Steve Dobson: Importance of Helping

"As a father, I want to do whatever it takes to make this a better community for everyone." 

Steve Dobson learned the importance of helping his fellow man — or as he says, the moral responsibility of “taking our wounded off the battlefield” — through osmosis. Growing up, while it wasn’t a nightly topic of conversation, he was very aware of his parents’ convictions to give generously and work tirelessly to create a better place for all. “They were true believers — Mom still is — who recognized that we’re all in this together.”

Among the many United Way-affiliated programs Steve is especially proud to support is Washtenaw Success by 6 Great Start Collaborative, a collaborative community initiative that was created in Minneapolis in 1989 and has since spread across the country. Success by 6 focuses on helping ALL children achieve positive early development, which, in turn, influences success in school and in life. “It’s amazing to watch good ideas, like Success by 6, being planted and nurtured through United Way chapters around the country.”

This is especially true as state and federal funding for basic human services shrinks while the need remains high and, in some cases, is on the rise. By carefully evaluating community needs, coordinating and minimizing duplication of services and allocating funds where they will accomplish the most, United Way of Washtenaw County is “like a hot house where best practices grow and bloom into very real change for the better — for everyone.”

As past Board Chair, Resource Development Chair and prominent Tocqueville Society donor along with his wife Judy, Steve is leaving his own United Way legacy in the shadow of his parents, Bill and Molly. The retired president and CEO of Dobson-McOmber Insurance and past president and CEO of Hylant Group of Ann Arbor, an insurance brokerage firm, Steve has long supported the relentless work of United Way of Washtenaw County, its volunteers, donors and advocates. “Ann Arbor is a magical place. It’s up to each of us to keep it that way.”