Board Members

Joan Antle

Joan Antle

 

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Joan Antle is a former speech and hearing therapist and elementary teacher.

At present, Joan is an Adopt-A-Beach and Heritage Trail Ambassador and is a school presenter for the Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department’s pedestrian/bicycle safety program. Joan has taken on the job of mail coordinator for Friends to collect the donated monies for Friends’ brochures which are available at various Park sites.

“Unspoiled area” is the key term to be highlighted in serving on Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes Board. Joan feels it is extremely necessary to stay on top of what is going here at present and to be vigilant about the future of the area. As we want to preserve this special place for present and future generations to use and enjoy, keeping the area pristine, safe, but welcoming, are natural priorities. Joan enjoys sharing her respect and love of the area with others and wants to be a part of keeping the area “The most beautiful place in America.”

Joan received an associate degree from Delta College, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, and a master’s degree from Indiana University.

Doug Baker, Secretary

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In 2013, Doug retired after working 35 years as a library director in Wisconsin– 8 years for a library system based in Ashland and 27 years for the city and county of Kenosha. He served on the boards and as an officer of several community agencies and service clubs. Doug earned a BA and MA in library science at the University of Iowa. In 2014, Doug moved with his wife, Kathy, to Empire. They live year round in their new home on 10 acres adjoining the National Lakeshore.

In 2015, Doug was appointed to the Friends Board of Directors, and has served as Board Secretary since the first meeting he attended. In addition to service on the Executive Committee, he is also Chair of the Nominating Committee, and is now heavily involved in the search for future leaders for the Friends organization.

Doug has a steadfast love for the natural environment and a strong interest in preserving it. He plans to help the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes carry out its mission by supporting it financially, volunteering to help, and donating his political, strategic planning, and administrative and budgetary management skills.

David Borton

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Dave grew up just south of Lansing and received a BA in Communication Arts from Michigan State University in 1971. He and Mary Ann married after graduation and had vacationed in NW Michigan for many years before moving to Acme in 1977 as one stop in a 42 year pharmaceutical industry career.  After many corporate moves and return summer vacations to Benzie/Leelanau, they returned as full-time Leelanau County residents in 2013. Dave has volunteered with FOSBD since joining Adopt-A-Beach in 2008.  That expanded to being a SBHT Ambassador in addition to work such as sign installation starting in 2013 and continues most recently with landscape upkeep of the Dune Climb Donor Plaza.  In 2015, Dave was appointed to the Friends Board of Directors.

Dave has also seen his grandsons enroll as SBDNLS Volunteers over the past couple years. Music has been a big part of Dave’s life with various chorale organizations through the years including an opportunity to sing with the Chicago Symphony Chorus.  Dave has also enjoyed being the bass player in a number of folk rock groups.  Early experiences in scouting has influenced a life-long love of the outdoors which now focuses on fishing and road bicycling.  Dave currently is on the Parish Council at St. Mary’s in Lake Leelanau and serves as President of his homeowner’s association.  Other interests over time have included Big Brothers, various church volunteer positions, martial arts, canine rescue, Leelanau County Family/Probate Court Guardian Reviewer and Baraga Broadcasting.

Jeff Brown, Vice Chairman

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Jeff and his wife moved to the TC area in January of 2016. They were attracted by the natural beauty and the numerous outdoor activities here. Jeff was particularly drawn to the Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore. He enrolled in the Northern Naturalist program at NMC to learn as much as he could about the area. That is where he met Kerry Kelly and soon became an FSBD volunteer. He is passionate about protecting and promoting the northwest Michigan dunes region and particularly loves to educate visitors as they visit the park. Jeff worked at Eli Lilly & Co. pharmaceuticals in Indianapolis for 30 years. His kids still reside in the greater Indianapolis area. Jeff is currently a musician and plays lots of gigs in the TC area.

