Profile Q & A focuses on Zonta Club of Midland

In the fourth of a series about local service organizations and their impact on our community, Catalyst interviews Lindsey McMacken, president of the Zonta Club of MIdland. The club is a member of Zonta International, an international service organization, first formed by a group of businesswomen over 100 years ago.

McMacken has been married to her husband Gavin for 13 years. They have a son, Gideon, who’s 9. They moved to Michigan 12 years ago for her job in the energy sector, currently as a sales manager for GE Vernova (formally General Electric). She works from home, but does travel for her job to power plants. 
She is the current president of the Zonta Club of Midland and the public relations chair for the Plymouth Elementary PTO. She also helps with her church’s youth program and is a member of the Midland 100 Club.

Q.  You are the president of the Zonta Club of Midland, which has a long and storied history in Midland. Tell us a little about how you got here, or how any aspiring leader can achieve this privilege?

A. I had been looking for a service club and a coworker asked me to join Zonta. After I joined, I got involved with a committee, then accepted a committee chair position. Zonta has a progressive leadership program, so I accepted the position of 2nd VP, moving to VP, and then to president.

 Zonta Club of MIdland members recently volunteered at the Midland's Open Door
Q. We know that Zonta first came to Midland in 1947, but tell us a little more about the club and what projects are upcoming, say in the next year? How did it get its initial start? 

A. During our annual Homewalk, we raise funds in order to give service grants to community non-profits and scholarships for women who are returning to school. Our yearly program through Zonta International, Zonta Says No! – 16 days of activism begins in late November each year. We promote gender equality and ending gender-based violence through education and advocacy.
Q. I think everyone is familiar with the Midland Zonta Homewalks occurring in Midland, but probably know little about what it is. Is it a fundraiser, a PR event, a social event, or these and other things?

A. The annual Zonta Homewalk, which will be the 43rd year this year, is our annual fundraiser. It is always the first weekend in December and showcases multiple houses each year for the community.  We work with designers and our generous homeowners each year to find unique houses and highlight their features.  Last year, we gave $15,000 in scholarships and $13,000 for local service grants. We also were able to give to Zonta International to help support their efforts with the United Nations with women and girls’ issues. It is definitely a social event as well, we consistently have over 500 people a year come to the houses. 
Q.  Service clubs are different in a lot of ways from other types of organizations, in that developing camaraderie and friendships are made to last generations, as well as providing resources to help the community. How does Zonta fit in among them? I noticed you have social and business meetings. 

A. We do have two formal meetings a month, our business meetings are during lunch, and our social meetings are dinner. We have speakers or events during the social meetings. We also have informal events where we get together for different events - wine tasting, volunteering, watching movies, etc. We like to work hard to raise funds and promote advocacy, but also like to have a lot of fun together.

 Zonta Club of Midland annually presents the Home Walk in early December.
Q. The Zonta Club of Midland has a couple of affiliated youth organizations at Midland High School and Northwood. How do all your organizations rely on another for support? 

A. We sponsor both the Z Club at Midland High School and the Golden Z Club at Northwood University to promote young women and men to promote healthy relationships and end gender-based violence among students and more. They each have mentors from our clubs, but each club has their own leadership and makes decisions about what they do to promote their clubs and ending gender-based violence.

Q.  If someone wanted to join this club, what would you tell them about what they could expect?

A. They can expect to join a group of women who all are working together to build a better world for women and girls. We have women in so many professions, which is great for networking.  When you join, you have a sponsor and a mentor, so there are two members right away for you to get to know. I’ve met some great friends through Zonta. We have different committees to join, whether it’s Fundraising, Mission, Membership or Operations.  You can be involved with one or multiple committees.
Q. According to your website, advocacy, such as against violence against women and human trafficking plays a large role in the identity of the group. Tell us how Zonta helps with local, state, national and international efforts?

A. Locally we do events to showcase the issues with violence against women and human trafficking. We helped through other local Zonta Clubs within Michigan to end child marriage. We are working throughout the USA to end child marriage in all states. Through Zonta International, every biennium we support international service projects, including programs in Peru, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste, Madagascar and ending child marriage in 12 countries in Africa and Asia.

Q.  Tell us a little about how Zonta considers scholarships and support for local projects.

A. We work with the Midland Area Community Foundation for our scholarships for women who want to return for higher education.  Our grants are open to local non-for-profits that support programs for women and girls. 
Q.  How does one get involved in helping or suggesting projects, even if they aren’t the joining type?

A. If someone has a project that supports women and girls, even if they don’t think they want to join, they can always contact us with their suggestions!  We are always open to getting involved with the community.  You can go to our website or send an email to:

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Read more articles by Ralph E. Wirtz.

Ralph E. Wirtz is a native Midlander who retired from the Midland Daily News as a managing editor in 2015. He has been freelancing since then in between traveling and volunteering. He has four adult children, all who graduated from Bullock Creek High School as he did. He is an eight-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and a Central Michigan University grad. He can be reached at