Kelly has been part of the YMOW mission since 2002 and a member of the board since 2013.
While working full time and taking night classes, Kelly earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from the Detroit College of Business and University of Alabama at Birmingham, respectively.
After a career spent largely in operations management, Kelly accepted a job as Director of Operations at Food Gatherers in 2000. It was then that she discovered the role of YMOW in feeding the Ypsilanti area’s homebound residents.
When her career took her to the Huron Valley Humane Society, Kelly helped to initiate the Bountiful Bowls program through which YMOW supplies pet owners with food and other necessities. She also serves on YMOW’s Executive and Events and Fundraising committees.
Kelly currently works as commuter services specialist with the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority’s getDowntown Program, promoting walking, cycling, carpooling, vanpooling and of course, riding the bus as alternatives to driving.
“I work hard to live what I preach, so I often walk, ride my bike or take the bus to work, events and meetings when possible,” Kelly said.
She is equally dedicated to the work of YMOW.
“Accessibility to food and other supportive services is paramount for our aging and disabled population. I’m committed to helping the staff and volunteers find new and better ways to enhance and improve the lives of the people served by YMOW,” Kelly said.
Kelly and her wife, Kristin, are Ann Arbor residents. They support several local non-profit organizations, including Ozone House and Food Gatherers.
A lifelong resident of Ypsilanti, Dieter Otto joined the YMOW Board of Directors in 2016. But his support for the organization began years before.
Dieter’s relationship with YMOW began in the 1980s, when his family’s business, Bob & Otto’s Service in Ypsilanti, began servicing YMOW’s vehicles. That relationship deepened in 2008 when Otto’s father began receiving meals
“YMOW was one of the support organizations that allowed me to take care of my father at home. By serving on the board, I could not have chosen a better way to give back,” said, Dieter, a member of YMOW’s Events and Fundraising Committee. “I have seen the positive impact that YMOW has had on the people of Eastern Washtenaw County. YMOW has a mission I believe in.”
DIeter is currently employed as Director of Custodial, Grounds, Motor Pool, and Waste Management at his alma mater, Eastern Michigan University, where he studied technology and business.
In addition to YMOW, Dieter serves on the board of the Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority and leads the group’s grants committee. He represents EMU in the Washtenaw Area Transportation Study and chairs its technical board. Dieter also is active with the Ypsilanti/Eastern Michigan Town and Gown, which works to foster the relationship between Ypsilanti and EMU, as well as The Forum, a network of local business leaders and representatives of EMU.
After retiring from a career as professor in the Department of World Languages (TESOL/ESL) Department at Eastern Michigan University, Cathy joined the Meals on Wheels Board of Directors in 2016 as a way to give back to her community.
Even before joining the YMOW board, Cathy was a longtime financial supporter of YMOW and a regular attendee at the annual Holiday Home Tour. She also sits on the YMOW Events and Fundraising Committee.
“There’s a real need for what Meals on Wheels provides,” said Cathy, who wishes more people knew that Meals on Wheels isn’t only for low-income seniors, but for anyone who lacks the mobility to shop and prepare meals.
“It gives people one less thing to worry about,” she said, while providing two of life’s necessities – food and human contact.
In addition to YMOW, Day volunteers at the Ypsilanti Thrift Shop and with the Ladies Literary Club, which offers scholarships to help female Ypsilanti High School graduates pay for study at Eastern Michigan and Washtenaw Community College.
Cathy is a longtime resident of Ypsilanti who loves to travel, practice Tai Chi and walk her Shetland sheepdog, Cherry. As a pet owner, Cathy said she’s proud of YMOW’s AniMeals program, which provides pet food, supplies and veterinary care for clients’ four-legged companions.
Paula Dykstra joined the YMOW Board of Directors shortly after her retirement in 2014. She now serves as board treasurer and is a member of YMOW’s Executive and Finance and Governance Committees.
