Kathy Sample named United Way of Washtenaw County’s Woman of the Year

Owner of Argus Farm Stop will be honored at annual Power of the Purse in March

Argus owners Bill Brinkerhoff and Kathy Sample when they first opened Argus Farm Stop at 325 W. Liberty. (Credit: Destination Ann Arbor)

ANN ARBOR – United Way of Washtenaw County has announced that Kathy Sample has been named its 2023 Woman of the Year.

UWWC’s Women United group selected the Argus Farm Stop owner for the honor for her role in supporting farmers year round and for her volunteerism in the local community.

“Kathy Sample exemplifies what the Power of the Purse initiative is about: women taking action to address community issues,” President of United Way of Washtenaw County and member of the Power of the Purse committee, Pam Smith, said in a release. “Kathy is a local business owner that innovated a new model to support small local farmers year-round, she has been an active volunteer for United Way and other community nonprofits.”

Sample will be honored at the annual Power of the Purse event presented by UWWC on March 8, 2023. The event will be held in person at Washtenaw Community College’s Morris Lawrence Building.

“I am proud of the way United Way assesses needs and moves to help the organizations of our community as they change and grow, especially in difficult times,” Sample said in a statement.

Sample and her husband Bill Brinkerhoff opened Argus Farm Stop in 2014 as an all-new concept aimed at supporting local farmers year-round. The indoor farmers market now has two locations.

Sample has also volunteered with Peace Neighborhood Center for nearly two decades and works with other nonprofits in the area.

Prior to opening Argus, Sample worked in the corporate automotive, chemical and medical gasses industries in business planning, marketing and strategy. A graduate of University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, Sample earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Michigan State University.

She and Brinkerhoff live in Ann Arbor and have three grown children.

Women United is a national network of United Way’s and boasts some 70,000 members across 165 communities across the country. According to a release, it is the “most successful women-oriented philanthropic effort of its kind.”

Since UWWC launched its local Women United branch, it has granted more than $362,000 to local human service organizations through its Power of the Purse event.

The Women of the Year honor was established in 2009. Previous recipients include Lucy Ann Lance, Jimena Loveluck, Eileen Spring, Molly Dobson and others.