Board of Directors

Mary Sanders, OCCOA Board of Directors PresidentMary Sanders, OCCOA Board of Directors President

Mary is the supervisor and assessor for Hayes Township in Otsego County. She graduated from Alma College and was a past secondary education teacher. She has done graduate work at Michigan State University and is a certified Level III Michigan Advanced Assessing Officer (MAAO). In addition to serving on the OCCOA board, Mary is the president of the Otsego Memorial Hospital (OMH) Board of Directors, and serves on the OMH Foundation Board of Directors, the Otsego County EMS Board, 911, LEPC, Otsego Economic Alliance, the University Center, and the OMH Auxiliary.

Nancy Ragan, OCCOA Board of Directors Vice President

Nancy retired from Munson Healthcare Otsego Memorial Hospital after 44 years in nursing. She received her Associates Degree from St. Clair County Community College and her BSN from Madonna University. Her healthcare experience includes hospital nursing, home care, hospice, software education and, most recently, staff development coordination. She facilitated the Caregiver Support Group for OCCOA for many years until 2020, when she became an instructor for the OCCOA’s former Creating Confident Caregivers course. Nancy, and her husband Ken, have raised three wonderful children and are now enjoying their four grandchildren.

Brett Bowen, OCCOA Board of Directors Treasurer

Brett is a resident of Gaylord and a vice president, senior commercial loan officer with Horizon Bank. He holds the CTP designation (Certified Treasury Professional), with over 24 years of experience in banking and more outside of banking. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, Colorado State University, and the Defense Language Institute. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division where he was a linguist in military intelligence. He serves on the boards for the Otsego County Commission on Aging, the Otsego County EMS, the Otsego County Economic Alliance, and the Munson Healthcare Foundation East Region. He is a graduate of the Gaylord Area Chamber’s leadership program and a member of Rotary, the Northern Michigan Veterans Coalition, and the VFW. Brett is married and the proud father of two daughters.

Rudi Edel, OCCOA Board of Directors Secretary

Retired from the Otsego County judicial system after 36 years of service as a Trial Court Administrator/Magistrate, Rudi earned his B.S. degree from Northern Michigan University and a Certificate in Religious Telecommunications from the University of Dayton.  In addition to serving on the OCCOA board, he volunteers for the Department of Defense and is a hearing officer for the Selective Service Board.  He volunteers for the Otsego County Historical Museum, Otsego County Food Pantry, Otsego County Leadership Development Program, and RSVP.  He is a mediator for Community Mediation Services of Northeastern Michigan, and a volunteer for the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena County.  Rudi also volunteers his time for annual mission work in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and the Lakota Reservation in South Dakota.

Tim Hall, OCCOA Board of Directors Member

Tim is the Regional President and an Executive Vice President of State Savings Bank and has been in the banking industry in Gaylord for over 35 years. He holds a B.A. in Finance from Michigan State University and a Masters of Business Administration from Lake Superior State University. Tim has served the community in an array of civic and philanthropic causes over the years. In addition to serving on the OCCOA Board, Tim currently is a board member of the Otsego County Economic Alliance, the Secretary for the Gaylord Rotary Club and a member of the Finance Committee at the First United Methodist Church in Gaylord.

Constance MessinaConstance Messina, OCCOA Board of Directors Member

Connie has been a registered nurse for almost 40 years. Recently retired, she now calls Otsego County her permanent home. She has been a hospital nurse for 35+ years. During this period, she served as a staff RN in hospitals in Detroit and was also a unit manager in a CICU. She most recently worked as a clinical manager at a private office and performed cardiac testing. She has served on many committees dealing with adult patient care, including community outreach services in the Detroit area, where she worked on behalf of the poor and underserved. She has also served on church committees. She enjoys the elderly and throughout her career has worked with adult populations. She has a lot of experience with many different types of people and believes everyone is deserving of respect, dignity, and as much comfort in life as possible.

Larry Platte, OCCOA Board of Directors Member

Larry is life-long resident of Gaylord. He has run several successful businesses in Gaylord and currently is the owner of The Porches of Gaylord Assisted/Independent Living Community, a 20-room state-licensed facility caring for the area’s senior population. He is currently in the process of building Phase II, with 20 more rooms, to accommodate light and full memory care. The Porches was born out of a very personal journey with Larry’s father and taking care of the senior population is close to his heart. Larry is graduate of Gaylord High School and an alumnus of Central Michigan University. He is a member of the Michigan Center for Assisted Living (MCAL) Michigan, holding multiple certifications and is NAB (National Association of Long Term Care Administration Boards) certified.

Rachel Smith, OCCOA Board of Directors Member

Rachel was born and raised in Gaylord. In 2008, she obtained her bachelor degree in Mortuary Science from Norfolk State University, Virginia. She is currently a funeral director at Gaylord Community Funeral Home & Cremation Service and is a graduate of Leadership Otsego County.

Chris Squire, OCCOA Board of Directors Member

Chris Squire is the President at Munson Healthcare, Otsego Memorial Hospital, in Gaylord, Michigan. Chris graduated from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and started his career in patient education in Rochester, Minnesota. Chris completed his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and Masters of Health Administration (MHA) from the University of Iowa. In addition to serving on the OCCOA board, Chris is also on the Otsego County Economic Alliance Board and involved with the Otsego Community Foundation and Gaylord Rotary. Chris is married to Erica Squire with daughters Adeline and Sophia.

Doug Johnson, Otsego County Board of Commissioners Liaison

Doug is currently the chair for the Otsego County Board of Commissioners, representing District VII, and is the liaison to the Otsego County Commission on Aging Board of Directors.

Dana Wingo, Otsego County Board of Commissioners Liaison Alternate

Dana is currently a commissioner for the Otsego County Board of Commissioners, representing District VIII, and is the alternate liaison to the Otsego County Commission on Aging Board of Directors.

OCCOA Management

Dona J. WishartDona J. Wishart
Executive Director

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”
~ Warren G. Bennis