John Collins

Chair

John Collins

Chair

John and his wife Lynn grew to love the Northwest corner of Michigan through years of vacationing at the Watervale Inn on Lower Herring Lake. They are returning to Michigan after a stint of living on Manhattan in New York City. John and Lynn – who have four adult sons all of whom are Eagle Scouts – will be spending the majority of their time at their home on Platte Lake in Benzie County.

John has been for decades active in non-profit and tax exempt organizations including leadership roles in educational, church, and community service organizations. As a Scoutmaster of a Boy Scout Troop in Southeast Michigan John earned most of the Boy Scout awards an adult leader can earn for training and leadership. The Troop was involved in camping and conservation projects throughout Michigan and the United States. BSA Troop Eagle Projects included planting thousands of dune grass plants to prevent erosion along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Benzie County and clean-up operations at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

John brings to the Board a unique blend of commitment to conservation and nature coupled with a proven track record of leadership in the arenas of legal governance and risk management. John has over 35 years of experience as an attorney working on corporate transactions, corporate governance, acquisitions, capital finance, compliance, and business ethics. John recently retired from AlixPartners LLP, a global business consulting firm, where he was General Counsel, Secretary and chaired its global Risk Management Committee. Before holding those positions John spent two decades in private law practice and also for 10 years held the positions of General Counsel and Secretary at Champion Enterprises, a company traded publicly on the New York Stock Exchange.

John is an adjunct faculty member at Wayne State University Law School and has taught a variety of business planning and tax courses. He is also a guest lecturer at Fordham University Law School in New York. He previously served on the faculty of Walsh College of Business and Accountancy, and was for several years a guest lecturer at the University of Michigan Law School, conducting a seminar on crisis management for the general counsel.

John holds a bachelor’s degree from Kalamazoo College and a J.D. with honors from Wayne State University Law School. He received his LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Florida Law School where he graduated first in his class and was awarded the Mershon Sawyer Award for outstanding scholastic achievement.

John is the Past-Chairperson of the Taxation Section Council of the State Bar of Michigan and has authored and co-authored numerous articles in the fields of taxation, business planning, and mergers and acquisitions

John is elated to be a member of the Board of the Conservancy and appreciates the responsibilities of trust and stewardship that go with that role.

Cortney Danbrook

Vice Chair

Cortney Danbrook

Vice Chair

Cortney is a Traverse City attorney who maintains a transactional based real estate, business and estate planning practice. She worked for a national investment firm and regional banking institution prior to going into private practice as an attorney and has an extensive background in business, wealth management and trust administration. Born and raised in Michigan, Cortney has had a special connection with northern Michigan since childhood. She is passionate about access, preservation and protection of the natural resources which are vital to this region’s growth and economic sustainability. Cortney’s husband, Chris (a Montana native), grew up on a ranch in the foothills of Glacier National Park and was captivated by northern Michigan’s agricultural landscape and unspoiled beauty of the Great Lakes. They feel privileged to have the opportunity to raise their family here. Cortney and Chris live on the Old Mission Peninsula with their two young sons, Brogan and Hudson. Cortney is joined on the Old Mission Peninsula by her parents and three sets of her aunts and uncles who also call northern Michigan their home. Cortney received her law degree from Michigan State University College of Law and her undergraduate degree from Michigan State University – Eli Broad College of Business.

Greg Seman

Treasurer

Greg Seman

Treasurer

Greg has been a certified public accountant for 28 years, practicing in Traverse City since 1990. Born in Flint, Michigan, he received his bachelors degree in Accounting from Western Michigan University and Masters in Taxation degree from Walsh College. Greg’s main discipline focuses on estate, gift and charitable giving taxation. A prior board member and Treasurer of the Grand Traverse Regional land Conservancy from 1991-2000, he was involved in the early Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund projects, Antrim Creek, Seven Bridges and Yuba Creek Natural Areas. An avid black and white photographer, he and his partner, Tracey McVicar published Shine On – Photographs of the Northwestern Michigan Region in 2013, featuring several GTRLC properties. Greg and Tracey live in Acme Township and combined have five children.

