Josh Kirshman

Name

Josh Kirshman

Company/Organization

United Way of Southwest Michigan

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What Does Your Company/Organization Do?

United Way of Southwest Michigan fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community. We have the influence and relationships to make sustainable change a reality. By harnessing resources from corporate, nonprofit, and public partners, we provide immediate assistance to our most vulnerable populations while addressing the root causes of our community’s longstanding challenges and changing lives for the better.

Age

35

Accomplishments

  • 2015 Michigan Pizza Hut Area Manager of the Year, various leadership awards through Pizza Hut
  • MAUW (Michigan Association of United Ways) 5 Under 35

What else do you hope to accomplish by the age of 40?

When I am 40, I want to be able to look back and see that I have grown in my relationship with Christ and have exemplified him well before my children. I hope that over the next 5 years I can help United Way create lasting changes throughout our communities.

Education

Attended various courses at Lake Michigan College, I am proud to be self-taught and being educated on the job.

Residence

Coloma, MI

Where were you born?

Lakeview, MI

What was your first job?

Dishwasher at Pizza Hut

Best advice you ever got?

It wasn’t direct advice, however, when watching a video that a co-worker produced at United Way about volunteering, Bertha Carson-King’s words knocked the wind out of me. “When you give of yourself, your life is the only Bible many people will ever read, and all people want to know is do you care about me?” Those words have made a lasting impression on how I view my actions and live my life.

Who inspires you most?

Family and friends have imprinted their thumbprint of inspiration and influence over my life. My most active influencer is my wife. She has loved and supported me through many changes and has pushed me to be a better husband and father.

That one thing about you we’d be most surprised to learn.

I am pretty much an open book, what you see is what you get!

What do you love to do in your downtime?

Working on wood building projects in my garage with my two boys. I love seeing their creativity!

What book are you reading now?

My wife and I are doing a 30-day shred. We are about halfway through reading the Bible in 30 days!

Volunteer activity you love the most.

I enjoy volunteering at my church, helping with audio and video on Sundays, or creating automation through the church website. I enjoy assisting area churches to improve their IT infrastructure.

What motivates you to give back to your community?

Working at United Way, I see the needs within Southwest Michigan. The community is depending on us to make a difference. More importantly, 1 John 4:11 reads; “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” I’m motivated by God’s love for me and try to share that same kind of love with others in the hope that His love will shine through me.

What Superpower would you most love to have?

The inner child in me still wants to run as fast as The Flash!

What has been the most eye-opening thing about the coronavirus pandemic for you, personally?

How true the statement “we are all in this together” really is. When United Way put out the need for Southwest Michigan, people stepped up. It wasn’t just a couple of people. We received calls, messages, and emails asking a simple question, “What can I do?” In difficult times, Southwest Michigan steps up, and their spirit keeps our community strong.

What does the honor of being named to the 40 Under 40 most mean to you?

Working at United Way, I have learned so much about our community and how much their work means to so many people. I am grateful to be part of an organization that cares so deeply for those in the community. It is a privilege to be alongside so many others that work to strengthen Southwest Michigan. I give back to my community to make people’s lives better and I don’t expect to be noticed for that. I am humbled to have my friends notice that effort and nominate me, it truly means a lot.