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Our Board of Directors

Meet the women who are working to make it all possible!

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Keri Withers

Hello! My name is Keri Withers. I moved to Michigan 21 years ago with my husband Alan and we have loved every second. We have six children and now we have two in-law children! I have a bachelor's degree in business and I help my husband run his private therapy practice. When I have free time, I love to learn, read, and quilt!

I created Rayola because I wanted to help improve the lives of struggling kids, whether in the foster care system or elsewhere. Every child deserves to know that they are seen and loved even if their situation doesn't always make them feel like they are. As a busy mom myself, I decided I could repurpose the talents I already had to help the children in my community feel that love and care.


 Yalanda Atchison

Hi! My name is Yalanda Atchison. I spent my career as an audiologist and helped develop a testing system to diagnose hearing loss in infants so that hearing aids could be fit before they turned six months old. My husband, Don, and I worked together for ten years until retirement to serve the needs of hearing care professionals in a large part of the western United States. We have four grandchildren and enjoy whatever time we have with them.

In retirement, I enjoy travel, investing, knitting, quilting, gardening, and making homemade soap. I wanted to be part of Rayola to have a positive impact in the lives of kids who are dealing with loss and trauma. I want every child to realize that they are special and unique. I feel privileged to be able to contribute my time and talents to this worthy cause.


Gail Hughey

My name is Gail Hughey.  I currently work for the West Branch Rose City Area Schools.  I moved to West Branch over 30 years ago when I accepted a job teaching children with special needs.  My husband and I are raising four delightful young men.  As a family we enjoy spending time together, traveling, playing games, and just generally being together. 

My profession has kept me in touch with the youth of our community.  I am proud to be part of Rayola, lending support during a vulnerable time in the life of a child.  I feel strongly that we should all work hard to make others feel accepted and safe no matter their life circumstances.  I encourage everyone to find an opportunity to volunteer.  You will enrich the lives of others and your own.

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Christie Blackford

Hi! I’m Christie Blackford. I have been a life long resident of West Branch. I married my husband in 2009 and we have three wonderful dogs! I have spent my professional career in leadership in many different avenues, currently with Walmart as a Store Manager.  I enjoy quilting and making an impact on the future of our community.

I joined Rayola because the children are our future and the impact Rayola is making as an organization is very direct to the children. To me that is incredibly important. What this organization is capable of and going to be doing in the future will leave a life long impact on society.


Claudia Miller

My name is Claudia Miller. I was born and raised in Northern Michigan. I am currently a partner at Schultze, Oswald, Miller, and Edwards PC and have been in the accounting field for 23 years. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and children, camping, hiking and traveling.

In my role, I will be providing financial knowledge to ensure Rayola can provide for child when they need it the most. I am honored to be a part of such a great organization and share my “noncreative” talents to help Rayola achieve the goals of making foster children feel loved and supported. It is important all children receive proper care while they navigate tough situations.


Ethel Littleton

Hi, my name is Ethel Littleton aka Aunt Effy. I moved to West Branch 6 years ago with my husband Jason. 

I've been sewing since I was about 6 years old! Working for various fabric stores has fueled my love of sewing and quilting.  

Quilting for Rayola has given me the opportunity to help the foster kids in Northern Michigan. I believe every child deserves love and kindness and I feel that the quilts provided will at least give them a warm hug and the knowledge that someone cares. 

Looking forward to organizing projects and events to raise awareness and provide for these children in foster care. 

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