A graduate of Michigan State University, Paula earned her master’s degree in developmental psychology from Purdue and an MBA in finance from EMU. She worked several years for two state bar associations before beginning a 30-year career in enrollment and registration/records for three major universities.
Paula became an advocate for seniors as a member of the Housing Bureau for Seniors board several years before joining YMOW.
“YMOW is vital to the health and well-being of our low-income seniors. We provide a lifeline to many of these people and the need is only growing as the population ages,” said Paula, who said she is grateful for the opportunity to support YMOW’s mission.
A resident of Ypsilanti, Paula also volunteers with the Friends of the Ypsi District library. She is enjoying a new career as an independent travel agent specializing in all-inclusive resorts, cruises and land tours.
Susan’s role with YMOW is a natural extension of her work as a registered dietitian.
“I wanted to use my skills and talents for the better of the Ypsilanti community,” said Susan, who became a member of the YMOW Board of Directors in 2016. She also is part of YMOW’s Marketing and Communications Committee.
Susan earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, respectively.
She is program manager and director of the dietetics program at the UM School of Public Health in the Nutritional Sciences Department. Having worked with many sectors of the community throughout her career, Susan has a particular interest in food insecurity, community and educational gardens and the prevention of childhood obesity.
Susan also serves on the YMOW Marketing and Communications Committee and the board of Food Gatherers. She gives her time to Hope Clinic, Home of New Vision Recovery and other non-profit organizations.
Susan lives in Ann Arbor with her husband Keith, their dog Phife, and cat Fiona. She and Keith have three grown children. Susan loves to run, hike, garden, read, travel and cook.
Terry joined the YMOW Board of Directors in 2017 after a long career that spanned from top-level management to non-profit work.
A graduate of Kentucky State University with a degree in education, Terry wants to do his part to promote YMOW throughout the community.
“I enjoy the work, I enjoy the people and I believe in the YMOW mission,” Terry said.
Terry is a member of the YMOW Marketing and Communications Committee and also offers his time to the Salvation Army, Canton Leisure Services (Goodfellows), Henry Ford Museum, Score of Ann Arbor and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
Terry lives in Canton with his wife, Annie. He enjoys going to movies, travel, auto racing and golf.
Dan Carleton’s storied history includes stints as a lobster fisherman, English teacher and auto parts salesman. He now works as a consultant to the gear industry through his self-owned company, Gear Gear, Inc.
Dan holds a master’s of fine arts degree from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and added YMOW board member to his list of credentials in November 2017.
In addition to his service on the YMOW board, Dan also serves on the Marketing and Communications Committee and volunteers to help deliver meals whenever possible.
“I got involved with YMOW because I have a need to contribute to the people of my adopted community,” Dan said. “I believe in direct human-to-human service. And I get plenty of that delivering meals to the homebound.”
Dan said YMOW delivers life to its neighbors in the form of food and human contact.
Dan also volunteers at Huron Valley Humane Society is a member of the American Gear Manufacturers Association. He is a writer and poet, and enjoys preparing vegan meals.
Dan lives in Ypsilanti with Boewulf, an American Staffordshire Terrier/Great Pyrenees that he rescued from HVHS.
Dr. Susan Gregory is Director of the School of Technology and Professional Services Management in EMU’s College of Technology. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing education and a master’s degree in hospitality and tourism from University of Wisconsin and earned her doctorate of education, as well as a degree in recreation and leisure management, from Temple University in Philadelphia.
Susan has served as program coordinator of the Hotel and Restaurant Management Program at EMU and is a past restaurant owner.
Susan’s service on the YMOW board and Events and Fundraising Committee is her way of giving back to the community where she lives and works.
“I understand the value of living in a caring community. YMOW contributes to that,” she said.
Susan said she is proud of YMOW’s work to help people stay safe and healthy in their own homes.
“If not for the grace of God, so go I,” Susan said. “Not everyone has a support system and YMOW allows seniors to be as independent as possible.”
