21. Joan Garety

Joan Garety

Joan Garety is a Michigan hall of fame golfer, retired Meijer VP of Finance and Treasurer and, for the last 17 years, has served as a member of the food bank’s board of directors. Throughout her time on the board, she’s helped the team navigate financial decisions and found it a “fun organization to be connected with.”

Since 2004 when Joan joined, the food bank has undergone quite a few changes, including bringing on our current President and CEO, Ken Estelle, something Joan is proud to have been part of as a board member. Today, she said her role is, as Ken would put it, asking “the tough financial questions.”

“The topic may be this, but there’s always numbers that run through. I can give an opinion whether the numbers work or not. I ask a lot of questions!”

One challenge the food bank continually navigates is how to get food to the U.P. and other far reaches of our service area, where the need is high, but the population is lower.

“I think the food bank has done really an amazing job given the footprint that we operate in when you think about the sheer geographical territory,” Joan said.

Joan was excited to join the fight against hunger but said she hadn’t before realized the reality of the need — something many share.

“Many people have this perception that folks who use the food bank have used it forever and are going to use it forever,” she said. “The fact is that so many of the people we help are people who have donated to us before and they’ll donate to us again. We’re there to help them when they need it and that’s wonderful. And then we’re going to help somebody else, and if you do need it again we’re going to help you again.”

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