Paul Brink

Secretary

Paul Brink

Secretary

Paul is President of the Warm Hearts Foundation, a Grand Rapids based non-profit organization that supports education, clean water and health care initiatives in Kenya and Malawi. He is also a founding board member of Opening Village Doors Foundation which provides funding for start-up businesses in the slums of Nairobi. He has a keen interest in preserving the natural beauty of our area for future generations and has been active in smart growth initiatives in Acme Township. For seven years he was co-chair of the Acme Shoreline Preservation Advisory Committee, and experienced first hand the incredible ability of the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy staff to make good things happen. Having earned a mechanical engineering degree from Purdue University and a law degree from Indiana University he pursued a long career with The Dow Chemical Company working in the USA, Asia and Europe. In prior years he has served on the boards of The Intercommunity School of Zurich, The Committee on Taxation of the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, the Midland Area Chamber of Commerce, the Midland Economic Development Council, Conflict Resolution Services of Traverse City and the Inland Seas Education Association in Suttons Bay.
Paul and his wife Amanda live in Yuba, just south of Elk Rapids where Amanda owns the Summer Place, Ltd. antique shop.

Perry Adams

Perry Adams

Perry and his wife Cathy are Michigan natives who were raised in the Detroit area and grew to love Northwest Michigan from an early age. They loved the area so much that in early September 2001, to the dismay of family and friends, they took a leap of faith and moved the family to Traverse City without employment. Perry has been an avid outdoorsman his whole life thoroughly enjoying the trails, woods and beaches of Northwest Michigan but his foremost passion is steelhead fishing. He is honored and excited to be part of such a dedicated and focused team as well as to provide leadership and support to GTRLC’s important mission.

Perry has been involved in the investment field for over 25 years and currently serves as Wealth Management Investment Director for West Shore Bank. He has been an active member in the local community and has served as a board or committee member for several local non-profits. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Ferris State College and a Master’s in Finance degree from Walsh College.

Betsy Calcutt

Betsy Calcutt

Betsy is originally from the Detroit area and grew up volunteering with her mother, preserving land for the Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy. She has lived on Old Mission Peninsula for 35 years with husband, Scrub, and three children. She is an avid outdoors person and has covered almost every inch of the state. She feels very aware of Michigan’s geography and the threats against it. Betsy has been a board member with various community groups in this area and the Upper Peninsula. As past chair of West and Northern Michigan Planned Parenthood and current member of Michigan League of Conservation Voters she is used to keeping abreast of Michigan’s political climate. Her background is in retail and marketing, most recently for a regional bank. She is looking forward to working with the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, particularly in helping further the communities’ support of this great organization.

Linda Cline

Linda Cline

Linda, a Michigan native originally from St. Joseph, spent her working life in Midland. She retired from Midland Public Schools after a 33 year career that began as a kindergarten teacher and ended as the associate superintendent for finance, facilities, and operations. While in Midland, Linda held leadership positions on a variety of boards including a credit union, a community foundation, and an arts organization. She was also an enthusiastic warrior against invasive species for the Little Forks Conservancy, a role she has brought with her to Traverse City where she is the treasurer of TART Trails and a member of its Leelanau Trail invasive species team.

Linda earned her A.B. in education from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. from Central Michigan University. She and her husband, Dan, moved to Traverse City in 2016 and are now enjoying outdoor activities year-round, including exploring northern Michigan’s many Conservancy protected properties.

Don Coe

Don Coe

Don is the cofounder and former owner of Black Star Farms, a winery, distillery, inn, restaurant and working farm in the Grand Traverse region. Don and his wife Marylou reside in Traverse City and have two adult children. Both Don and Marylou grew up in Connecticut but have summered in Leland with other family members for over 40 years, moving full time to this area in 1998. They are long time members of the Leelanau Conservancy and active supporters of numerous environmental based organizations.

Don earned his BS degree from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, followed by five years in the U.S. Navy and 30 years in international and national marketing and sales of spirits and wines. They have lived in the Caribbean, Latin America, Canada, Europe and the United States, and Don retired President of U.S. operations of Allied Domecq Spirits (formerly Hiram Walker Company).

While building Black Star Farms, Don was appointed to two terms as a Commissioner for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development by Governors Granholm and Snyder and served as President and Board Member of the Leelanau County and Grand Traverse regional EDCs. Black Star Farms was the 100th MAEAP certified farm in Michigan. Don has actively supported farmland and farmer preservation efforts by working with townships, the local food network and Grand Traverse Food Shed Alliance.

Kathleen Guy

Kathleen Guy

Kathleen is a Michigan native, born in Ionia. She has spent the last 34 years living in the Traverse City area working at Northwestern Michigan College and now as an independent consultant specializing in fundraising, non-profit board development, strategic planning and communications. A 25-year resident of Acme Township, she has been involved with the Acme Shoreline project since its inception, having facilitated early visioning discussions and now serving as co-chair of the Acme Shoreline Citizen’s Advisory Committee. She is thrilled to see this beautiful East Grand Traverse Bay Shoreline become open parkland for present and future generations to enjoy. Kathleen earned her bachelor’s degree from Alma College and her M.S. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University. She and husband Mark, an avid outdoorsman, have two daughters both of whom are married and live and work in the Traverse City area.

