Maribeth Brennaman

Maribeth Brennaman

Growing up in Ottawa, KS, Maribeth Brennaman saw first-hand the difference one person makes. Her father Jim owned a local grocery store her grandfather started in 1919. When his regulars were struggling, Jim made sure they had food whether they could pay or not.

“The smallest denominator is where real difference happens,” Maribeth said. “I want to help and be involved in making a difference in peoples’ lives.”

Her interest in GAGV came through a 35-year friendship with board member Barb McNeile. As young mothers, they lived across the street from each other and later stayed connected, comparing notes about their PTA volunteering. That led to other shared volunteering, including the Johnson County Christmas Bureau, Johnson County Young Matrons and ultimately to GAGV, where Maribeth serves on the communications and Community Forum planning committees.

Her degree in social work from Baker University underscores her current commitment to three other community groups: Free Hot Soup, offering food at pop-up sites throughout the metro area, no questions asked; Kansas City’s River of Refuge, providing transitional housing, counseling and job training for homeless families, and StageworkX, a three-week performing arts summer camp in Olathe that builds character in students from kindergarten through high school.

“I start each day looking at a small, framed picture that says ‘Your greatness is not what you have, it’s what you give,’” Maribeth said. “Everyone has something to give.”

In addition to her community involvement, Maribeth is an outside sales representative for General Mills serving metro-area Hy-Vee grocery stores. She and her husband Alan have three daughters.