Inaugural board of advisors for the Golden Grizzlies Athletic Fund

Katie LaDuke , Staff Reporter

Oakland Athletics announced the inaugural Board of Advisors for the Golden Grizzlies Athletic Fund (GGAF) on Tuesday, Nov. 21,. Oakland alumni Gary Brancaleone and Anne Dieters-Williams were elected president and vice president, respectively, at a GGAF meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Both Brancaleone and Dieters-Williams have been regularly involved in organizations on campus since their graduations. Brancaleone is a 1982 graduate with a degree in finance, he served as president of the SBA Alumni Board and spent eight years on the Athletics Board of Visitors. He is currently treasurer on the Executive Council of the Oakland University Alumni Association (OUAA) Board of Directors.

Dieters-Williams is a three-time graduate of Oakland. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Communications in 1983, Master of Public Administration in 2009 and post-graduate certificate in local government in 2015. Dieters-Williams has also served as President of SBA Alumni Board and is a member of the OUAA Board of Directors, OUAA Scholarship Committee, OUAA Philanthropy Committee and the Women of OU Scholarship Committee.

“I am so excited to work with the members of the GGAF Advisory Board to promote and encourage interest and participation in OU athletics,” Dieters-Williams said.

The GGAF is the official department of Athletics that handles fundraising. This fund has been in place to help with special events, premium seating and student-athlete engagement since Athletics’ move from Division II to Division I. Some of the events the GGAF has put on include the Golden Grizzlies Golf Classic, Black & Gold Raffle and Tip-Off Gala.

The Board of Advisors the GGAF will now serve as the leadership element of the fund. Since it is brand new, different committees are being planned to assist with different aspects such as  membership and fundraising.

“We are so new that we’re really going to be developing as the charter board,” Brancaleone said. “We are really going to be developing the path for the future.”

The Board of Advisors is composed of 20 members. Not all of these members are alumni of Oakland, but everyone is a supporter of Oakland Athletics. The board will work together to design events and programs that uphold three goals.

These goals include promoting and encouraging interest in Oakland Athletics, promoting the welfare of Athletics through constructive civic services and projects and developing and spreading the Golden Grizzlies brand around Metro Detroit.

“We have a great group of volunteers willing to commit to the future of Athletics at Oakland University,” Dieters-Williams said.

Just like the rest of Athletics, the GGAF Board of Advisors will have the student-athlete experience as one of its top priorities. Every board member’s input will be used to enhance the student-athlete. Fundraising will also be utilized to provide scholarships and other experiences for the student-athlete.

“It’s not about us,” Brancaleone said. “It’s about [the student-athletes].”

Brancaleone is determined to make the GGAF successful. He looks forward to helping Athletics with its other fundraising and building the board along with the fund for the future.

“The thing that will be interesting as we go about formulating the direction of this board is everyone’s input,” Brancaleone said.