A resident of Normal Park, Susan is an active member of First United Methodist Church of Ypsilanti, where she works in the “Small World Shop” selling fair trade products. The shop provides farmers and artisans from around the world the ability to provide for their families and communities.
Jack Janiga knows firsthand how Meals on Wheels can improve the life of a senior.
“My parents had used the Meals on Wheels service in their community,” he said. As a member of the YMOW board of directors, Jack hopes to help bring that service to more people in the area where he now lives and works.
Jack had a long career in the security business before launching a career in the parking industry more than 14 years ago. He now serves as the Michigan general manager for LAZ Parking, the nation’s second-largest parking company. LAZ manages more than 1 million parking spots in the U.S., including those at EMU.
Jack said he hopes to use his business acumen and professional relationships for the betterment of YMOW, perhaps even tapping EMU parking staff as volunteers.
“Meals on Wheels is something everyone can appreciate the need for,” said Jack, who also would like to help spread the word about YMOW’s other services through his work on the YMOW Marketing and Communications Committee.
Jack is a member of the Michigan Parking Association board. He lives in Wayne County with his wife, Rachel, and their Australian shepherd, Luke. Jack and Rachel have four grown children and two grandchildren.
Molly’s relationship with YMOW began in 2013 when she volunteered to deliver meals on Thanksgiving. But her affection and concern for the aging community goes all the way back to elementary school, when she remembers making greeting cards for residents of the local retirement community.
“The joy, smiles and connections made with those lovely individuals warmed my heart from that moment forward,” Molly said.
She became a YMOW board member soon after becoming a volunteer. She also serves on the Finance and Governance Committee.
Molly is a graduate of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, where she studied elementary education and later earned a degree in business administration. She now works as a financial analyst for Columbia Asset Management in Ann Arbor.
In addition to YMOW, Molly support Make-A-Wish Michigan. She enjoys participating in the Burns Park Players, a local neighborhood musical group, and is a member of the Ann Arbor Triathlon Club.
Christine Laing brings a varied background to her position as a member of the YMOW Board of Directors, a position she has held since 2015.
Christine worked as a software engineer until 2012, when she earned her master’s degree in physics from the University of Michigan. Laing then went on to become a CPA, earning a master’s degree in accounting from Eastern Michigan University.
She is now putting that degree to work as finance manager at the People’s Food Co-op of Ann Arbor, as well as on the YMOW Finance and Governance Committee.
Christine’s work at the Co-op, as well as at YMOW, revolves around her strongly held belief that no one should go hungry.
“YMOW is a proven program. It saves money on medical care and improves the lives of our families and neighbors. It makes a difference to a lot of people,” Laing said.
Christine lives in downtown Ann Arbor and enjoys going to the gym and live theater.
Sarah received her associate’s degree in accounting from Henry Ford Community College and a bachelor’s degree in community development from Central Michigan University. She also has taken classes from CMU toward a master of science in administration degree.
Sarah works as director of accounts payable at Home Point Financial.
Her relationship with YMOW began as a volunteer on the 2018 Meals on Heels event committee, an experience that led to her joining the Board of Directors just a few months later.
“After working on the Meals on Heels committee, it was obvious this group is passionate about the people they serve. I decided this was the organization I wanted to support long-term,” said Sarah, who also is a member of the YMOW Events and Fundraising Committee.
As chair of Home Point Financial’s We Care committee, Sarah works with several area non-profits to help provide assistance and support throughout the community. The We Care initiative has raised funds for Special Olympics of Michigan, provided volunteer hours at Food Gatherers and Habitat for Humanity, collected toys for Motts Children’s Hospital and sponsored a booth at Humane Society Huron Valley’s Walk & Wag.
Sarah lives in Pittsfield Township with husband Paul and their two bichons frises. She loves to travel and hopes to someday own her own food truck or restaurant.