Vision Council

Lakes Area United Way Vision Council

Vision Council is a group of community members who come together to review applications and conduct interviews for agencies who have requested United Way funding for specific community-based programs. Through this process, Vision Council members come to understand community needs, learn about the impact that applicant agencies are making in the community, and make recommendations for how United Way funds should be utilized and invested to meet the needs of the Lakes Area.  Recommendations for funding are brought to the United Way Board of Directors who, based on the Vision Council's suggestions, approve funding for next year. 

Community needs, met by community dollars, determined by community members.



Interested in joining our 2023 Vision Council? Sign up today!


What to expect:

Vision Council Members will be asked to attend a 1-hour orientation in early to mid March (offered both in-person and virtually).

Upon completing orientation, Vision Council Members will select a day to complete program interviews and site visits the week of March 27th and 31st. Site visits will be grouped by program focus and geographic service area in Crow Wing, Cass, and Aitkin Counties.

Depending on the selected day, Vision Council Members will review applications of 4-6 local programs applying for Partner Program funding, and conduct site visits* of those programs on the selected Vision Council Date. Following site visits, Vision Council Members score programs based on community need, program impact, and agency financial accountability. Site visits, scoring, and final funding recommendations will be facilitated by Vision Council Captains, who will then present final recommendations to the Lakes Area United Way Board of Directors.

*Site Visits will take place in-person in 2023 as appropriate. We understand not all programs may be able to facilitate in-person visits due to client privacy concerns, COVID-19 precautions, or because the nature of their services may be remote or in-home. In such instances, site visits may be replaced by in-person or remote interviews. Further, Vision Council Members will be required to abide by the masking and other applicable health guidelines of the programs they are visiting for the safety and respect of all involved.


Thank you to members of our 2022 Vision Council:

Pam Finch, Red Ribbon Consulting (Captain)

Jill Casper, Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union (Captain)

Darren Larson, First Western Bank (Captain)

Kara Griffin, Crow Wing County (Captain)

Quinn Swanson, Happy Dancing Turtle (Captain)

Nicole Converse, Brainerd Chamber of Commerce

Morgan Hanegraaf, Crow Wing County

Lori Elwood, ATEK Companies

Carol Johnson, Retired

Jessica Seibert, Aitkin County

Jason Mellenthin, U.S. Bank

Kara Terry, Crow Wing County

Jenna Pettit, Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union

Karen Johnson, Essentia Health

Heidi Hagen, Pequot Lakes Public Schools

Tammy Mulroy, Crow Wing County

Lynn Severson, Essentia Health

Shawn Hansen, The Outreach Program

Rachal Johnson, Bremer Bank

Daryl Doucette, Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union

Anne Soberg, Crow Wing County

Shannon Wussow, Mid-Minnesota Women's Center

Danny Goerges, Pequot Manufacturing

Sarah Speer, Sourcewell

Margaret Healy, Retired

Shelia Skogen, Crow Wing County

Beth Frost, ATEK Companies

Trevor Haasch, Schroeder's Appliance/Phil's Heating and Air Conditioning

Laura Goerges, Pequot Manufacturing

Jenny Hill, Happy Dancing Turtle

Kari Eckman, Crow Wing County