompted. He truly likes to take on challenges, and I have yet to see him not overcome these challenges with professionalism and charm. Whether coaching Wrestling, Football, or volunteering with the Crisis Response Team at his church, Alex is the epitome of a leader.” - Brian Locke
Curtis Dancer, 30
Finance Director/Treasurer at City of Alma
Leadership: I was a graduate of the Gratiot Young Professionals Network's (GYPN) Inaugural Leadership Development Workshop and have since joined the GYPN's Planning Committee, serving as Treasurer. I am also the chair of the City of Alma's Parks and Recreation Committee. Additionally, my wife and I founded ZENlightenment Wellness Center in Alma and purchased RedBloom Center for Community Wellness and relocated the business to St. Louis, bringing jobs to Gratiot County and giving back to the community through donations, sponsorships, community service and volunteerism.
Highlights: I serve on the Gratiot County Community Foundation's Development Committee where we recently planned the Foundation's 30th Anniversary Celebration. I also serve on the Alma Action Association Committee and have helped plan events such as the Alma Alive and Come Home to Alma annual events. In 2022 I played a large role in the City of Alma's hosting of the Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference, serving on the planning committee, as a moderator, and as a conference speaker with the Gratiot Young Professionals Network.
Who Knew?: When I am not at work or volunteering in the community, you can usually find me working on race cars in the family shop or at a local dirt race track. I have been a dirt race car driver since 2016 following in the steps of my father and uncles who have been racing at local tracks across the state since the late 1980s.
Biggest Fan: “Curtis's work ethic and demeanor has inspired trust with his fellow department heads as the organization adjusts to the new requirements from State and/or Federal agencies. His support as Finance Director is needed in some way on all grant applications submitted from all City departments, so in essence any project within the City, Curtis has a hand in or input upon.” - Aeric Ripley
Shana Dancer, 30
Owner of ZENlightenment Wellness Center and RedBloom Center for Community Wellness
Leadership: I aim to lead by example. I make space for myself at the table and make my presence known by speaking up when I see a change that would benefit the community. When others feel as if they do not have the voice to do the same, I speak on their behalf because I strongly believe that something can be learned from everyone. After having completed the Leadership Development Workshop via the Gratiot Young Professionals Network, I discovered one of my leadership styles is Coaching. I assist others in discovering their confidence and achieving their goals.
Highlights: I opened my first holistic wellness business, ZENlightenment Wellness Center, in January 2021, in the midst of a pandemic when health was paramount. I saw a need in the community I grew up in and took it upon myself to fill that need. Wanting to expand these services, in September 2022 I purchased what is now known as RedBloom Center for Community Wellness. I strive for both locations to serve as wellness hubs within Gratiot County; we aim to either provide the service you are looking for or know who to refer you to. I also work closely with the Gratiot County Child Advocacy, specifically as part of the Gratiot County Substance and Suicide Prevention Program as the Vice Chair and the Child Abuse and Neglect Council Advisory Committee. These programs strive to increase the overall wellbeing of the community by providing education, tools, and programming to students and adults.
Who Knew?: I have traveled to nearly half of the 50 states and 3 continents.
Biggest Fan: “Between the two businesses, Shana has created over ten job opportunities in Gratiot County since she started her first business in November of 2020, during the height of the pandemic. Shana frequently donates time and resources to projects that provide opportunities to members of the community.” - Curtis Dancer
Jake Gregory, 32
Co-Executive Director, Operations, Gratiot County Hope House
Leadership: I first came to Gratiot County in 2014 to serve as Pastor of the Nazarene Church in St. Louis. This role opened my eyes to the needs of our community, specifically the growing homeless population. As a result, myself and another community Pastor, Nathan Workman, stepped up to create Gratiot County’s first homeless shelter, Gratiot County Hope House in 2018. Since that time, it has grown from a cold-weather, seasonal, entirely volunteer shelter to a full-time shelter serving more than 100 people annually with a full staff. Today Hope House is a widely respected agency in the homeless-service community.
Highlights: In addition to helping create Gratiot County Hope House, during my time serving in Gratiot County, I have been privileged to work for the betterment and wholeness of our community in a variety of ways. I helped lead the way in building a supportive relationship between our church and a local elementary school. I have worked for several years as a community leader in the Gratiot County treatment courts by serving on those teams and by providing supportive community service opportunities to participants. I have served in leadership positions and on the board of several community organizations including area non-profits and committees. One of my greatest joys these days is getting the opportunity to help destigmatize and teach about homelessness and poverty in our community through our Poverty 101 class. I have been given the opportunity to teach this class in community groups, churches, college classrooms, businesses, and healthcare training.
