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.

George MertzGeorge Mertz, OCCOA Board of Directors Vice President

In January 2013, Governor Rick Snyder appointed George Mertz to the 46th Circuit Court. He graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in History in 1996. In 2001, he received his Juris Doctor from the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University.  In addition to serving on the OCCOA board, Judge Mertz is a member of the Rotary Club of Gaylord.  He is a past board member and secretary for the Headwaters Chapter of Trout unlimited (2004-2013) and was a member of the Otsego County Airport Advisory Committee in 2010.

James Camiller, OCCOA Board of Directors Treasurer

James is a resident of Otsego County, and owner of James Camiller, CPA, in Lewiston.  He graduated from Adrian College and has been a licensed certified public accountant in the State of Michigan since 2002.  In addition to serving on the OCCOA board, he is the treasurer for the Rotary Club of Gaylord.  He is a past board member for the Otsego County United Way and the Otsego Wildlife Legacy Society (OWLS), and a past ambassador for the Gaylord Area Chamber of Commerce.

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.

Brett Bowen, OCCOA Board of Directors Member

Brett is a resident of Gaylord and a Vice President in Commercial Banking with mBank. He holds the CTP designation (Certified Treasury Professional), with over 16 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.

Joe Duff, OCCOA Board of Directors Member

Joe is the city manager for the City of Gaylord, as well as the director of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) .  Joe is a graduate of Michigan State University’s James Madison College with a B.A. in Political Philosophy.  He earned his Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Detroit.  In addition to serving on the OCCOA board, Joe is a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (Father Flannery Division, Gaylord) and the Gaylord Elk’s Club.  From 1987 to 1994, he served on the Mackinaw City Senior’s Board.

Jim Mathis, OCCOA Board of Directors Member

Jim is an associate pastor with the Evangelical Free Church in Gaylord, and until his recent retirement, was pastor since 1998. He received his education at Asbury Seminary and Taylor University. In addition to serving on the OCCOA board, Jim is the Regional Council Representative for the Area Agency on Aging Region 9. Prior to this, he was a board member for Otsego Memorial Hospital, Gaylord Area Council for the Arts, and the Otsego County Housing Committee.  Jim has also assisted with the Starker Mann Biathlon and Gus Macker Tournaments, helped with cleanup at the Alpenfests, and been involved with service projects targeted toward helping those in need.  He is a former chaplain for Hospice, as well as a member and past president for the Otsego Area Hospice Board of Directors.

Constance MessinaConstance Messina

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.

Rachel Smith

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.

Doug Johnson, Otsego County Board of Commissioners Liaison*

Doug is currently the vice-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.

*Otsego County Board of Commissioners Liaison – alternate- Unassigned at this time.

OCCOA Management Team

Dona J. WishartDona J. Wishart
Executive Director

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