Community Chat

Community Chat- Tocqueville Society

Chat with emerged philanthropists! We are inviting a few of our Tocqueville members to share their stories and answer your most burning questions.
What is the Tocqueville Society? The Tocqueville Society of United Way of Washtenaw County recognizes local philanthropic leaders and volunteer champions who have devoted time, talent and funds to create long-lasting changes by tackling our community's most serious issues.
Wednesday, March 18th 5-7 pm at Office Evolution
The first 15 guests to register receive a free LIVE UNITED T-shirt!
Registration is $15.

Register here!


Speaker Bios

Erik Bakker 

Erik joined Bank of Ann Arbor in June 2016 as the Executive Vice President and Manager of the Trust and Wealth Management business and Chief Lending Officer.  Prior to joining BOAA, Erik spent 30 years at JPMorgan Chase (“JPMC”) and its predecessor banks; most recently as Senior Vice President of the Midwest Business Banking practice where he managed a group of 450 bankers and a staff responsible for a $20 billion deposit portfolio and a $5 billion loan portfolio.  Erik’s prior management responsibilities at JPMC, included Group Head of the East Michigan/Northern Ohio Commercial Banking practice and Managing Director and Group Head of the Automotive and Transportation Group.  In addition, Erik served in a variety of capacities in the Commercial, Corporate and Capital Markets banking practices for JPMC. 

Erik’s involvement in the community has included board participation at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum, the Macomb County Innovation Fund, and the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor.  He currently sits on the Board of The United Way of Washtenaw County where he heads the Tocqueville Society Committee.  Erik holds a BA and MBA from the University of Kansas. He and his wife, Becky, have three children and reside in Ann Arbor.

Kathleen E Sample

Kathy co-founded Argus Farm Stop in Ann Arbor, MI with her husband Bill in 2014, with the goal of growing the focus on and size of local food economy.  Argus Farm Stop is a new retail model designed to grow local food availability by offering a year-round, every day venue for farmers to sell their locally grown products.  Kathy has worked over the past 25 years in the chemical, medical gases and automotive industries, in marketing, strategy and business planning capacities on international projects.  She started out as a chemical sales representative on the East Coast working for Hercules Chemicals.  She was General Manager of BOC Gases Medical Gases Division in Murray Hill, New Jersey, providing medical and special gases for use in medical applications such as hospitals.  After moving to Michigan to work for GKN Automotive, she led efforts to grow their non-automotive industrial business portfolio, and subsequently to establish automotive joint ventures in China and elsewhere as Vice President of Global Development.

Argus Farm Stop is now in its sixth year, has two locations, and is considered a success in supporting small and local farms by offering a convenient place for consumers to shop from them.  As an L3C, it is a new type of business and we are teaching other companies how to start up similar operations.

Kathy has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Michigan State University.  She and her husband, Bill Brinkerhoff, have 3 children, and have made Argus a family adventure.


Heidi Ruud

Heidi Ruud is the Marketing and Communications Manager for Ozone House, a local non-profit for homeless youth. In her role, Heidi works with the Development team to create awareness about youth homelessness and raise funds for the organization. She is also the volunteer coordinator, all while working part-time.

Prior to her current position, Heidi took time to raise her two children. During this time she volunteered for many organizations in her community, to include Dress for Success, Lighthouse of Oakland County, North Star Reach and as the PTA president at her children’s elementary school.

Prior to having children, Heidi was employed by Cardinal health, a medical supply distributor, for 14 years. She had many roles over the years as a Distribution Manager, Just-In-Time Program Manager, Logistics Consultant, and Director of Marketing for custom packs for operating rooms.

Heidi earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Illinois and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Heidi and her husband David have lived in Michigan for 15 years with their two teenage children. They have been donating to United Way for 15 years.