Stories from the Midland Area Community Foundation

Tina S. Van Dam to be named Midland Area Community Foundation’s Philanthropist of the Year at the 2022 Ripple Effect event

October 12th, 2022

The Midland Area Community Foundation’s Ripple Effect celebration, taking place on October 19 at the H Hotel, will celebrate community philanthropy and honor Tina S. Van Dam as 2022’s Philanthropist of the Year.

The purpose of the Philanthropist of the Year award is to honor a community member(s) who has demonstrated a passion and call to action for the Midland area. Recipients of this award are those who have impacted our community through their service.

Van Dam’s service touches many aspects of our community. She is a long-time chair of the Midland 100 Club. The 100 Club is a women’s giving circle with more than 580 members and a total dollar impact of about $1.5 million, including matching grants. Van Dam’s leadership has been vital in amplifying and energizing the group.

Additionally, Van Dam is President of the Torch Club, trustee of the Harry and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation, and a Cancer Services board member. She chaired the committee that created the original historical exhibition and book VOICES: Extraordinary Women of Midland County for the Midland Center for the Arts. Van Dam has also served as Chair for the Delta College Foundation, Midland Area Community Foundation board member, and in various leadership roles for many other state and local groups.

Van Dam received a Juris Doctor, Cum Laude, from the University of Michigan Law School. She served as Corporate Secretary for Dow and was the first Development Director for MidMichigan Medical Center. She was married to the late Judge Philip Van Dam. Her daughter, Lecia Sequist, MD, MPH, is the Director of the Center for Innovation in Early Cancer Detection at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Landry Family Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Van Dam served as Chair of the Sister City Committee. Her service in this role followed that of her late husband, who served as long-time Chair, and former Midland Mayor Roger Gohrband.  In that role, she led the nomination and selection of three Midland students to be ambassadors to Handa City, Japan, for three weeks in odd-numbered years. In even-numbered years she led the effort to arrange nine host families in Midland and to facilitate activities for three Japanese students and their host families to learn about and share experiences in the United States.

“Tina has been an inspiration to the committee, as well as the students and host families on both sides during her tenure as Chair,” said Dick Dolinski, student host and former fellow board member of the Handa Sister City Committee. “She did a stellar job leading our committee and certainly deserves …. the Philanthropist of the Year award.”

The Ripple Effect celebration will kick off with light appetizers and networking at 4:30 PM. The program will begin at 5 PM and feature Community Foundation information from Midland Area Community Foundation President & CEO Sharon Mortensen. Guests from the Midland Area Youth Action Council, Breaking Bread Village, Children’s Grief Center, and Little Forks Conservancy will discuss their grassroots philanthropic journey. Van Dam will round out the night with remarks and reward acceptance. The program is expected to end by 6 PM.

The Ripple Effect is a free event. If you would like to attend, please visit to RSVP or call 989-839-9661.