Laura Ann Johnson

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Laura Ann is excited to be a member of the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes Board to help visitors and locals alike have positive experiences in the national park in hopes they will want to protect it for the future. Laura Ann grew up outside of Chicago and spent 20 summers on the shores of Lake Michigan attending Camp Kohahna at Pyramid Point. Camp is where she gained a true love of nature and the outdoors.  After graduating from DePauw University in Indiana, Laura Ann pursued her Educational Studies degree by interning at Yellowstone National Park and then became the Director of the Leelanau Outdoor Center for a little over 5 years. There she continued to teach kids and adults of all ages the magic of Leelanau County and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore through character education and hands on science. Currently Laura Ann works for Cherry Republic, and she and her husband Tom live on ten acres in Maple City with their dog, Pepper, and one year old son, Abner.  Laura Ann loves to garden and do anything outside with her family. Tom and Laura Ann also enjoy doing Triathlons together in their free time. Laura Ann will bring enthusiasm and strong leadership and organizational skills to the Friends Board.

Kerry Kelly, Chairman of the Board

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Kerry Kelly retired from Dow Chemical in 2004 and has been on the Board of Directors of the Friends since 2005. He is now the Chairman of the board and Public Relations Director. He has been involved in many volunteer projects at Sleeping Bear Dunes. He coordinates the Adopt-A-Beach and Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail Ambassador programs and works one day a week at the Blacksmith Shop in Glen Haven. He teaches three Life Academy courses at NMC: Sleeping Bear Dunes – The Big Story, Into the Wilderness, and Ghost Towns of Sleeping Bear Dunes. Kerry was presented the Environmental Volunteer of the Year Award from Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council in 2016.

Gerald (Jerry) Peterson, Treasurer

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Jerry Peterson and his family began visiting the Sleeping Bear area in the early 1980’s. As their appreciation of its natural beauty and recreational opportunities grew, they decided to make it their second home, and in 1986 they purchased a cottage on Big Glen Lake. Now retired, Jerry and wife Mary spend full time there from June through September, with frequent trips throughout the year, and their children visit as often as possible.

Jerry was born and raised in Michigan. After completing his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Michigan, he became an officer in the U. S. Air Force. Following a four-year tour of duty, he returned to graduate school, earning a Master’s degree at Stanford University. He then joined Ford Motor Company, pursuing a career in information technology, from which he retired as Director, Information Technology Services at the end of 2000. In 2001, he became a member of the faculty at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, where he taught information technology as an adjunct professor until retiring from that role in April 2014.

Jerry enjoys bicycling, which is a near-daily activity for him in the summer, frequently on the Heritage Trail. He also loves sailing on Big Glen Lake and kayaking on the local lakes and rivers. Among the varied projects undertaken by the Friends, he is, of course, interested in the extension and completion of the Heritage Trail.

Laurie Pope

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Laurie’s love for the outdoors began at a young age, foraging for mushrooms with her father and exploring the woods.  Her passion for outdoor activities has grown over the years, and is what brought her and her family to this beautiful area.  In 1995, Laurie, her husband Tom, and their two children moved to Empire, after her acceptance of a job offer through Traverse Bay Intermediate Schools.  Laurie has worked in special education for over 30 years and recently retired.

Shortly after retirement, Laurie became involved with the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes as a volunteer for the trail crew. She is an avid user of the trail, enjoying both biking and skiing. She has enjoyed working with the other volunteers keeping the trial clean and safe.  It is through these experiences that have strengthened her interest in the Park and its importance for everyone to enjoy. It is her hope to have a voice in the continued partnership between the Park and the organization to help facilitate new initiatives and ideas.

Bill Stott

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Bill has lived a life committed to the preservation of wild places, a legacy from his parents and his forest ranger uncle. Following graduate studies, Bill spent 30 years as a research toxicologist at The Dow Chemical Company, retiring to the Traverse City area in 2009. He also served as an adjunct instructor for a variety of biology classes at Northwestern Michigan and Delta Colleges from 2003 to 2015.

