Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind: Gwen Botting, Executive Director

 

Gwen Botting is a graduate of Knox College in Galesburg, IL and Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI.  Gwen and her husband, Jim, have two children: Greg, who is blind, and Krista.  Greg graduated from Alma College in 2016, where Krista is currently a student.  Greg spent his second semester of his sophomore year attending the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.  Gwen was the President of Michigan Parents of Children with Visual Impairments for 12 years, during which the organization’s membership increased from about 25 families to over 500 people.  As the President of MPVI, Gwen organized retreats and events, wrote and published the MPVI newsletter and served as an advocate for families with children with visual impairments and blindness.  Gwen has been involved with Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind for many years, first attending OUB activities when her son was only 2 -years old.  Gwen has served as a board member of OUB and was instrumental in starting the organization’s gardening and cooking classes for blind and visually impaired campers.  She became the Director of OUB in March of 2012 and Executive Director in September of 2013.  She served as Camp Director of OUB activities at Camp Tuhsmeheta in 2012 and 2013 and at Camp Optimist in 2016.  Gwen has also served on several state level task forces to improve services for children who are blind or low vision in Michigan.  She was a workshop leader at the National Association of Parents of Children with Visual Impairments national convention in 2015.  Gwen is a member of the Lyons-Muir Lions Club.  Gwen worked as a technical writer early in her career and also was the Music Director at Ionia First Presbyterian Church for 15 years and is the Principle Horn of the Kent Philharmonic Orchestra, a community orchestra through Grand Rapids Community College.  She and her family attend First Presbyterian Church, Lansing.