We are excited to feature Justine Hees this month in our Volunteer Spotlight. She has been a valuable OCF board member since 2021; this year, she is acting as board secretary. Eight years ago, Justine moved from Rhode Island to Northern Michigan, settling in her husband’s hometown of Gaylord. Justine uses her professional background in manufacturing process engineering, working in the family business, Monarch Millwork. She and her husband have two sons, ages 4 and 5. Like many transplants to Otsego County, Justine enjoys the sense of community, the year-round activities, and the family-friendly atmosphere of this area.  

It is generous volunteers like Justine, who share their unique experiences, knowledge, and perspectives with the board, that make the OCF better positioned to serve Otsego County.

“Justine brings a fresh perspective, genuine interest, innovative ideas, and is always willing to do the work.”

Dana Bensinger, OCF Exective Director

Thank you, Justine, for all you do to improve our community!  

Here is what Justine has to say about her time with the OCF:  

  • What do you love about Otsego County?  

I love the sense of community in Otsego County. There’s a lot going on, and residents are committed to getting out and enjoying all four seasons. I love the hidden gem of the Community Garden, the wealth of resources offered by the library, and the variety of activities to find at the Sportsplex, to name a few of our favorite community spots. It’s a great place to raise our family. 

  • Why did you say YES to the OCF? 

I joined the OCF board to become more involved in the community and learn about philanthropy. Not knowing what to expect, I have been humbled to witness the generosity of donors in our community, the essential work our local nonprofits do daily, and the leadership the OCF provides by bringing both together to move the needle forward on critical issues in our community.  

It is an honor to work alongside other OCF board members, staff, and volunteers in efforts to improve the place we live.