Bill is an active biker, hiker, and backpacker, having experienced “nature” on long-distance hikes in Michigan’s UP and Great Britain. Since moving to the Traverse City area, he has also filled his days with a number of steady volunteer activities, including trail maintenance work for Peninsula Township, the Friends beach clean-up team, some special projects for the Friends and directly with the Park.

Bill is serving on an acoustic frog-monitoring team, which has provided him entrance to many of the more remote areas of the park. He believes in the Friends mission to aid the park service in balancing accessibility, public education, flora/fauna preservation, and passing on this very unique, diverse and spectacular piece of national treasure to future generations.

Ross Stephenson

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Ross and his wife Dianne began looking for an up north retirement location in 1997.  They visited areas throughout Michigan.  After taking a short canoe trip on the Lower Platte River, they were awed by the pristine beautiful of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Big Platte Lake.  Subsequently they purchased a small cottage on Big Platte Lake in 1998.  After the fall of 2002, they are year-long residents in their renovated lakefront home on Deadstream Road. Both enjoy being 8/10 of a mile from the National Lakeshore where they often kayak, walk, bike, fish, and ski in the area. Ross completed degrees from The University of Wisconsin-Madison (BS), Western Michigan (MA), and Michigan State University (PhD) and worked in education for thirty-five years, primarily in Dexter, Michigan.  During his career, he was a teacher, building principal, and central office administrator. He also taught for Michigan State University, off-campus.  He has served on many non-profit boards and professional organizations in various capacities.  Ross is in the choir and serves on leadership boards for St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Beulah; has served as an officer in the MSU Alumni Club of Benzie County; and more recently has served as a Park Ambassador and on the Trail Crew for the National Lakeshore.  He looks forward to serving the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes and its mission of supporting the park.

Steve Young

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Steve Young’s love of the outdoors began with a childhood living next to a woods with a small stream, and summer family vacations camping on a remote Canadian island. He and his wife Linda have owned their Glen Arbor home since 1998 and have lived here year-round since 2006. Steve retired from his career as a psychiatrist in January 2014 and began volunteering on Friends projects that June. Currently, he serves on the Friends Board of Directors, participates on SBHT Ambassadors team, coordinates the SBHT Trail Crew, mows in Port Oneida, and serves on the Friends Accessibility Committee. Linda and Steve Enjoy hiking, kayaking, biking, snowshoeing, and camping.

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We have one board position open. We are actively looking for a member of the community interested in supporting the National Park by applying leadership skills and life experience.

Board Member Responsibilities

I understand that as a member of the Board of Directors of Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes, Inc. (FSBD), I have a legal and ethical responsibility to ensure that the organization does the best work possible in pursuit of its goals. I believe in the purpose and the mission of the organization, and I will act responsibly and prudently as its steward. My behavior as a board member will be consistent with the values and mission of the organization. As part of my responsibilities as a board member:

  1. I will interpret the organization’s work and values to the community, represent the organization, and act as an ambassador.
  2. I will attend at least 75% of board meetings, including committees I am assigned to.
  3. I will RSVP my attendance for board meetings or board committee meetings at least one day in advance to either the FSBD board secretary (for board meetings) or the committee chair (for committees to which I am assigned.)
  4. I will review board materials prior to the board meeting and come to the session prepared for discussion.
  5. Each year I will make a personal contribution at a level that is meaningful to me, over and above the annual dues. Monetary contributions shall be kept confidential by the Treasurer and released to Board members on a need-to-know basis.
  6. I will actively participate in one or more fundraising activities.
  7. I will act in the best interests of the organization, and excuse myself from discussions and votes where I have a conflict of interest.
  8. I will stay informed about the organization’s activities and current issues. I will ask questions and request information. I will participate in and take responsibility for making decisions on issues, policies and other board matters.
  9. I will work in good faith with staff and other board members as partners towards achievement of our goals.
  10. I will serve on a minimum of one Board committee.
  11. I will commit additional time each month to Board business or volunteering within the park beyond the regular board meetings.

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