Board Member Spotlight: David Kooda

“I moved to Grand Rapids in 1995 with my wife and three-week-old daughter, Erika.  We quickly became part of a community that provided opportunities, helped us raise our two daughters, and drove us both to give back.  We enjoy the lakes and outdoors along with the entertainment and arts opportunities this community provides.”

What inspired you to be involved with United Way?

Through United Way presentations and serving on the board of a recipient organization, I grew to understand how deliberate United Way is in allocating money to critical community needs. Helping individuals and families in a time of need not only addresses a social obligation, but also improves both the tax base and participation in the local economy. United Way uses many hours of volunteer time to identify where money and other resources can have the most impact, making it easy for donors to know their investment in the community has a meaningful impact.

What is the most rewarding thing you have taken from this experience?

I’m very new on the board, but I’ve already gotten my employer involved with one of the United Way-supported agencies. I’m looking forward to being part of making connections between those who want to give back and those with real need.

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


What impresses you most about the Itasca Area?

Water, water, everywhere!

What is one thing about United Way that you think most people don’t know?

I don’t think most people realize how much of their money goes to local organizations and that even the local administrative dollars provide a big benefit to local nonprofits.

What advice would you give to a potential donor who is considering investing in United Way?

Giving back to the community helps not only individual recipients, but really everyone who participates in the community, including you. It’s great to give to individual entities that you support, but if you really want to make sure the investment has an impact, United Way is an obvious choice.