Special Thanks to Trumpie Photography
Vice President, Community Outreach and Engagement
As the current president and CEO of Capital Area United Way, Teresa has led the staff team and managed organizational resources since 2008. She joined the organization in 2001 and previously served as chief operating officer and a member of the campaign team. Teresa believes that community relationships and collaborations with networks of diverse constituencies create the platform for community change. Teresa’s professional ambition stems from implementing strategies that improve conditions for families and households in Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties. Transparency and accountability drives her leadership style and creates operational and fiscal integrity. She holds a master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in nonprofit administration from Western Michigan University and a bachelor of arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences with a concentration in developmental psychology and gerontological sociology from Purdue University. She is an active member of the Rotary Club of Lansing and in her spare time Teresa enjoys traveling, especially to Disney, running, reading and spending time with her husband John and their kids, John Alex and Kaitlin and the family’s two dogs.
Merry joined the staff of the United Way as Administrative Assistant to Community Investment and Fund Development in April 2017. Merry has a long history of non-profit and human services experience and joined the team after a long tenure with Make-A-Wish Michigan. She also managed the State of Michigan HIV/AIDS Drug Assistance and Dental Program for ten years prior. Merry has teaching degrees in Speech, Health Education, Music and Radio and Television broadcasting. She is a huge movie buff and a professional singer. Merry lives in DeWitt with her son Blaine and three adorable felines, Oliver, Katie and Gibson.
As chief financial officer since 2011, Jim is responsible for overseeing all financial operations of the organization. He is a certified public accountant and previously served as controller for a local insurance agency for 11 years and worked for 10 years at Maner Costerisan CPAs. He is an active member of the Lansing-area community and volunteers during the tax season preparing tax returns at the local VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program and assists low-income residents in preparing their annual returns to maximize refunds. He also serves on the Asset Independence Coalition Board of Directors. Jim received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Michigan State University. He resides in Haslett with his wife Jean and has two children.
Glenn was appointed AFL-CIO Community Services Labor Liaison in 1999. His work at CAUW includes serving on numerous boards and committees, encouraging labor representation on local nonprofit boards and committees and stimulating labor participation in community programs. He also assists with the annual fall fundraising campaign and helps union members, their families and citizens in time of need, including building handicapped ramps for the elderly and disabled. Additionally, Glenn oversees the local Emergency Food & Shelter Program which distributes federal dollars to local resources for emergencies and disasters, and the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). His lifetime of service ranges from Boy Scouts to food drives, medical access advocacy to housing issues…and of course fundraising. He held positions at Ford Motors and General Motors and worked in construction and in the pharmaceutical industry. Glenn is an Eaton County Commissioner and serves as the vice chair of the Ways and Means Committee of Eaton County. He also is president of the Greater Lansing Labor Council. Glenn currently serves on the Capital Area Community Services (CACS), the board of the Greater Lansing Food Bank and is a member of the Capital Area Michigan Works Workforce Development Board and Administration Board. He and his wife Sherry have 4 children, five grandchildren and he enjoys fishing, hunting and gardening.
Pat joined the staff in 2008 after serving as fiscal manager of the State Employees Charitable Campaign at the Michigan Association of United Ways. She oversees agency relations and serves as chief liaison with more than 70 affiliated agencies and many more non-affiliated community service nonprofits. Pat holds responsibility for overseeing and facilitating CAUW’s community investment and collaborative efforts, grant making and allocations process. As such, she leads the recruitment and training of close to 100 community volunteers who make recommendations for funding almost $1 million dollars to local health and human service programs. Before joining the team, Pat had tenure on the staff of the Michigan State Legislature as a research analyst and Ingham Regional Medical Center as community relations coordinator. Patricia earned a master’s degree in Public Health with a concentration on community health education from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and a bachelor of arts from Ferris State College (now Ferris State University) in Big Rapids, Mich. She has an identical twin sister and has lived in the greater Lansing area for 25 years. She enjoys literary nonfiction, running and watching Turner Classic Movies.
Michelle returned to Capital Area United Way in April 2014 after a 15-year intermission when managed her own public relations consulting firm, Lantz Communications. Her professional passion includes building capacity in nonprofits using strategic communications and expanding the scope of the fund development process. Michelle’s career began at the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce where her curiosity about the value of community collaboration sprouted. She holds an accreditation in public relations through the Public Relations Society of America and served as chair of numerous national, regional and local boards and committees of the society during her 25-year career. She also served in staff and volunteer roles for Care Free Medical & Dental and St. Michael’s Parish and School in Grand Ledge and volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Lansing, Junior Achievement of Mid-Michigan and currently serves on the board of the Rotary Club of Lansing Foundation. She holds a master’s degree in Public Relations and bachelor’s in Communications from Michigan State University and enjoys ballroom dancing, reading historical fiction and chasing around her dog Ryker. Michelle has two sons whose interests lead her to numerous athletic and musical events.
