Tom is a practicing attorney based in Charlevoix and focused on condominium and property law, with a particular interest in waterfront property issues. Tom enjoys living on Lake Charlevoix and volunteers for the Watershed Council’s lake monitoring program. Tom is a past board member of the Inland Seas Education Association and a present board member of the Lake Charlevoix Association and Charlevoix Historical Society. Additionally, Tom is the chair of the Hayes Township Zoning Board of Appeals and serves as secretary of the township’s Parks and Recreation Committee. He co-chairs the LCA work team that oversees the Boyne City Demonstration Garden Project. Tom joined the Watershed Council board looking for ways to productively work towards the preservation and improvement of the conditions in the Watershed for all forms of life. He has a strong belief in collaboration and thoughtful planning.
Dennis has lived on or very near Michigan water his entire life and strongly believes in protecting it for future generations. He has vacationed and lived full-time on Walloon Lake since the early 1980s. He and his wife have been active members and volunteers of the Walloon Lake Association and Conservancy (WLAC) since the late 1990s. They have seen directly how organizations like WLAC and the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council favorably impact the watershed. He is excited to take a more active role in helping the Watershed Council continue its essential work.
Bill retired in 2014 after 25 years with Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, IN. He and his wife Marty, who have been married for 40 years, have a daughter and son-in-law living in Chicago. Bill’s lifelong love affair with the natural world began 60 years ago in northern Michigan, where he vacationed with his family. That seed planted by those early experiences in Michigan prompted a degree in biology and seasonal positions with the US Forest Service during the 80’s. Now a full-time resident of Michigan and living on Douglas Lake, Bill is a director on the board of the Douglas Lake Improvement Association. In northern Michigan, ecological health and quality of life are explicitly linked via our water resources. Protection and advocacy for this natural asset are essential for continued enjoyment by future generations. Bill feels privileged to serve as a board member of Tip of the Mitt and have the opportunity to help preserve what we have.
Jerry studied in a multidisciplinary math and science program (Lyman Briggs College) with an emphasis on biology at Michigan State University. He went on to a 37-year career with the American Red Cross, retiring in 2014 and moving to Douglas Lake. During his tenure at the Red Cross, he worked at every level of the organization, from service provider to executive leader. “I have been in, on, and near the water all my life. In addition to teaching swimming and lifeguarding, I have led outdoor education teachers into the wilderness, river canoeing, and sea kayaking. I am an avid sailor, have been to the North Channel more than 20 times, raced in 11 Mackinac races, and race regularly on Lake Charlevoix and Little Traverse Bay. I also fish on Douglas Lake and other local lakes, rivers, and streams. Clean water is necessary for my future.”
Chuck’s passion for Northern Michigan and its waters began over 60 years ago when his father brought his family from Indiana to see the (then new) marvel of engineering known as the Mackinac Bridge. He never forgot the area. As an Eagle Scout, his interest and love for the thoughtful stewardship of Nature and Natural Resources continue to grow to this day. Chuck and his wife Cristy have been full-time residents living on Crooked Lake since 2009. He is a pharmacist and a retired executive with 50 years of experience in community pharmacy and the Pharmacy Benefit Management Industry. He served on the American Cancer Society Board for the Elkhart Indiana Chapter. Chuck feels honored and excited for the opportunity to serve the Watershed Council in this critical role as a member of its Board of Directors.
Jim worked with the Watershed Council staff on a restoration project on Birch Lake in 2019, which was very successful. “As a counselor working at a high-end wilderness summer camp in Montana, my eyes were opened to the environmental issue of that time, mainly clear-cut lumbering permitted on national forest lands. In 1972, I organized my high school’s first Earth Day cleanup event. During my college internship at Shanty Creek, I found Birch Lake and fell in love with Northern Michigan and the lake. My Michigan State University senior hospitality capstone project developed the concept, and economic and ecological benefit, of converting unused and heat-producing roof space into what I referred to at the time as ‘Living Roof Scapes’ for the Westin Hotel in Detroit.” Jim taught for 33 years at Grand Rapids Community College before moving to Birch Lake in 2015.