Who Knew?: I am an avid snowmobiler and logged over 650 miles last season.
Biggest Fan: “Jake cofounded Hope House which is a ministry that addresses homelessness in Gratiot County. He also serves on the non profit collaborative.” - Aaron Mora
Chelsea Holmes Matz, 33
Executive Director, Gratiot County Community Foundation
Leadership: I have a strong interest in the field of philanthropy and the role community foundations play in supporting communities. Growing up in Alma, I saw firsthand the hard-working ethos of this county. In every aspect of my life, the lessons learned from Gratiot County have allowed me to make a difference and be engaged in solving challenges. What I love most about my job is having the opportunity every single day to work with incredible people in Gratiot County, and to give back to the community that shaped me into who I am today. I love that my job encompasses helping lead the growth of the Foundation in creating sustainable solutions that improve communities in Gratiot County.
Highlights: The Gratiot County Community Foundation provides grants to non-profit organizations, scholarships to local students, engages volunteers, and is a community leader and convener. The Foundation has had quite an impactful year, and it is an honor to be a part of this great organization. This past year:
- More than $600,000 has been awarded in grants and scholarships.
- Awarded more than $180,000 in Scholarships to 70 local students.
- Foundation’s managed assets are around $16 million.
- There are more than 130 Funds at the Foundation that support a variety of community needs.
- The Foundation thanks its generous donors who have made a commitment to our Gratiot County community, and give back to make a difference for many organizations. I am proud of all the wonderful things the Foundation has accomplished thus far, and am looking forward to leading the Foundation to be an even greater force for good in our community.
Who Knew?: I have dual citizenship with Luxembourg! My Great Grandmother immigrated from Luxembourg, and because of her, I had the opportunity to become a citizen at the start of 2023!
Biggest Fan: “Chelsea has been among the core leaders in the development of the Gratiot Young Professionals Network. Chelsea was part of the inaugural class of the Leadership Development Workshop in 2021 and was a part of the planning and review of future Leadership Development Workshops post-graduation. Chelsea has also helped plan networking and volunteering events for the organization as a Committee Member. She actively recruits and refers young professionals to the organization and serves as an ambassador for GYPN. But most importantly, Chelsea leads by example by attending and promoting the many opportunities for community involvement within the County.” - Curtis Dancer
Carla Jensen, 38
Co-Director of the Alma College Center for College and Community Engagement
Leadership: Over the past ten years, I have had the opportunity to grow within a variety of roles at Alma College, most recently supporting the launch of the Center for College and Community Engagement (3CE). Seeking opportunities for the college to engage with mid-Michigan partners in reciprocal, mutually beneficial ways, I encourage students who have come from all over the state and beyond to engage deeply and to feel at home in mid-Michigan. Connecting with the broader Mid-Michigan community has been the most rewarding part of this journey so far.
Highlights: I am proud of the implementation of the Alma Venture program, which funds experiential learning. This program has enabled more than 1,500 students to experience internships, research, clinical, service, and study abroad as part of their college education. I know firsthand how impactful these experiences can be, and love to hear from alumni about how their experiences beyond campus have shaped their educational and professional journeys. Since the launch of the Center for College and Community Engagement, I’ve had the pleasure of working directly with community partners, including advising our student-led Alternative Breaks program that organizes service projects during college breaks (completing over 3,600 service hours in 2022-23), and supporting the team of Americorps VISTAs doing capacity building work with local nonprofit partners. Working with the City of Alma and other local entities exploring place-making strategies to enhance our region has been a highlight of my experience with the 3CE.
Who Knew?: My undergraduate internship at a university in Southeast Asia changed my career direction and led me to higher education administration. Having studied economic development as an undergraduate and city and regional planning as a graduate student prior to a decade working in higher education, my work with the 3CE feels like coming full circle, bringing together my personal, professional, and academic interests.
