About Us

What is MARSP?

MARSP is a clear, respected voice representing retired school personnel

Established in 1951, MARSP is committed to being the premier advocate for all retired school personnel. We make certain that our members’ voices and views are heard in Lansing. MARSP is your lobbying partner on critical issues impacting retirees and an authority on the MPSERS pension and healthcare system.

Expertise spans more than six decades

For nearly 70 years, MARSP has been the only organization totally dedicated to promoting and supporting the rights and needs of retired public school personnel and serving as their legislative voice. Today, the association has more than 90 chapters in Michigan, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Tennessee and Texas. MARSP has over 35,000 members in Michigan and throughout the U.S.

MARSP is on the move! With an energized leadership, mission, and organization, MARSP is focused on three key areas:

  • Promote the preservation and enhancement of current levels of pension income through legislation, oversight of MPSERS, and individual guidance to members.
  • Promote the preservation and enhancement of health care benefits along with timely assistance and information about member insurance.
  • Advocate for quality public education in a non-partisan manner making it possible for all retirees to be involved regardless of political leanings.

MARSP Staff

Sarah Botruff — Administrative Assistant

Sarah Botruff joined MARSP in 2017 as the Administrative Assistant. She graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s degree in theatre management. She is currently pursuing her Masters degree from Purdue. Her previous experience includes working as a stage manager, administrative assistant, event manager, and a mental health respite care provider. She has worked for the World Special Olympics Games, the Wharton Center for Performing Arts, and the Capital Area Down Syndrome Association.

Kelli Cherrette — Member Services Coordinator

Kelli Cherrette joined MARSP in 2012 as the Member Services Coordinator. Kelli has 30 years of previous experience primarily in the field of Human Resources.  Kelli earned her Associates degree in business from the University of Phoenix and has her Professional Human Resources (PHR) certification.  Kelli’s primary focus with MARSP is providing members with exceptional service and improving the value of their membership in MARSP.  Kelli and her husband, Patrick, live in Laingsburg. Kelli has a
son and daughter and has been blessed with four grandchildren.

Mandy Hitsman — Finance Coordinator

Mandy Hitsman has been with MARSP since 2009. She is the Finance Coordinator. Mandy earned both a Bachelor of Science in Political Science (concentration in Public Administration) and a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University.  Mandy’s previous experience includes project and office administration.

Wendi Knepp — Communications Coordinator

Wendi Knepp joined MARSP in 2020 as the Communications Coordinator. Wendi has dedicated her entire career to education organizations in Michigan. She comes to us with years of experience in Marketing and Communications, focusing on Digital and Inbound Marketing. Wendi earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from Northwood University and earned a Trade Show Management certificate (CTSM). As the Communications Coordinator for MARSP, she strives to provide relevant and timely information to members and find new and creative ways to grow MARSP membership numbers. In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband and two children.

Erin Parker — Events Coordinator

Erin Parker joined MARSP in 2011 as the Events Coordinator. Erin is a graduate of Michigan State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science and a Master of Science in Agricultural Extension Education. Erin is also a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP).  Erin’s previous experience includes working for MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in the Office of Academic and Student Affairs and the Office of Diversity and Pluralism, coordinating events, and advising student groups.

Erin lives in the Lansing area and enjoys spending time with her niece and nephew.

Our History

MARSP was founded December 15, 1951, in Detroit by 11 public school retirees and 2 representatives of MEA as Michigan Retired Public School Employees Association (MRPSEA); contribution memberships (not dues) at $.25, $.50, $.75, or $1.00; MRPSEA Constitution approved and included “all public school employees may become members” and “the association shall maintain department status in the MEA and shall be a chapter of the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA)”; Michigan had approximately 800 annuitants.

MARSP history by decade:

Click on the links below

1950-1959

1960-1969

1970-1979

1980-1989

1990-1999

2000-2009

2010-present

MARSP Board of Directors

The MARSP Board of Directors - October 2014
Officers & Chairmen
PresidentRobert Kucera
President – ElectSteve Gordon
Vice-presidentSue Jakubiak
Secretary Speedy Bates
TreasurerHeston Bates
Past-presidentPaul B. Lerg
Building & GroundsG. Duane Davis
BylawsPaul B. Lerg
FinanceHeston Bates
LegislativeCharles E. Abshagen
Georgia Sharp
Membership Sue Jakubiak
FoundationMarie L. Wilkerson
VANGUARD Editor VACANT
Area Directors
Area 1Sharon Ryden
Area 2Donald O. Johnson
Area 3Catherine Tibbett
Area 4VACANT
Area 5Mila MacNaughton
Area 6Les Nixon
Area 7Carol J. Pratt
Area 8Michael Eagan
Area 9VACANT
Area 10Rita Doneth
Area 11VACANT
Area 12James Mikus
Area 13Deb Herrick
Area 14Roberta Wadel
Area 15Judith E. Nixon
Area 16Gary W. Lundquist
Area 17Pat St. George
Area 18John Frederick
Area 19David Vultaggio
Area 20Gary Maloney
Area 21Kenneth Kelley
Area 22Charles H. Long
Area 23VACANT
Area 24 Mark Davids
Area 25Elizabeth Coller
Area 26VACANT
Area 27Lois J. Zilka
Area 28Ethel S. Carver
Area 29VACANT
Area 30Carol L. Pontious
Area 31Robert McCarrick
Non-Voting Member
ParliamentarianNicholas Colovos

MARSP Standing Committees

MARSP has several state standing committees that are made up of MARSP members.  These committees meet regularly throughout the year and focus on a particular topic or area of the organization.

