United Way Welcomes New Board Members

United Way of 1000 Lakes is proud to announce new and returning members to the 2021-22 Board of Directors, effective July 15, 2021. This group of local leaders brings experience, knowledge, passion, and a deep commitment to forwarding the mission of United Way. The organization is excited to welcome two new members to the Board of Directors:

  • David Kooda, I.T. Manager with Lake Country Power
  • Danielle Witherill, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones

Changes to the Board of Directors are coming at an exciting time, as United Way is in the process of developing a new strategic plan and refined impact priorities based on the results of a Community Needs Assessment. Members of the Board of Directors provide leadership and input on the organization’s pursuit of its mission, as well as sitting on committees that guide resource development, communications, financials, and other aspects of United Way’s work.

“We’re glad to welcome these new members to our Board of Directors,” says executive director Kim Brink Smith. “Their experience and deep care for their community will prove invaluable as they help move our organization into the future.”

New board members include: 

David Kooda: David Kooda is Manager of Information Technologies at Lake Country Power, where he’s worked for the past 14 years. Kooda has 38 years of experience working in information technology, including six years as Chief Technology Officer at a tech startup, and holds has a graduate degree from Western Michigan University and an undergraduate degree from Bemidji State University. Kooda and his wife have lived in the Grand Rapids area for over 20 years, where they raised two daughters and take advantage of the opportunities to get involved in the arts and outdoor recreation.

Danielle Witherill: Danielle Witherill is a financial advisor with Edward Jones, where she helps clients achieve their financial goals. Prior to working with Edward Jones, Witherill received a Business Administration degree at North Dakota State University and worked in banking. Danielle and her husband live in her hometown of Grand Rapids, where they raised triplet daughters and enjoy partaking in the outdoor activities the area has to offer.


These new members join the current United Way Board of Directors: 

Alie McInerney, Board President, Blandin Foundation; Dr. Leanna McBride, Board Vice-President, Grand Dental Center; Jeff Dingman, Board Treasurer, Max Gray Construction; Christina Monson, Board Secretary, Socrates AI; Amanda Kluge, Board Past President, Minnesota Power; Shannon Benolken, Park State Bank; Madeline Cook, North in Bloom; Rick Fannin, Minnesota Power; Becky Lauer, Itasca County Family & Child Serves; Bill Martinetto, Rapids Brewing Co.; Jeff Niemala, Niemala Mediation; Jordan Weis, Guardian Flight & Weisguy Images.

United Way also recognizes outgoing Board members Luke Francisco and John Stemper for the wisdom and commitment they brought to their tenure on the Board.

United Way’s work wouldn’t be possible without our Board of Directors. To learn more about United Way’s leadership, read our Board Member Spotlight series.