Honor, Michigan
Phone: 231-227-1164
Email: jim@jimgribble.com

About Jim

I moved to Benzie County in 2018 from the DC area with the intention of winding down my traditional work life (35+ years as a direct marketing executive and profit center manager). Moving here fulfilled a lifelong dream to live in nature. I’ve grown to love living year-round along the Platte River on the edge of the National Lakeshore. I’ve even begun to build a reputation as a nature photographer.

Upon moving here and recognizing the great need, I saw an opportunity to put my skill sets to work helping my new community through local non-profits. Within a few weeks, I accepted the volunteer role of Fund Development Director for the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes. After establishing a track record of success with this organization, other paid opportunities presented themselves. I’ve gained tremendous satisfaction pursuing my personal mission:

Helping to make Benzie County a better place for those who live here.

Friends of the Betsie Valley Trail – Beginning in 2019, responsible for all things marketing, including fundraising, communications, and public relations. Also directed strategic planning and continued to focus on organizational development. During this time, all the following metrics increased significantly: donor and grant dollars, numbers of donors, subscribers, social media followers, volunteers, etc. Recruited four Board members, including our new Board President. Have raised $590,000 in grants to-date for paving project.

Benzie County Community Chest – In 2022, accepted role as Executive Director. Responsible for furthering the mission and vision of this non-profit that grants funding to local organizations providing critical basic needs to Benzie County residents who need this assistance. In 2023, exceeded goal of $100,000 in donations for the first time and received the Benzie County Chamber of Commerce’s Community Impact Award.

Historic Mills Community House – In 2022, provided strategic planning and marketing consulting services to this non-profit. Led their team through the strategic planning process resulting in new vision and mission statements and a handful of prioritized action plans to address the objectives. Most important goal was to hire a new Executive Director which was accomplished. Continue to monitor progress and provide coaching and marketing input.

Friends of SMARTrails Manistee – Took on a three-month engagement with this new organization in 2022. Participated in their strategic planning process, created website with ability to accept donations, presence on social media, and set up their newsletter marketing (list building).

Thompsonville Area Revitalization Project (TARP) – Beginning in early 2021 and during the following year, created all branding, launched website and social media presence, and set up newsletter marketing. Wrote and distributed press releases and fielded media interviews.

Benzie County Visitor Center Concept – Part of a small working group, explored the possibility of building a Benzie County Visitor Center. Over the course of work, the team made significant progress towards the actual vision for the visitor center and how it could potentially sustain itself. Two local non-profits are behind this initiative, which has not moved forward since January 2023.

Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes – Fund Development Director from 2018-2020 (800 total volunteer hours). During my time in this role private donations increased 30%. Established regular one-on-one meetings with Park leadership to ascertain their specific financial needs, then fund-raised to meet those needs.