President’s Office

Nearly 100 community members have come together to lead Alma into the future and create a strategic plan for action, called “Alma Aspires: People, Place, Prosperity.”

The Alma Aspires Webinar

What’s next for Alma Aspires? Community members and local leaders joined Alma College President Jeff Abernathy for an interactive webinar on Wednesday, June 17 at 9 a.m. 

Randy Thelen, who facilitated our strategic planning discussions as we sought to develop a shared vision for the future of Alma, provided remarks. Bob Conley, System CEO of Michigan Masonic Family of Corporations, moderated a panel discussion with leaders of the Alma Aspires plan implementation. The group discussed our community’s Covid-19 response, what the pandemic means for Alma’s future, and plans for what lies ahead. Panelists included:

  • Marita Hattem-Schiffman, President of MidMichigan Medical Centers in Clare, Gratiot and Mt. Pleasant
  • Donalynn Ingersoll, Superintendent of Alma Public Schools
  • Matt Schooley, Alma City Manager
  • Jim Wheeler, President of Greater Gratiot Development
The update concluded with audience questions for the panelists.

A recording of the Alma Aspires webinar. 

Our Vision

Alma aspires to be a community of choice, where families, seniors, students, employers, and tourists all choose Alma for its unique charm and community connectedness.

Where, through a quality education and training system, economically diverse employer base and proximity to additional employment centers, everyone reaches their full potential.

The Alma Aspires strategic plan details potential objectives for the community to explore as we look to make Alma all it can be. Please click on the image below to open a PDF of the Alma Aspires master plan


Alma Aspires is the result of extensive hard work and collaboration among a range of stakeholders, community and business leaders, elected officials, and members of the public who care deeply about the future of Alma. In particular, the following people are recognized for their contributions to this effort.

Steering Committee

Bob Conley | Michigan Masons
Donalynn Ingersoll | Alma Public Schools
Jeff Abernathy | Alma College
Jim Wheeler | Greater Gratiot Development
Mike Logan | Michigan Masonic Homes
Marita Hattem-Schiffman | MidMichigan Medical Center-Gratiot
Matt Schooley | City of Alma

Stakeholder Group

Bob Albrecht | City of Alma
Dayna Altom | Michigan Masonic Home
Garth Anderson | Commercial Bank
Sara Anderson | City of Alma
Cindy Austin | Studio on State
Ali Barnes | Yeo & Yeo
Kevin Brown | The Cobbler Shop Shoes and Pedorthics
Bobbie Brown | Alma Abstract JoNeil Conley
Tracey Cordes | Gratiot County Administrator
Anthony Costanzo
Rory Douglas | Alma Vineyard Church
Mary Douglas | Alma Vineyard Church
Carol Freed | Freed Construction Company, Inc
Bill Gilbert | Oncore AV
Jessica Gilkins | City of Alma Planning Commission
Aaron Hale | City of Alma Planning Commission
Tammy Halfmann | Mercantile Bank of Michigan
Eli Hall | United Way of Gratiot & Isabella Counties
Greg Hatcher | Hatcher Agency
Bill Henderson | Aircraft Precision Products
Darcy Hodges
Jim Holton | Alma Brewing Company
Garnet Johnson | Triterra
Daren Johnson | City of Alma
Brendan Kelley | Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce
Lori Knierim | Mercantile Bank
Tim Lambrecht | County Commissioner District 4
Diane Longanbach | MSU Extension
Ed Lorenz | Alma College
Greg Mapes | City of Alma Mayor
Art McClintic | Alma Public Schools Board of Education
Todd Moeggenborg | Michigan Masonic Home
Lori Neeb | Edward Jones
Harmony Nowlin | Consumers Energy
Joy O’Neill | Mercantile Bank
Kelly O’Shay | Saravilla Bed & Breakfast
Rochelle O’Shay | Saravilla Bed & Breakfast
Kendra Overla | City of Alma
Nick Piccolo | City of Alma Planning Commission
Bill Pilmore | City of Alma
Michelle Pitts | City of Alma Planning Commission
Ellen Richter | City of Alma Planning Commission
David Ringle | City of Alma
Aeric Ripley | City of Alma
Vicki Ritz | Michigan Masonic Home
Damian Sanderson | Highland Blush
Andy Shafley | Commercial Bank
Ryan Smith | Gemini Capital Management, LLC
Sue Stack | Alma Church of God
Audra Stahl | City of Alma Planning Commission
Jayson Sumerix | Century 21 Lee-Mac Realty
Lorrie Taylor | City of Alma
Erin Taylor | Alma Church of God
Heather Therrien | City of Alma Planning Commission
Katie Tobias | Katie Tobias State Farm
Tina Travis | Gratiot County Community Foundation
Ashley Tupper | Alma College
Adam Vibber | Century 21 Lee-Mac Realty
Wes Wickes | Central Michigan Youth For Christ
Mark Williams | City of Alma
Jim Wolf | Avalon & Tahoe Manufacturing
Kasey Zehner | Greater Gratiot Development, Inc.

Upcoming Events

Virtual Field Trip to Holland and Zeeland, MI

September 9, 2020

Join other Alma area leaders to hear and learn from several of the lakeshore area’s top business and community leaders.


Leading Change, Building Community

On October 9, 2019 Alma College leaders met in the downtown Opera House for a conversation about how we can strengthen Alma’s future - together. 

Video highlights from the 2019 Leading Change, Building Community event.