Dave Marsh

“I believe a strong community is made up of a group of people who work together to make things better for the organization, team, or town and for all the people in the group. It requires teamwork to benefit the group, not just trying to benefit yourself. The love, support, and camaraderie I’ve experienced over the years have enriched my life, and I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to serve and make a difference.”

A Coffee Chat with Dave Marsh by Renee’ Deckrow

Service to and involvement in the community have shaped and enriched Dave Marsh’s life, and he is dedicated to paying forward the blessings he’s reaped. Dave saw this life of service and community involvement modeled by his father, Steve Marsh, and he has experienced deep and meaningful connections in his life from serving and being involved. Dave continually works to encourage others to connect as well.

“Empowering young people to overcome challenges and find success is one of my driving forces. As a proud member of the Midland Area Community Foundation Grants Committee for several years and now on the Board of Trustees for the past eight years, I’ve witnessed firsthand the incredible impact that non-profits have on our community. We have been able to support countless organizations in many ways – including navigating through two floods and the Covid pandemic – always with a shared “can-do” spirit.

Dave Marsh shares his why behind the reason he serves on the Board of Trustees for the Foundation.

“My roots run deep in Midland, a town where my family’s legacy goes back four generations. As a Midland Chemic alum from the class of ’80, I followed the footsteps of my dad, Steve Marsh, who graduated from Midland High in 1957. He then served as the Athletic Director at Midland High for 20 years before his passing in 2008. My grandparents, Basil and Harriett Marsh, graduated in ’35. My four children, Alex, Ben, Greg, and Kelly, were all Chemics as well.

I couldn’t help but exclaim, “That’s truly amazing!” Discovering more about Dave, his career, and his contributions to our community has left me completely inspired. It’s evident that he embodies the spirit of a true Midlander through and through. The legacy of service and involvement runs deep in the Marsh family!

“Love God, love others—this has been my guiding principle in life, moving me to serve my community with passion and dedication. Susan and I met after college. We got married while in Massachusetts. Instead could say – After living in Massachusetts for ten years, my wife Susan and I moved back to Midland in 1998. Raising our four amazing children over our 35 years of marriage has only strengthened our commitment to giving back and cultivating a better world for everyone.

‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord.’ Colossians 3:23 is a quote that inspires me, along with my greatest inspiration, my dad Steve Marsh.

He inspired me to be loyal and a strong contributor to our Midland community. As MHS athletic director, he impacted thousands of young people in Midland, and he did it with unwavering integrity. Another role model was my grandpa Base Marsh, who was the most Christ-like person I have known and was [also] a significant influence on my faith.

Additionally, I was blessed to work at Northwood for 17 years with my best friend, Pat Riepma, Northwood’s amazing football coach and athletic director. We worked as a team to make a difference at Northwood and with the student-athletes. He was an amazing servant leader, a man of faith, and an incredible person.”

While Dave has led a life dedicated to serving others, it’s clear that his involvement has been a source of blessing and enrichment in countless ways. With such a deep commitment to Midland and its people, it is no surprise that the community has given Dave so much in return.

Marsh is an active member of the Midland community and has contributed significantly to the growth and development of the region. In addition to his work with Midland Area Community Foundation, Marsh has been a Midland Amateur Sports Capital Committee member since 1999, serving as chair for six years. During his tenure, he spearheaded efforts to move the Midland County Sports Hall of Fame to Dow Diamond. Marsh has also served on the board of the Pregnancy Resource Center and the Midland Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. He recently joined the board of the Greater Midland Community Center. In addition to his professional life, Marsh is actively involved with MCTV, serving as a play-by-play announcer for high school sports for over 20 years. He has also been a mentor and camp volunteer for Royal Family Kids for 15 years and sits on the scholarships committee of the Rotary Club of Midland. Marsh was inducted into the Midland County Sports Hall of Fame in 2022.

Dave Marsh dedicated 23 years of his life to the Northwood University athletic department, serving as Director of Athletics for eight years. In November 2013, he was promoted to the director’s position after working as Associate Athletic Director for almost 15 years. His passion for sports and commitment to excellence enabled him to significantly impact the department. Marsh’s journey at Northwood started in 1998 when he was named Sports Information Director/Marketing Director. He held various roles throughout his career, including Associate Athletic Director and Athletic Director. During this time, Marsh oversaw compliance, facilities, budgeting, marketing, and various other athletic department duties. In 2021, Marsh retired as the Athletic Director to become Assistant Professor and Department Chair of the Sport Management academic program. His exceptional leadership skills and dedication to sports have inspired many, and we are deeply grateful for his contributions to the Northwood community.

In 2017, Marsh introduced a program to improve leadership skills among Northwood University’s student-athletes. The Northwood Student-Athlete, Leadership Retreat program was a huge success, with 35 student-athletes representing the athletic program. Yet another example of Dave Marsh’s determination to encourage others to lead lives of service and intention, strengthening their different communities as he has.

Marsh has been a valuable asset to not just Northwood’s sports program but his commitment to our entire community is truly remarkable. I am amazed by how selfless and devoted Dave is in his efforts to make the world a better place, not just through words but also through his actions. Although he is already doing so much, I am curious about what he looks forward to next. When I asked him, he responded humbly, sharing his plans with me.

“One thing I love about the Midland community is we always strive to constantly improve rather than just settle on our past successes. I’m excited to be joining the Greater Midland Community Center’s Board as they embark on exciting new initiatives with the opening of the new Center.”

I nod and enthusiastically tell him how much our family loves pickleball and how excited we are about the new offerings the new Community Center will provide for everyone.

“Absolutely,” Marsh responds. “There will be so much available for people of all ages. Even E-Sports will be included, which offers yet another avenue to engage the youth in our community.”

Always a good thing! Anything we can do to connect community members is a good thing!

Dave, thank you for sharing your inspiring story with us. I hope we continue to create a lasting impact in our communities by connecting future generations with stories like yours, showcasing generosity and service. By sharing our experiences and coming together, we can unlock our true potential and bring about transformative change. This initiative aims to demonstrate that engagement and support are accessible to everyone, regardless of expertise, wealth, or fame. All it takes is passion, commitment, and a willingness to help others.

Together, forward, bold… we go!

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