Biggest Fan: “Prior to co-directing the Center for College and Community Engagement, Carla launched the Alma Venture Program at Alma College. Through this program she has built and maintained pathways for students to have transformational experiences outside of the classroom in ways that positively impact their future career goals.” - Brittany Stoneman
Samantha Mitchell, 39
Center Director, Children's Discovery Academy
Leadership: I am one of the incorporating board members of Children's Discovery Academy and have served on that Board for seven years. I have been the Board Secretary for 6 years, the Communication Coordinator for 4 years, and have been the Center Director for three years. As a Board Member, I have worked with the Gratiot Community to start this nonprofit and open the childcare center. As the Director, it has been an absolute pleasure to work with aspiring young professionals in the Early Childhood field. Many apply because they love children, and it is magical to train and develop young talent as our teachers discover all the intricacies of teaching and caring for young children.
Highlights: Beyond my work with Children's Discovery Academy, I have served 7 years as a volunteer in the Alma Cub Scout Pack 3610, as the Advancement Coordinator, Committee Member, Lion Leader, Tiger Den Leader, and Cubmaster. In Scouts, I became trained as an adult leader and earned the Scouter's Training Award for Cub Scout Leaders. I also served as the Chair of the Expand Early Childhood Support and Services committee for Alma Aspires. I truly enjoy helping my community thrive by lending a helping hand wherever I can.
Who Knew?: I love to read and was in a writers club in high school where I tried my hand at poetry.
Biggest Fan: “Samantha cares deeply for children and has devoted her career to creating nurturing environments for you children to grow, learn, and thrive.” - Todd Mitchell
Rachel Molands, 30
GCSSPP Prevention Educator at Child Advocacy - Gratiot County
Leadership: I sit on the executive board for the Gratiot Young Professional Network (GYPN) and Gratiot County Optimist Club. I believe in serving our community and helping those that have been impacted by child abuse/neglect and substance misuse.
Highlights: Gratiot County Optimist of the Year, 21-22, Graduate of the GYPN Leadership Development Workshop, 2022, CASA Volunteer, 16-Present
Who Knew?: Was a member of the Chippewa Marching Band (2012, 2013, 2015). Fire up Chips!
Biggest Fan: “Rachel is a passionate professional and dedicated social justice advocate who has served in many leadership roles dedicated to public service. Rachel has been with Child Advocacy since 2018 serving in different roles within the organization. She has most recently been named the Gratiot County Substance Abuse Prevention Educator where she will be responsible for providing substance use prevention education and activities to children and their families within Gratiot County.” - Curtis Dancer
Brittany Stoneman, 32
Community Impact Manager, United Way of Gratiot & Isabella Counties
Leadership: Since returning to Gratiot County post-college, I have sought to be an engaged member of my community, through volunteer and leadership service. This has changed throughout the years as my family has grown but has included volunteering with groups such as Breckenridge FFA Alumni & Boosters, Keep Alma Beautiful, Gratiot Chamber's AgriFit Challenge, and Alma United Methodist Church. More recently, I completed the Gratiot Young Professionals Network Leadership Development Workshop and joined the GYPN planning committee to bring networking, volunteer, and leadership development events to young professionals in Gratiot County. I'm also a member of the Gratiot County Optimist Club and St. Louis-Alma Rotary Club.
Highlights: I am proud of building a career in the non-profit space, formerly at Alma College and now with United Way. As Associate Director for Career Development at Alma College I worked to prepare graduates for life after Alma, including mentoring students and providing tailored resources for career exploration, grad school prep, and career readiness. In my role with the United Way, I’ve deepened my community engaged work. I’m able to support initiatives like Alma Aspires, a strategic planning initiative for Alma and Gratiot County, in addition to working with the many non-profit agencies in Gratiot & Isabella Counties. Additionally, I’ve continued to serve as a member of the Gratiot Young Professionals Network planning committee to bring networking, volunteer, and leadership development opportunities to young professionals in Gratiot County. By showing up where the work is being done, volunteering, and making connections, I believe I am making a difference in my community.
Who Knew?: I love crafting and creating art of all kinds, including painting, sewing, collaging, and other paper crafts. A fun tradition in my family is bi-annual "quilt camps", where my family gathers to sew and craft together. I even have a tomato pin cushion tattoo as a unique memento of the special memories I have growing up sewing with my grandma, who is still leading our quilt camps and teaching our family the art of quilting.
Biggest Fan: “Brittany has helped many organizations within the community fill job openings and provide placement opportunities for Alma College students.” - Curtis Dancer
Osceola County Awardees
Nick Grein, 36
Owner, Park Street Repair
Leadership: Operating a business that serves my community.
Highlights: I’ve been self employed for 2 years. My business tries to give back to the community whenever possible.
