Board Spotlight: David Kooda

Dave Kooda moved to Grand Rapids in 1995 with his wife and three-week-old daughter, Erika. They quickly became part of a community that provided opportunities, helped them raise their two daughters, and drove them both to give back. Dave and his family enjoy the lakes and outdoors and the community’s entertainment and arts opportunities.

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 addresses a social obligation and 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?
Meeting and working with other volunteers, board members, and the employees of the organizations that United Way supports has impressed upon me how many people work hard to make our little spot “up north” a better place for everyone.

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

What impresses you most about the Itasca Area?
Water, water, everywhere!

What is one thing about United Way 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 local administrative dollars greatly benefit local nonprofits.

What advice would you give to a potential donor considering investing in United Way?
Giving back to the community helps individual recipients and everyone who participates in the community, including you. It’s great to give to individual entities you support, but if you want to make sure the investment has an impact, United Way is an obvious choice.