Amanda Weinert is a curriculum specialist with the Little Traverse Bay Bands Niigaandiwin Education Department in Harbor Springs, where she creates and evaluates curricula from an Anishinaabe/Odawa/Indigenous perspective. She also provides services to tribal citizens and local educators (formal & informal), collaborate with local school districts, State of Michigan Departments, other tribes, and other LTBB departments (NRD/Hatchery Nme (Lake Sturgeon) Teachings curricular unit). She serves on the K-4th Grade Michigan Social Studies Standards Task Force, Michigan Teacher Preparation Standards Stakeholder and Steering Committee (re-writing/re-design), Steering Committee and Curriculum Council for Harbor Springs Public Schools, Petoskey Crooked Tree Arts Center exhibition review committee, and the North East Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (NEMIGLSI) Leadership team. Prior to her current position with LTBB, she worked for the East Jordan Public Schools and the Title VI/Indian Education Director. She volunteers for the TOMWC as a stream monitor and the Sturgeon Guard on Black River.
Mike serves on the Burt Lake Preservation Association environment and land use committee for years. He has worked with the Watershed Council staff on many projects. “Most of my working life was spent spending my morning teaching Earth Science, and my afternoons were spent at the Lapeer Community Schools Skinner Lake Environmental Ed. Center. A program I started in 1972 and directed and taught there until 2002. I still love working with young people.”
Donna lives near Walloon Lake, has a cottage on the Sturgeon River, and keeps a boat on the Crooked River. Many summer days are spent enjoying these bodies of water along with Burt, Crooked, and Pickerel Lakes. In addition to her appreciation for the northern Michigan waters, Donna worked for 42 years in the conservation arena. From being the Policy Director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Deputy Director of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs, and the environment and agriculture Policy Director for Governor J. Granholm, Donna has earned recognition from the Alliance for the Great Lakes for her conservation efforts. She is interested in the impact of climate change on northern Michigan. She is supportive of the Watershed Council’s work to fully understand this issue, among others that threaten northern Michigan’s waters.
Perry Irish Hodgson
Perry Irish Hodgson grew up in Harbor Springs, where she developed a love for Northern Michigan’s lakes, woods, and open vistas. She left to attend the University of Michigan, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Business Administration degrees. After a career as a professional fundraiser for the University of Michigan, Stanford University, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Perry returned to Northern Michigan full time, settling in Charlevoix in 2009 with her husband Rich Hodgson, and two sons now ages 12 and 14. Perry currently serves as Chair of the Shade Tree and Parks Commission in Charlevoix, where she has facilitated the planting of over 500 shade trees along city streets since 2015. Perry is also a board member of Housing Yes Charlevoix and recently served on the Charlevoix Community Foundation. She follows many local issues closely and occasionally attends city and county meetings. Her environmental interests include forestry, invasive species, and responsible shoreline landscaping.
Mary Beth Kazanski
Mary Beth is a retired obstetrician/gynecologist who practiced in Princeton, NJ. She was introduced to Northern Michigan and its lakes by her husband, Tom, over 35 years ago, and it has been her little bit of heaven on earth ever since. When they retired, they both knew this was where they had to be. Mary Beth served as president of the Elk-Skegemog Lakes Association from 2019-2021. While on the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council Board, she hopes to continue to learn about the magnificent waters of Northern Michigan and work to protect them.
Donna has been spending her summer vacations swimming in Mullett Lake with her husband for the past 32 years. Now that she’s retired following a 35-year career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and two years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, she’s shifting her focus from a national policy lens to the precious natural resources of Northern Michigan. She couldn’t think of a better way to do that than contributing to the science-driven Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council. Having extensive experience in environmental protection she looks forward to being a contributing Board member. She is also a Mullett Lake Area Preservation Society Board Director. Donna’s interests are in helping summarize technical issues for broader audiences and, as a certified executive leadership coach, helping leaders harness collective efforts to conserve natural resources, adapt to climate change challenges, and develop sustainable communities.
As the Associate Director of the University of Michigan Biological Station, Karie splits her time between the field station in Pellston and the Ann Arbor campus. After graduating with a master’s in biology, studying stream fish, she spent the next seven summers in Arctic Alaska managing a stream research project for the Ecosystem Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. For more than 25 years, Karie has spent her summers at research field stations as a student, researcher, and now administrator. She has served on the City of Ann Arbor Environmental Commission and the executive boards of the Organization of Biological Field Stations and Little Traverse Conservancy. She also works closely with the Douglas Lake and Burt Lake associations on water and land projects. Her other long-term service activities include stream monitoring for the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council and street tree pruning for the City of Ann Arbor. Karie is happiest in the water and forests. She is particularly interested in strengthening the UM Biological Station – Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council partnership and getting a broader diversity of students from the station – both undergraduate and graduate – involved in common projects.