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Our Board

William Eckert III, Board Chair

Bill recently retired from Consumers Energy after 38 years of service as a Senior HR Consultant who worked at distribution, generation and international facilities in Michigan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Ghana. Bill’s educational background is in Industrial Management, where he obtained his B.S. from Purdue University in 1977 and a M.B.A. in 1991 from Grand Valley State University.

Bill has been married to his wife, Donna, for 33 years and they have two children. His volunteer activities include being a Scoutmaster and Committee chair for Troop 1008 in North Muskegon, Mayfest board chair at Muskegon Community College, serving on the United Way Allocation and Review committee and the Muskegon  Partners in Education committee.

Bill is a member of the Community United Methodist Church. Hobbies and interests are international travel, golf and chess.

LaDon Gustafson, Treasurer

LaDon is a retired educational administrator with 35 years experience. She has experience at the federal, regional and local levels in fund development including writing, implementing and monitoring grants, staff development/training and strategic planning. She has worked with agencies, non-profits, school districts and at the university and state government levels in the area of needs assessment and new program development. LaDon has also been responsible for development and implementation of public relations and marketing campaigns for local, regional and statewide projects and programs.

Carol Higgenson, Secretary

Retired Educator

Dr. Remington Sprague, Board Member

Dr. Sprague has been the vice president of and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Mercy Health Partners, Muskegon, Michigan, since 2000.

A resident of Muskegon, MI, he graduated from the University of Michigan in 1972. He completed a Masters of Science in Medical Genetics at Indiana University Medical Center in 1974 and completed his Doctor of Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine in 1978. Following medical school, Dr. Sprague completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Dr. Sprague has served several local nonprofits including Boy Scouts of America, AIDS Task Force of Muskegon, and Mission for Area People. He is currently serving on several nonprofit boards including; Access Health, Community Mental Health and the Muskegon Community Health Project which he has chaired for over ten years.

He is actively involved in several professional organizations. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS). He serves as one of two representatives from MSMS on the board of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Since 1995 Dr. Sprague has successfully led the integration of medical staffs through  two mergers, most recently the merger of Mercy General Health Partners and Hackley Health. He brought two diverse medical communities together and was instrumental in aligning independent physician hospital organizations (PHOs) into one organization.

Dr. Sprague is married to Ginny and together they have four children and four grandchildren. He enjoys reading contemporary fiction, history and classical literature. He performs regularly with Muskegon Civic Theatre.

Hugh White, Board Member

Born and raised in Port Huron, Mi., Hugh’s family has traveled all over the world. Hugh retired from the United States Marine Corps after 22 years. Hugh and his family have lived in Muskegon since 1972, Hugh is the owner of Aarrow Auto Body and Sales, Inc, 1920 Whitehall Road, North Muskegon ,Mi He is married to his best friend Rose White, owner of White and Associates Realty. They have 2 children , seven grand children and one great grand child. Hugh and his wife have dedicated their lives to serving the Lord through serving the less fortunate and will continue to do so as long as they are able.


Phil McPherson, Board Member

Originally from Northern Michigan, Phil McPherson was recruited as Director of Pharmacy at Benson Drug for over eighteen years and now has started a new adventure as Director of Operations for LTC Pharmacy, a chain of Long Term Care Pharmacies in Michigan and Northern Ohio. Phil has been a key community leader on multiple community initiatives. In addition to being an active member of the Muskegon Diabetes Network, Phil was instrumental in The Muskegon Community Health Project and Mission for Area People’s initial pharmacy access initiative being the first pharmacy to provide low cost medications to low-income clients. Phil was also instrumental in starting Muskegon’s Walk for Diabetes, the annual African American Diabetes Conference, and Annual Men’s Health Conference. He has assisted MAP and other community organizations with multiple conferences, fundraising efforts, and outreach efforts. In 2008, he helped found The Muskegon Community Health Project HIV/AIDs collaborative - Muskegon’s Coalition for HIV Awareness and Prevention (MCHAP), which holds several outreach, education, and screening events each year. Phil also has served on the STD Taskforce, Downtown Muskegon Now board, and is now involved in the Kent County AAAWM (Area Agency on Aging of West Michigan).

Darlene Collet, Board Member

Although born in Lansing, Michigan, Darlene Collet grew up in Mio, Michigan. Following HS graduation, Darlene enrolled in a pre-nursing curriculum at Central Michigan University (CMU). She transferred to Henry Ford Hospital School of Nursing and graduated with a Diploma in Nursing in 1966. Simultaneously Darlene earned a BS Degree from CMU, with a Major in Nursing and a Minor in Biology. In 1980, she earned a MSN Degree from Wayne State University. Darlene still holds her RN license and belongs to Sigma Theta Tau, an Honorary Society of Nursing.

Over the years, Darlene has worked in many nursing arenas, including nursing practice, education, and administration. In addition, she was Chair of the Muskegon Community Health Project Education Committee, a Consultant in the development of the LPN-RN Nursing Program at Muskegon Community College (a collaborative venture with Hackley Hospital School of Nursing), and President of the Michigan Council of Associate Degree Nursing Directors.

Following her retirement as Director of the Nursing Program at Muskegon Community College in 2001, Darlene worked as a Charge Nurse in the VNS Scolnik Hospice House Inpatient Residence, Condominium Manager for the Mona Kai Co-Owners Association and Grant Seeker for many non-profit organizations, including the Muskegon Community Health Project, Access Health, MHP, MCC, and most recently, MAP.

Darlene is active in the Community, serving on the City of Norton Shores Zoning Board of Appeals, Healthy Muskegon County 1 in 21 Initiative Advisory Council, MCC Alumni Relations Committee, Retirees Committee and Yes to MCC Millage Campaign Committee, and Muskegon Rotary Club STRIVE Mentoring Committee, World Community Services Committee and Health and Wellness Committee.  In addition to being an active member of the Muskegon Rotary Club, she is a member of the Muskegon Irish American Society, Muskegon Museum of Art, and Norton Pines Athletic Club.  She also holds season tickets for the West Michigan Symphony.

Darlene is married to Lee Collet, has two sons, Corbin (Amy) and Cary (Kim), and six granddaughters. For fun, she plays tennis, Mahjongg, Euchre, and, until recently, enjoyed acting and singing in various community venues. Her favorite past-time is being with family and friends.

Joe Bush, Board Member

Rev. Jeffery Bowman, Temple UMC

Helen Anderson-Williams, Board Member

Chris Dean, Board Member

David McLeod, Temple UMC

Jake Eckholm

Penny Evert

Kim Lilly

Jake Lubbers