Fremont Area Community Foundation’s annual Spring Donors Luncheon featured Alex Gorsky, former chairman and CEO of Johnson and Johnson, as its guest speaker. More than 110 donors attended the June 20 luncheon, held at the Pavilion at Waters Edge.

Gorsky is a graduate of Fremont High School and the United States Military Academy at West Point. After serving in the Army, Gorsky began his career with Johnson and Johnson in 1988 as a sales representative. He became chair and CEO in 2012. Under his leadership, the company grew from approximately $60 billion to $100 billion in total sales.

The luncheon featured Gorsky in conversation with Shelly Kasprzycki, the Community Foundation’s president and CEO. They talked about Gorsky’s experiences growing up in Fremont, serving in the Army, and leading Johnson and Johnson during a pandemic.

Gorsky’s parents, Al and Loretta Gorsky, moved their family to Fremont in the early 1970s for Al’s job with Gerber. While leaving relatives and moving to a small rural community was a big change, Gorsky remembers that the community here quickly embraced them.

“Our family, we just love this community,” said Gorsky. “I wouldn’t be where I am without the community of Fremont.”

Gorsky also talked about fielding calls in his kitchen from world leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic as his company worked to develop a vaccine. “It was an incredibly emotional time,” he said. “We were on a mission.”

Reflecting on challenges and opportunities in healthcare, Gorsky shared, “We’ve never seen a time of so much technology and innovation as we’re seeing now.”

In recent years, the Gorsky family has been instrumental in the revival of the Waters Edge property, including the golf course, restaurant, the Pavilion event space, and The Bunker. “This is a special place for Newaygo County, and we want it to be here for the long term,” he said. He also recognized his wife, Pat Gorsky, for her work managing many of the project details.

In addition to their work at Waters Edge, the Gorsky family are active philanthropists and have created a fund at the Community Foundation as part of their ongoing commitment to this area.

“This community has been such an important part of our lives,” said Gorsky. “We have always had a warm place in our hearts for this community. We feel it’s our responsibility to give back.”