Michigan Gateway Community Foundation
What Does Your Company/Organization Do?
MGCF is a grant-making public charity that is dedicated to improving the lives of people in south Berrien and Cass Counties. We bring together the financial resources of individuals, families, and businesses to support effective nonprofits in their communities through grants and scholarships.
- 2020 Buchanan Area Chamber Organization of the Year
- 2016 Elkhart Leadership Academy graduate
What else do you hope to accomplish by the age of 40?
My goal is to be a good steward of resources for our community and continue to grow as a person. I hope to lead our community foundation to an endowment that exceeds $30M by my 40th birthday.
- Bachelors Degree from Western Michigan University
- Sales and Business Management
- Minor – Business Administration
Where were you born?
What was your first job?
Buchanan Feed Mill
Best advice you ever got?
Trust people. No one’s goals, business, and life are self-contained. If you must always assume that someone is out to stick it to you, you’ll never achieve anything. Furthermore, if you can’t trust, you can’t delegate, which limits you. You may get burned sometimes, but by trusting people, you actually help them step up to be worthy of that trust.
Who inspires you most?
That one thing about you we’d be most surprised to learn.
I play mandolin in a local band.
What do you love to do in your downtime?
Fly fish and play/listen to music
What book are you reading now?
Independence Day by Richard Ford
Volunteer activity you love the most.
Planting trees with the Buchanan Tree Friends
What motivates you to give back to your community?
It is scientifically proven that giving to others creates positive feelings for yourself. I have made it my mission to continuously give to others with no expectation of return. That blind faith has made all of the difference in my personal happiness and well-being.
What Superpower would you most love to have?
To be able to fly!
What has been the most eye-opening thing about the coronavirus pandemic for you, personally?
While all of the news is overwhelmingly negative, I have also seen people go out of their way to help others. For instance, when West Winds caught on fire in December. We saw the entire community come out and help people they had never met. It was heartwarming and only one of many stories of our community’s selflessness.
What does the honor of being named to the 40 Under 40 most mean to you?
It’s a culmination of other people’s hard work, frankly. No one in this world is successful without the help of friends and family. While this is an award I am proud to receive, I like to believe it’s an award recognizing all of my friends, family and colleagues for what they have done to help me be successful.