2016-2017 Lighthouse Leadership Circle Chairs
Nicole DeNooyer and Chris Taylor
Co-chairs for southern Ottawa County
Nicole DeNooyer has the car business in her blood. She grew up in Holland, the daughter of Bob DeNooyer and the Rev. Colette Volkema-DeNooyer, and started working as a receptionist at DeNooyer Chevrolet when she was 13. She sold cars in the summers while attending Kalamazoo College, from which she graduated magna cum laude in 1998. After spending six months in Madrid, she went to work in January of 1999 as the sales manager and is now the general manager.
Chris Taylor grew up in Grand Haven, and you could say the car business is in his blood, too, as his father, Phil Taylor, served as President of GHSP, a Grand Haven manufacturer of electromechanical systems for the worldwide automotive industry. After graduation from GHHS, Chris earned a BA from DePauw University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He is the President of Designer Pages, a data/analytics startup focusing on contract interiors. He and Nicole met at a wedding, which he says is the #1 reason men should know how to dance. They have two sons, Colin (10) and Wyatt (8).
Both were also born to families deeply invested in their communities, and—at work and at home, in all that they do—they carry on that tradition of service and support for all their neighbors in need.
John and Martha Gork
Co-Chairs for northern Ottawa County
John Gork has served our community as a volunteer account manager for United Way since 2010, increasing each campaign every year. He serves as a stewardship chairman for his church, St. John’s Episcopal, is a trustee of the Bishop Whittemore Foundation, volunteers at the Christian Leaders Institute and is a member of the Stewards Alliance with International Steward. John was also was named the United Way volunteer of the year in 2015. He has been a Financial Representative and Chartered Life Underwriter for Northwestern Mutual since 1985. He is a graduate of Wittenburg University, with a bachelor’s degree in art and business.
Martha Gork enjoys her work as a Special Education Teacher at Wesley School in Muskegon. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Bucknell University, a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University, and a teaching certificate from Grand Valley State University. Martha feels strongly about the importance of providing services to persons with developmental disabilities in our community.
John and Martha were pleased to serve as the chairs of Greater Ottawa County United Way’s 2015-16 community campaign. They strongly support United Way’s efforts to help people achieve their full educational potential, achieve financial stability, live in a healthy way, and have life’s basic needs. They have two children: James Gork, a Construction Manager with Skanska in Cincinnati, and Katie Parks, a sophomore at Central Michigan University.