Maryann is the associate director of Finance & Operations and has served on staff since March 2010. She oversees the processing of accounts payables, receivables and pledge bill reminders, grant payouts and designation payouts along with producing accompanying reports. Maryann also processes incoming pledges…preparing data for program entry and proofing data to assure accuracy. Before joining the team, Maryann worked part time and holds an associate’s degree in Accounting from Lansing Community College. She worked a short time in the profession prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom while her children were young. She and husband Dennis have two children and are proud to call Lansing home
Nick joined the team as associate director of fund development in June 2012. In this role he serves as liaison to hundreds of local businesses and organizations and helps plan their employee fundraising campaigns. He often makes presentations about united way and speaks to new businesses about the value of partnerships. Additionally, he is responsible for monitoring the campaign’s financial progress. Before joining CAUW, Nick worked at Central Michigan 2-1-1, united way’s helpline for resources in the community, where he assisted approximately 50,000 callers during his five years of service. Nick served on the board of directors of The NorthWest Initiative and New Way In and is a former member of the Delta-Waverly Rotary Club. Born and raised in metro Detroit, Nick is proud to call Lansing home with his wife Kelli and new baby Crosby.
Paula is the administrative assistant for Executive and Finance. She assists in the overall administrative support for finance and administrative departments within the organization. Prior to starting at CAUW in 2015, Paula was the administrative assistant for the Greater Lansing Catholic Education Foundation where she provided assistance to families for tuition and provided donor relations communication assistance. She’s been married to her wonderful husband Robb for 28 years and has four children and one grandchild. Paula is also very involved with her church and family. Facebook: Paula Minich McKay Twitter: @mommasunami
Dean is the appointed labor liaison for the Capital Area UAW CAP Council and helps coordinate worksite employee fundraising campaigns at many of the area automotive suppliers and local union halls. He also provides outreach services for workers who receive layoff notices at local facilities. Prior to receiving this appointment, Dean served as the Community Services chair of UAW Local 724 for 12 years. He helps coordinate the Old Newsboys fundraising drives, Toys for Tots coat drives and engages Local 724 volunteers for the Day of Caring. Dean is very active in community activities, including Walk for Warmth, Making Strides for Breast Cancer and the Volunteers of America Homeless Veterans Stand Down to name a few. Dean and his wife Janet have 2 daughters, 11 grandchildren and 1 great-granddaughter. He enjoys spending time with family, working outside in the yard, attending his grandchildren’s activities, MSU sporting events and fishing.
Robin is the Community Investment Associate who organizes the process of enrolling local agencies as affiliates and into the SECC (State of Michigan employees), MSU Community Charitable Campaign and CFC (federal employees) campaigns. Robin also organizes grant applications received by United Way and complies data and reports on the outcomes of our grant-funded programs to confirm that donor dollars are being used appropriately. Prior to starting at CAUW in 2016, Robin was the contracts administrator for the Early Childhood Investment Corporation and oversaw the Great Start Collaborative grants and later the Great Start to Quality Resource Center grants. Robin has a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration from the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, KS. Robin is active in her church community and serves on the Women’s Event Team. She has been married to her husband Kevin for 31.5 years and they have two children. Facebook: Robin S. Ross
Theresa started in 1991 as a communications support staffer before moving into her current position in 2003. She is responsible for marketing and communications, graphic design, media relations, social media and website maintenance. Prior to joining the team, Theresa was employed at Michigan Merchants Council, a lobbying firm in Lansing. Theresa has lived in Lansing since moving here from Mt. Pleasant in 1981 to attend Michigan State University. She is active in her church, St. John Student Parish, and volunteers at the Jack Breslin Cancer Center. She is married to Mark, a Lansing Community College professor and is mother to two children: son Cameron and daughter Celina. Theresa is also proud to be a breast cancer survivor and participates in many cancer walks in the community. When she is not working she enjoys cross-stitching, reading and spending time in Ludington.
Michele Strasz is the Executive Director of the Capital Area College Access Network providing strategic leadership to the community collaborative dedicated to improving college attainment in the region. Ms. Strasz is a professional child advocate with 30 years experience in children’s public policy. She is recognized statewide for her expertise in community collaboration, grassroots mobilization, and youth and parent advocacy. Ms. Strasz is a veteran mom of two young adult sons who have survived the college-going process.
David joined the Capital Area United Way working within the Fund Development Office in April, 2018. He has always enjoyed working and volunteering within the non-profit sector, and values the opportunity to make significant community impacts on multiple different levels through diverse channels that include corporate and individual entities alike. In his role he emphasizes the importance of, constructs and stewards mutually-beneficial, enduring partnerships between the United Way and its surrounding corporate/business communities, which lead to progressive and positive societal transformation. David received his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in 2002 and his MBA from Davenport University in 2012, has a history working within the government, sales, higher education, fundraising/development and professional sports industries, and enjoys creating lasting, impactful relationships. He serves on a number of community-centric boards and resides in East Lansing with his wife and daughter.