Jim Huckle

Jim Huckle

Jim grew up on a lake near Cadillac with a great appreciation and passion for the natural resources of the region. He and his wife Diana moved to the Old Mission Peninsula in 1985 with their two daughters, Renee and Martha, who have returned to the Peninsula and Harbor Springs to raise their families. Their grandchildren are now the fifth generation to live in the area. Hiking, boating, biking, skiing, fishing, and camping continue to be favorite family recreational pursuits. Jim is a graduate of Michigan State University and before retirement was the founder and president of Huckle Media, which owned community newspapers, magazines, websites, a digital agency and commercial printing operations in Minnesota. He has served as a director on a variety of non-profit, professional and corporate boards. Huckle stated “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to add my support to further the mission of the GTRLC.”

Jennifer Jaffe

Jennifer Jaffe

Jennifer has been a supporter of the GTRLC for over a decade, the Conservancy representative for the City of Traverse City and Charter Township of Garfield Recreational Authority (2003-2012) and a volunteer. She has enjoyed exploring the numerous properties that the Conservancy has acquired over the past twenty years with friends and family, especially the Old Baldy Trail and the mountain biking loop at Arcadia Dunes. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys gardening, skate skiing, traveling, and camping with her family. Jennifer and her husband, Brian, live in Traverse City and have two grown children.

Chip May

Chip May

Chip has served as the executive director of Camp Arcadia, a Lutheran family resort on the shores of Lake Michigan in Arcadia in Manistee County since 2000. As a teen he came to Camp Arcadia as a teen camper eventually served on staff with his future wife, Sarah. They married in 2000 and raise three children, daughters 13 and 11 and a son aged 6. The GTRLC's properties near Arcadia are an important part of their lives. Springtime wild flowers, hikes to Arcadia Dunes, Baldy, mountain bike trips to the St. Pierre Trails and Glacial Hills, cross country skiing and snowshoeing highlight their year. Chip and Camp Arcadia were helpful in the Conservancy's Coastal Campaign. Chip, a graduate of Michigan State University, serves as the vice chair of the Manistee County Community Foundation and has served on the Arcadia Planning Commission. He and his wife are also very involved in their church and the local community center. Chip is passionate about protecting precious land and making it available for everyone to access.

Barbara Nelson-Jameson

Barbara Nelson-Jameson

Barbara Nelson-Jameson is a Park Planner and was Michigan Program Director for the National Park Service - Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program. Barbara assisted communities and organizations working to protect rivers, develop non-motorized trails, conserve open space, and preserve our natural and cultural heritage. Ms. Nelson-Jameson has been instrumental in efforts such as The Automobile National Heritage Area, Southeast Michigan Greenways Initiative, The Detroit Heritage River Water Trail, The Downriver Linked Greenways Initiative, Iron Ore Heritage Trail, Oakland County BlueWays, Cass River Water Trail, Flint River Water Trail, Fred Meijer River Valley Rail Trails, and Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. She’s worked with the GTRLC on the Traverse City to Charlevoix Trail and the Northwest Michigan Greenways Plan.

Ms. Nelson-Jameson has worked at Isle Royale National Park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. She has served on the boards of The Leelanau Conservancy, Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance, Land Information Access Association, and The Heart of the Lakes Center. Barbara received a Bachelor’s of Science in Outdoor Recreation Planning and a Master’s of Science in Natural Resource Management from the University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment.

Susan Palmer

Susan Palmer

Susan Palmer, her husband Tom and her family fell in love with the water and land of northern Michigan when they first began to come 45 years ago for summer vacations. Palmer family values align with GTRLC mission which is why Susan is happy to join the board. She is the former development director at the Toledo Museum of Art where she is a current board member and Docent. She also serves as Secretary on the University of Toledo Foundation Board and the Toledo Community Foundation Board.
With her husband Tom she is a co-chair of the United Way of Toledo Tocqueville campaign. She has a daughter and son in law and three grandchildren.

John D. Paul, Jr.

John D. Paul, Jr.

John is the former President and CEO of The Bank of Northern Michigan, retiring in May 2015. With a banking career spanning nearly 40 years, John had previously served as Chairman. President and CEO of Old Kent Bank - Grand Traverse, and then Old Kent Bank - Southwest/Fifth Third Bank, holding various commercial lending positions with Old Kent prior to those appointments.

