The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is deeply saddened by the passing of Alan Ott, a longtime supporter of the Mackinac Center and well-known civic leader in our hometown of Midland.
Mr. Ott was instrumental in the early years of the Mackinac Center, serving as co-chair, along with Margaret "Ranny" Riecker, of the Center's headquarters building campaign in 1997-98.
He helped the Center raise $2.4 million to convert an abandoned Woolworth's department store into our current Main Street location. The lead donors were The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation and The Charles J. Strosacker Foundation.
Mr. Ott was also a member of the Mackinac Center's original Mid-Michigan Board of Advisors, which was an invaluable sounding board on public policy.
Every meeting with him was a lesson in virtue, civility, getting one’s facts right, and community building. We will always be grateful for his friendship, leadership and advice over the years.