Who Knew?: Exercise is my favorite pastime.
Biggest Fan: “Nick has supported a variety of community events through business sponsorships. He also volunteers regularly at the Osceola County Shepherd's Table in Reed City which provides meals weekly to those who need it.” - Rich Saladin
Tyler Huntey, 31
CEO - Huntley’s Clubhouse
Leadership: “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”- Theodore Roosevelt.
I try to be charitable and influential with my time. I believe that by getting the right groups of people together with the right mission, great things can be accomplished. I strive to be a positive force by leading a regional child care operation, being on the board of my local chamber of commerce and sitting as a trustee of my township.
Highlights: In the last 3 years we have expanded our childcare operation to 6 communities in our region. Huntey's Clubhouse has capacity to provide care for 750 children and has 150 team members. Providing a high- quality and reliable service to families in our communities is a proud accomplishment.
Who Knew?: I enjoy spending time with my two sons, Jude and William, and my wife Alexis. My hobbies are golfing, exercising and playing sports. I went to Central Michigan University and played on the 2015 MAC championship baseball team.
Biggest Fan: “Tyler's unwavering willingness to offer guidance and assistance to those in need, whether it be personal support or business advice, underscores his mentoring nature. His commitment to continuous learning and his role as a "student of life" showcase his dedication to personal growth and self-improvement. Tyler's approach exemplifies a mindset of perpetual curiosity and a genuine desire to help and empower others, making him a valuable asset to both his community and the business world.” - Alexis Huntley
Spencer Mund, 25
Purchasing Manager, Reed City Group
Leadership: Since January of 2021, I have been serving on the Reed City Area Public Schools Board of Education giving my perspective and leading our school district. I am also a purchasing manager at an industrial manufacturing company in Reed City. I attended Reed City High School and went to Ferris State University for my undergraduate degree. I have lived in Reed City my entire life and would like to think I am living proof that staying in one’s hometown is worth it.
Highlights: I was elected to our local school board of education as a 22-year-old recent college graduate. Being elected to represent my community was humbling. I have had many opportunities to provide leadership and governance to our school system as we strive to refine our education system to provide a diverse education with equitable opportunities to our students. I am also part owner of a real estate company that specializes in middle market single family rental homes, with the goal of filling the housing gap that exists in our region. In the fall of 2020, I began working with my business partners to start filling that gap to balance supply and demand in our community where we have made progress, but there is still a large amount of work to go.
Who Knew?: I am a car enthusiast! I have owned a few different vehicles, around fifteen since I was 16 years old and able to drive. I can often be seen reading a car magazine or searching for my next ride.
Biggest Fan: “At the young age of 23, Spencer decided he wanted to make a difference in our community and our school district. He decided to run for the Reed City Area Public Schools Board of Education. After being elected (at 23 and starting his term at age 24) we learned he was the 2nd youngest person ever elected on a school board in the state of Michigan. The youngest is just a few months younger than Spencer.” - Chris Mund
LindsAy Sandelius, 32
Director at The Eagles Nest
Leadership: I was given a blank slate to work with and an extremely supportive administration. I was able to create a safe loving environment for children where families could trust us to keep their children cared for while they could continue working and supporting this community. Many children in our care would have been forced to attend different school districts where care was available, especially before and after school. It took a lot of hard work and time but to see all of the benefits playing out for the community has been an amazing reward. Families are able to stay in the area, the school is growing, and parents are able to continue working knowing they have a safe place for their kids to go.
Highlights: I was hired by Marion Public Schools in February of 2022 to create a daycare program within the school for families in the area after a main daycare had closed down and left the area leaving families with nowhere to take their children. I started with two empty classrooms and by June 2022 we were licensed and up and running. A little over a year later we have added more spaces, have all rooms filled with children from the area, and have multiple local individuals employed with the daycare.
Who Knew?: I love collecting rocks from places I visit.
Biggest Fan: “Lindsay has a deep passion for directing a highly educational and safe place for our children in our community of Marion. As a director, she manages a 3 room center, supervising the lead teachers along with the aides. She has written several grants and has always filled in at any capacity to make the Daycare run smoothly. She has been an intricate part in making this center a success. It has brought many children to our community along with allowing parents to go back to work knowing their children have a safe place to go.” - Alicia Michell
Other Top 40 Under 40 winners in Osceola County include Dan Michell and Trevor Mund.