The building and grounds committee monitors the maintenance of the MARSP building and its grounds and makes recommendations as needed.

Current Vacancies: None

The bylaws committee reviews bylaws on a regular basis and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors.

Current Vacancies: None

The finance committee is directly responsible to the board of directors for all matters dealing with finance including but not limited to budget, budget adjustments, and audits.

Current Vacancies: 3

1 – Central Region
1 – Northern Region
1 – North Central Region

The legislative committee studies and recommends to the Board of Director’s action on various legislative issues affecting school retirees.

Current Vacancies: 4

1 – Central Region
3 – North Central Region

The membership committee recommends to the board procedures for recruitment and collection of dues.  Committee members offer assistance and guidance to the local chapters.  They also recommend areas to be explored for new chapters.

Current Vacancies: 12

2 – Central Region
1 – Eastern Region
3 – Metro Region
1 – Northern Region
2 – Southwest Region
3 – North Central Region

How to join a MARSP Standing Committee

Vacancies on committees can happen at any time, so if you are interested, we recommend filling out the MARSP Committee Member Application to let us know of your interest.  Appointments are made by the MARSP President, and initial applications will be reviewed after June 25th, 2021. 

MARSP Regions

The state of Michigan is geographically divided into six regions: Central, Eastern, Metro, North Central, Northern, and Southwestern.  Chapters in each region are provided leadership from elected Regional Director Representatives.  MARSP Regional Directors help streamline information between chapters and the state office.  Regional Directors are also responsible for monitoring their chapters and providing leadership and assistance.

Central

Regional Director: Mike Sweet

MARSP Areas: 16, 17, 24, 29, 30 and All Out-of-State Chapters

MARSP Chapters:

  • Clinton
  • Ingham-Greater Lansing,
  • Lenawee
  • Livingston
  • Monroe – South
  • Shiawassee
  • Washtenaw
  • AZ – Tucson/Green Valley
  • Colorado
  • FL – Char-Sota
  • FL – Greater Daytona
  • FL – Heartland
  • FL – Lee County
  • FL – Southwest Gulf Coast
  • FL – Space Coast
  • FL – St. Petersburg
  • FL – Sun Coast
  • FL/GA – Tallahassee/South Georgia
  • FL – Tri-County
  • Tennessee East

Eastern

Regional Directors: Michael Schichtel, David Vultaggio

MARSP Areas: 11, 12, 18, 19 & 21

MARSP Chapters:

  • Bay – Northern
  • Bay Area
  • Bay Arenac
  • Genesee
  • Genesee – Southeast
  • Genesee – West
  • Huron
  • Lapeer
  • Macomb – East
  • Macomb – North
  • Oakland – North
  • Saginaw
  • Sanilac
  • St. Clair
  • Tuscola

Metro

Regional Director: Elizabeth Coller

MARSP Areas: 20, 25, 26, 27 & 28

MARSP Chapters:

  • Oakland – Farmington
  • Oakland – Suburban
  • Wayne – Detroit
  • Wayne – Downriver
  • Wayne – Metro
  • Wayne  – Northwest

Northern

Regional Directors: Donald Johnson, Les Nixon

MARSP Areas: 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6

MARSP Chapters:

  • Alger
  • Alpena
  • Baraga
  • Charlevoix
  • Cheboygan
  • Chippewa-Mackinac
  • Crawford-Oscoda
  • Delta
  • Dickinson
  • Emmet
  • Gogebic
  • Houghton-Keweenaw
  • Iron
  • Luce County/Tahquamenon
  • Marquette
  • Montmorency
  • Ontonagon
  • Ostego
  • Presque Isle
  • Schoolcraft

Southwestern

Regional Director: Deb Herrick

MARSP Areas: 13, 14, 15, 22 & 23

MARSP Chapters:

  • Allegan
  • Barry
  • Berrien
  • Branch
  • Calhoun
  • Cass
  • Eaton
  • Hillsdale
  • Ionia
  • Jackson
  • Kalamazoo
  • Kent
  • Ottawa
  • St. Joseph
  • VanBuren

North Central

Regional Director: Carol Pratt

MARSP Areas: 5, 7, 8, 9 & 10

MARSP Chapters:

  • Clare
  • Gladwin
  • Grand Traverse
  • Gratiot
  • Isabella
  • Leelanau
  • Manistee
  • Mason-Lake
  • Mecosta-Canadian Lakes
  • Montcalm
  • Muskegon
  • Newaygo
  • Oceana
  • Ogemaw
  • Osceola
  • Roscommon
  • Wexford-Missaukee

MARSP State Officers

PhotoOfficer
President
Robert Kucera
President-elect
Steve Gordon
Photo coming soon!Vice-president
Sue Jakubiak
Hess BatesTreasurer
Hess Bates
Photo coming soon!Secretary
Speedy Bates
Past-president
Paul B. Lerg