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Advisory Council


KIM ALBRIGHT is the director of international development at Smith College. She lives in Florida and summers on the shores of Crystal Lake in Frankfort. During Kim’s years on the Groundwork board of directors, she helped develop our Benzie County program.


GARY APPEL, an administrator, science educator, and author, was a founding board member. An enthusiastic advocate for social justice, he rejoined and served on the board from 2007-2013 and recently accepted a position on the advisory council. Gray believes that poor planning and unbridled growth often hurt most those who have the least.


KATE BASSETT edits Harbor Light, a popular paper published in Harbor Springs that often reprints our work—a connection that’s grown since her tenure began. Kate promotes community by making sure the paper connects people to a sense of place and to each other. She plays an important outreach role to connect Groundwork to the Emmet County area.


MIKE DEPOLO is a senior and managing partner with the law firm Garan Lucow Miller, P.C., which has 10 offices in the Midwest, including Traverse City. A longtime conservationist, Mike served for more than 30 years as a board member of the Michigan Wildlife Habitat Foundation and Michigan Wildlife Conservancy.



JEFF GIETZEN spent more than 30 years with D&W Food Centers in Grand Rapids, where he worked as head of retail operations, sales and marketing before becoming CEO and vice chair. Gietzen now lives in Glen Arbor where he owns and operates Northwoods Hardware while offering mentoring and coaching to local businesses.


Dr. ORAN HESTERMAN is president and CEO of the Fair Food Network, a national nonprofit that improves access to healthy, local food. His 2011 book, Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All quickly become a national sensation. Oran lives in Ann Arbor and spends time at his home in Omena.


CHERYL HUTCHINSON is a property developer focused on repurposing buildings using "green" practices. After developing LEED Platinum projects in California, she was excited to return to where she grew up and restore the Historic Suttons Bay Stone Schoolhouse. Cheryl spent 20 years in travel technology, and over 10 years in nonprofit fundraising collaborating with communities and leaders.


HOWARD LEARNER is a leading environmental and energy attorney, who serves as president and executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center—the Midwest’s leading public interest envi­ronmental law advocacy and eco-business innovation organization. Howard is also an (adjunct) professor at the University of Michigan Law School, teaching classes on Clean Energy Law and Environmental Constitutionalism.  Howard lives in Chicago.  


JENNIFER LYON, DO is a family and sports medicine physician who graduated from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her sports fellowship training at Michigan State as the team physician for MSU athletes. She is currently practicing medicine at her office "Pure Health" and is actively involved in community health initiatives.


JIM MACINNES, co-owner and CEO of Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa, has an extensive background in renewable energy. He organized the 2008 and 2009 Conference on Michigan’s Future: Energy, Economy and Environment, and is the recipient of the institute’s 2011 Milliken Distinguished Leadership award.


DEBBIE McKEON is senior vice president for member services at the Council of Michigan Foundations which has offices in Grand Haven, Detroit and Grand Rapids. Before joining CMF, Deb was executive director of the NorthSky Nonprofit Network, a program of Rotary Charities of Traverse City, where she was active in numerous community initiatives, including the Grand Vision.


ALISON METIVA is director of community relations at the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation. She's involved in many community efforts, including the ICAN College and Career Access Network, Central Lake Experience and Opportunities, and the Traverse City Young Professionals.



CRAIG MILLER is a retired attorney and a longtime supporter of Groundwork. He played a critical role establishing the Fishtown Preservation Society and has been a longtime board member of the Leelanau Conservancy, where he recently led a $23 million capital campaign.


TERESA NEWMARCH leads the Pine Rest Foundation, which secures funds to achieve the vision of Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services—one of the largest behavorial health systems in the country, including a Traverse City clinic. Her nearly two decades with nonprofits includes building support for the environment, arts, higher education, and healthcare.


STANLEY 'SKIP' PRUSS founded 5 Lakes Energy LLC, a clean energy technology consultancy, after directing former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth. Skip works to enable and accelerate Michigan’s clean energy economy and is a valuable advisor to Groundwork's clean energy program.


JON SEBALY is a senior partner in the law firm Sebaly Shillito + Dyer in Dayton, Ohio. He and his wife Diana are longtime supporters of Groundwork with a deep interest in education and the environment. They spend as much time as they can at their second home in Leland.


LISA TAYLOR is the executive director of the Traverse City Track Club, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote health through running and walking activities in the 5 county area including Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau counties. Lisa is also the founder of "Farmland" a running and biking event that is a fundraiser for Groundwork.