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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ken Engle and his wife Jan farm tart cherries, apples, and wine grapes in Acme Township of Grand Traverse County. Both participate in the labor and management of the vineyard and orchards. Their philosophy is to leave the land better for the future, so they have incorporated biological soil management, multi-species permanent seeding, chipping instead of burning brush, and wildflowers into their management practices. Farming has to be profitable to attract the next generation of farmers. Conservations easements protect over 80% of their farmland. These permanent easements assure neighboring farmers of a supportive environment to carry on and reinvest in their operations. The community benefits from better land utilization. Ken first became involved with GTRLC in 2006 when 111 acres of family property in South Boardman became a permanently protected Township Park. With a passion for preservation and conservation, Ken has also been a board member of the Grand Traverse Conservation District. The farming operation is MAEAP verified.
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.”
Bob Marshall and his wife Nancy became year-around residents of Arcadia in the Spring of 2003, not long before the Coastal Campaign began. Their early involvement in that effort and their support of the Conservancy’s mission resulted in Bob joining the Board in 2004. He served for three years before “flunking retirement” and returning to work. In 2010 Bob, then “really retired”, was re-elected to the Board where he is currently serving as Board Chair. Bob has BA from Albion College and a Master’s Degree from MSU. Prior to retirement Bob was an executive with the Michigan Education Association. Both he and Nancy enjoy traveling, visiting and hiking our National Parks and taking advantage of the natural resources of Michigan.
They have sons Ryan (Kelly) and Rob and daughter Christy (Jeff), and three grandchildren. As Bob says: “if you want to surround yourself with invigorating, generous and talented people, become active in the work of the GTRLC… it will keep you young.”
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 is a native Michigander – born in Detroit, raised in the southeast corner of the state, and educated at Albion College (A.B.) and the University of Michigan (J.D.). He retired in early 2013 after 25 years as a partner specializing in corporate litigation in the Chicago office of Latham & Watkins, one of the world’s great law firms. Kevin and his wife Lisa reside in Wilmette, IL, while their three children live in San Francisco, Missoula and Evanston. Kevin enjoys vacationing in northern Michigan, road biking (particularly on M-22 and its side roads as they traverse the lakes, dunes and cherry orchards of Benzie County), participating in The Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults at the University of Chicago, obsessively following Michigan football, and doting on his Bay Area grandsons. He’s proud to say that both boys learned how wonderful sand could be on the Lake Michigan shore near the foot of Mt. Baldy.
A longtime financial supporter of the Conservancy, Kevin hopes to advance its mission even more directly through his service on the Board. As the father of a grown daughter who is a quadriplegic, he has a special interest in the accessibility of protected areas.
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.
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.
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.
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.