An active community participant, he is currently on the board of TART Trails, Inc., and St. Joseph Catholic Church. He also serves on the board of Shmuckal Oil Company.

John earned a BBA in finance from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Michigan State University. He and his wife Susan have four children and four grandchildren.

Kevin Russell

Kevin Russell

Kevin is a native Michigander—born in Detroit, raised in the southeastern corner of the state, and educated at Albion College (A.B.) and the University of Michigan (J.D.). He retired in 2013 after 25 years as a partner specializing in commercial litigation in the Chicago office of Latham & Watkins. Kevin came to appreciate northern Michigan’s character and the Conservancy’s role in protecting it during annual vacations at Watervale Inn on Lower Herring Lake. He and his wife Lisa now spend as much time as possible at their home in Acme Township. They have three children and three grandsons. In his spare time, Kevin obsessively follows Michigan football and takes classes at the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies.

Evan Smith

Evan Smith

A native Detroiter, Evan Smith left a job in Chicago to backpack throughout the US before deciding to settle in Traverse City in 1978 and has never looked back. With over 35 years experience in international and domestic food distribution and logistics his dedication to increasing awareness of the importance of land conservation and preservation of our agricultural heritage has become an increasingly important part of his activities. Prior to joining Cherry Capital Foods in early 2009, he spent 8 years as the CFO of Food For Thought, a specialty food manufacturer. Both organizations have a strong, mission-based philosophy that drives their decision making process. Married with 2 adult sons, he has spoken nationally and internationally on food system issues, is the past Chair of TC-TALUS, and serves on the Michigan Farm to Institute Advisory Board, the Traverse City Food and Farm Network, the Grand Foodshed Alliance, and the Michigan Food & Farming Systems Board.

Maureen Smyth

Maureen Smyth

After a career at the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Maureen retired to northwest Michigan, and began a second career of community involvement. A longtime supporter of the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, she has a strong interest in protecting and restoring the region's spectacular natural areas. Maureen began her career at Mott in 1983, and from 2005 until she retired in 2012 was the Senior Vice President for both Programs and Communications. She was part of the management team that worked to help GTRLC acquire the wonderful preserve at Arcadia Dunes. Maureen and her husband Paul live in Traverse City's Midtown neighborhood, and keep a small cabin on Lake Superior in Baraga County. An avid hiker and outdoors person, Maureen brings her passion for northwest Michigan and its environment and people to her work on the Conservancy board.

Allen Taylor

Allen Taylor

Al Taylor and his wife Ann are year-round residents of Onekama, having moved back to Michigan after spending 10 years in the Minneapolis area. Al received a degree in chemical engineering from Virginia Tech and worked around the United States and abroad for 35 years before retiring. Ann is a retired psychologist. Both grew up in rural areas and developed an early love of nature and conservation. Al spends most of his free time in volunteer work and being active in the community. He is involved at the officer level in the Portage Lake Association and the Portage Lake Watershed Forever group. Al is also active with Onekama Consolidated Schools. He is a member of the Onekama Planning Commission and is also part of the Onekama Parks and Recreation team. When not doing volunteer work, there is plenty to do on the 26 acre preserve called home and helping Ann with her numerous gardens. Al is also active in Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club International and Audubon. Al enjoys big game hunting, fishing, photography, traveling with Ann and most outdoor activities that are available in Northwest Michigan. Al and Ann also share a keen interest in protecting the environment and want to share for generations to come the wonderful resources that are available in Northwest Michigan.

Terrie Taylor

Terrie Taylor

Dr. Terrie Taylor is the first “second generation” board member of GTRLC. Her mother, LouAnn Taylor, served on the inaugural board in 1991 and helped to imbue Terrie with an appreciation for land protection as well as an understanding of all that is required to acquire and protect property in perpetuity. A University Distinguished Professor at the College of Osteopathic Medicine in Michigan State University, Dr. Taylor divides her time between Michigan (July – December) and Malawi (January – June). In Malawi, she provides clinical care to children with severe malaria and tries to understand how that disease wreaks havoc on those tiny patients. While in Michigan, she again divides her time – between the home she shares with John Robert Williams on the shores of Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City, and the campus of Michigan State University. She is a bicycle commuter in all three settings, and enjoys being outdoors whenever possible, whether it is climbing Mt. Mulanje in Malawi or exploring the nooks and crannies of the many properties protected over the years by the Conservancy.