Board Member Spotlight: Brad Zumbaum

Brad came to the Grand Rapids area in January of 2013 from South Dakota and opened Itasca Tax & Consulting. He joined the United Way of 1000 Lakes board in March of 2014. In his spare time, Brad officiates football and lacrosse games for local high schools and community colleges and enjoys spending time outdoors exploring the Northwoods with his wife, April.

What inspired you to be involved with United Way?
Coming from out of state, I wanted to find a way to learn about the area and get to know the people who make up this community. It turned out to be a great way to meet people and use my profession to give back to my new community.

What is the most rewarding thing you have taken from this experience?
The most rewarding thing is being a part of the Community Investment Panel. I was a part of the “Income and Basic Needs” committee and it was very rewarding to see firsthand the work that these agencies are doing to better the Itasca area. Seeing the people who work in the trenches every day helped me understand the urgency of our work and made it really meaningful.

What is one word you would use to sum up United Way’s work?

What impresses you most about Itasca?
The thing that sticks out to me is the optimism of the people who live here, regardless of the situation that they’re facing.

What is one thing about United Way that you think most people don’t know?
I don’t think that people realize the scope of work we do year-round. While our campaign is a major focus, we do more work than the campaign season. For example, we have Day of Action for volunteers in June, the Lumberjack Breakfast in September, etc. We offer more to people year-round than raising and distributing money. There are a lot of ways to volunteer and be involved.

What advice would you give to a potential donor who is considering investing in United Way?
A gift to United Way of 1000 Lakes is the best way to impact multiple organizations who need support. Donor’s dollars can go to education, health, income and basic needs with just one donation. It’s the most effective way to give one gift and have it make an impact on a broader basis and benefit more people.