A New Appreciation

Brian Gallagher’s roots run strong and deep in the Lansing area, and his relationship with Highfields started earlier than most. In fact, he jokes with Highfields’ CEO Brian Philson that he was a former client of Highfields when his 6th grade class participated in the Breakthrough Program on the Onondaga campus for a class trip.

Brian became involved with the Highfields Board of Directors when he was a young lawyer at his previous firm, which has a long history of representation on Highfields’ board.

“Once I joined the board, I really fell in love with the organization, the staff, and the services they provide,” said Brian.

Brian served 6 years on the board and spent time on the Fund Development Committee before becoming Board Chair. After his term as Board Chair, Brian continued to support Highfields from the outside, and his relationship with the organization was far from over.

Brian now works at Miller Canfield in Lansing.  In 2020, he got a call from Brian Philson asking him to return to the board.

He gladly accepted, and is now on his third term as a board member and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, Brian was the pitch person for the 2022 Strengthening Families Breakfast.

“I shared about my development as a board member,” said Brian. “During my first stint on the board, I was young and single.  I had a good theoretical understanding of Highfields’ programs, and I certainly respected and valued the work of the organization. However, it wasn’t until I became a husband and a parent myself that I truly came to appreciate the work of Highfields.”

Brian is married to his wife Kelly, and they have two children – Audrey and Spencer. Brian hopes to see a positive future for Highfields.

“Moving forward, we need to figure out what how to best deliver our services and position our programs for success in a post-COVID landscape, so that the organization and its clients can continue to thrive,” said Brian. “Internally, our priorities should be stabilization of our finances, workforce recruitment and retention, and transition planning.”

Brian believes that Highfields services are essential, and that the team is doing a great job of providing help to those that need it.

“The reality is that no one wants to need Highfields’ services.  In spite of that, the consistent and overwhelmingly positive feedback we receive from clients is reassuring to me that all of the hard work by the whole team is worth it.”

Scroll to Top