New Leaders Join the OCCF

The Otsego County Community Foundation (OCCF) announces five new members have joined its Board of Directors.

Retired District Court Judge Patricia Morse joins the OCCF with experience. Morse worked with the Gaylord Community Schools Education Fund in the 1990’s just as that fund became part of the newly formed OCCF. She knows the Foundation “has the pulse of the community and it identifies where resources should be directed. I want to be part of that mission.”

Local business leader Scott Chesley of Michigan Network Realtors adds a wealth of knowledge of this area to the board. Chesley hopes to “help build endowed funds that benefit so many individuals and non-profits.”

Gaylord Community Schools Superintendent Brian Pearson represents the education sector of our county. Pearson formerly served on the Foundation’s Education Committee, and continues to be drawn to the organization’s “commitment to providing support for today as well as building human and financial capacity for the future.”

St. Mary Cathedral Schools math teacher Liz Reynolds joins the board as well. “As an OCCF Board Member and a donor advised fund participant, I look forward to making Otsego County an even better place to live,” Reynolds said.

Gaylord High School freshman Sara Daugherty is the Youth Advisory Committee board representative. YAC is comprised of student representatives from the county’s school districts who oversee grant making from the permanently endowed Youth Fund. Sara is dedicated to YAC because of “the opportunities it gives to help provide for the area’s youth’s needs.”

“I am excited these individuals are willing to dedicate their time and talents to the Foundation. I look forward to working with them and watching how their contributions will expand our Foundation’s positive impacts on Otsego County,” noted OCCF Board Chair Paul Slough.

Other board members include Vice Chair Bill Forreider, Treasurer Bill Marshall, Secretary Mary Tomaski, Barb Brown, Renee Campbell, Eryn Collins, Bob Courtois, Paul Hartmann, Lisha Ramsdell, Janice Lampert, Celeste Szymanski, and Susan Walters.

The mission of the OCCF is to enhance the quality of life for all citizens by building endowments, awarding grants and convening leaders. To learn about board and volunteer opportunities at the OCCF, contact Executive Director Dana Bensinger at (989) 732-0597 or visit

Newly elected board members (L. to R.) Liz Reynolds, Scott Chesley, Pat Morse, and Brian Pearson gather in the Otsego County Community Foundation office at 316 W. Main in Gaylord. Youth Advisory Committee Board Representative Sara Daugherty was unavailable for the photograph.