Geer, Wietfeldt honored as outstanding 4-H alumni
posted on July 26, 2010 9:02am
Communications & Annual Giving Manager
Michigan 4-H Foundation
517-432-1555, ext. 151
EAST LANSING, Mich.—Garrett F. Geer of Bay City and Sally
Wietfeldt of Midland were among 15 4-H alumni inducted into the
Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society June 24.
The Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society honors former Michigan 4-H members whose professional leadership and community service reflect the ultimate outcome of 4-H membership – extraordinary use of an individual’s head, heart, hands and health to make communities, the country and the world better places in which to live. This recognition is provided by Michigan 4-H Youth Development with support from the Michigan 4-H Foundation.
Garrett Geer joined the Dow Chemical Company in 1984 and has developed strong business, diplomacy and communications skills through broad experiences in packaging, purchasing, communications, public affairs, sales, marketing and issues management roles at Dow. Geer was named director of government affairs and public affairs for the Middle East and Africa in January 2010. Previously, he served as the state government affairs leader for Dow in the U.S. with responsibility for managing state and federal legislative advocacy and public policy in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Minnesota.
Geer helped launch Dow’s North American association with Habitat for Humanity International, served a key role in negotiating naming rights for the multi-venue facility now known as The Dow Event Center in Saginaw and represented Dow in initiating a relationship with the Professional Walleye Trail (PWT) Fishing Tournament.
He is a two-time recipient of Dow’s Pinnacle Award for Sales Excellence, a Dow SCRIBE Award recipient for excellence in communications media, a 2005 graduate of Leadership Michigan and a recipient of the President’s Award for Community Service from the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce. Geer was instrumental in helping to build career ladders for the Saginaw County Business and Education Partnership and also helped develop the MLK Regional Scholarship Awards event. He is a member of the Freeland Lions Club and Ducks Unlimited and has also served on a wide variety of committees and boards for regional and state chambers and industry associations.
“My 4-H experience was one of great learning filled with challenging opportunities and positive outcomes,” Geer said. “The camaraderie among the members and the clubs helped me develop strong interpersonal relationship skills that have aided me significantly throughout my career. I have fond memories of my experiences in 4-H and wish all of our youth could have the same positive experiences toward developing them for the many challenges facing them in the future.”
Sally Wietfeldt’s love and involvement of 4-H as a member has helped develop her into the person she is today. With her 4-H leaders’ support and her involvement as a youth, she wanted to continue her 4-H work as a volunteer and as staff. For the past 29 years, she has been the Midland County 4-H program associate until her retirement this year. During her tenure, she has developed youth and leader involvement in a variety of programs including Camp Nevati, state 4-H exchange programs, Kettunen Center workshops, 4-H Capitol Experience, 4-H Exploration Days, State 4-H Awards, Wonders of Washington and National 4-H Congress. Currently, she serves on the North Central Region 4-H Volunteer Forum Task Force.
Wietfeldt has led and developed leaders of many community-service initiatives including geranium plantings along busy roads, city-wide craft days held at the Midland Mall, petting zoos and Spring Achievement, which grew into a style show.
Additionally, she has worked with youth to make and distribute mittens and blankets to local community organizations and partnered with the Midland Community Foundation to provide refreshments to hundreds during the lighting of the Santa House at Christmas. She has taught at Kettunen Center workshops and 4-H Exploration Days and led youth to become State Award winners. Wietfeldt served as a Great Lakes Recreation Leaders Lab board member for many years, serving as a resource person teaching crafts and folk dancing as well as engaging several volunteer teens and leaders from Midland County. To honor Wietfeldt for her service, she has received the 4-H Distinguished Service Award and the State Team Award for her outstanding work with 4-H Camp Neyati. To honor her retirement, Midland County is creating a tribute in her name for her dedication and contributions to 4-H and the community.
“My first club involvement as a teen leader was to teach knitting to 20 4-H’ers,” Wietfeldt said. “I was very involved with all the 4-H families and became involved in the community, which led to me becoming the 4-H associate for Midland County for the last 29 years.”
Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society members are inducted every two years. The inaugural class of 62 members was inducted in 2002 in honor of the national 4-H centennial. Subsequent classes were inducted in 2004, 2006 and 2008. For more information on the 4-H Emerald Clover Society and its 128 members, visit www.mi4hfdtn.org/ecs.
4-H Youth Development is the youth-serving program of Michigan State University Extension. More than 230,000 youth are involved each year with the support of 23,000 adults and older teens in all 83 Michigan counties. The Michigan 4-H Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that acquires, manages and distributes private gifts to support the mission and vision of Michigan 4-H Youth Development.