Board Spotlight: Mike Gallagher

Mike Gallagher brings energy to his position on the Lakeland Chapter Board with a genuine interest in helping the American Red Cross. He is an active supporter through his help on the finance committee and with the Annual Door County Golf Event.

Eric Witczak, Vice Chair of Lakeland Chapter Board, suggested Mike for the Board and when he was looking for a good person for the Finance Committee he came up with Mike’s name again. “I don’t think I asked him. I think I volunteered him and he obliged,” says Eric.

“I suggested Mike because he seemed like a go-getter, one that doesn’t just sit back and watch others,” says Eric. “Mike gets involved, gets results and is always looking for ways to make the organization even better.”

In the past, Mike has demonstrated his commitment to community through participation in organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and spending several years as co-chair of Schreiber’s community impact team.

Mike thinks helping those in need keeps him focused. “It makes you take a step back to realize there is more than oneself or the company you work for and to think about the community and make sure we are taking care of those in need.”

Mike says it’s a privilege to be part of some of the decision-making processes and to raise money for an organization as selfless as the Red Cross. He really enjoys working on projects and fundraisers that make a big impact because they help people when they need it.  “Due to the relatively small board, members can feel like they are making a tangible impact on an organization that benefits the community.”

“I have two nice kids and a wonderful wife,” says Mike. Mike and his wife, Melissa, have two boys who are 4 and 8. The family enjoys traveling and spending time together. Along with participating in the Boy Scouts, Mike also enjoys being an assistant coach depending on what his boys are involved in that season.

Mike w/ his team from the Red Cross Door County Golf Outing

Mike was raised in Green Bay down the street from his current employer. He didn’t grow up hearing much about his neighbor, Schreiber Foods, the world’s largest customer brand dairy company but it is a place that he can say he is proud to be. Its 100% employee-owned and helping neighbors in need is one of their core beliefs though they don’t always seek out recognition for their support. “People do the right thing because it’s in everyone’s best interest,” says Mike.

Mike is currently training for a half marathon and looking forward to the challenge of the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. For those who may scoff at the idea of running, Mike says it’s really not that hard. “Its doing it incrementally that’s important. You start out with a mile or two miles and before you know it you’re running 11 or 12. You can run hard or at a moderate pace.”

Mike recommends the same approach to volunteering. “The best way to learn is to give it a try and apply yourself,” says Mike. “Sometimes it’s just getting your foot in the door.”

Any amount of time is noble. “Some months you can give a lot of time other months you can’t. With every organization I’ve worked with they are very understanding that people will give what they can and when they can’t there’s no shame in it.”

Mike says he finds it important to consider the efficiency of an organization and how much money is spent on overhead and administrative costs. “The Red Cross is lean and makes sure as much of the dollars that come in make it out to the community as possible. “

Mike is proud of the efforts of the Red Cross but he also enjoys his support. “If it’s not fun, you have to question why you are doing it. Its easy to get energized about something that benefits the community.”

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