Meet Our Board


Roger, Board Chair, has worked in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries during his 40-year career as a research scientist. He has been a longtime member and board member, and is now Chairman of Groundwork. He and his wife, Coco, have been strong supporters of the Farms, Food, and Health Program. He is passionate about Groundwork partnering with local farmers and their organizations to bring clean, untainted food into the center of personal health and well-being.

Kate Basset


Kate 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.


Julie is CEO of Public Sector Consultants, one of the state’s most respected public policy firms. She has led groundbreaking research on electric reliability and capacity, created and managed multimillion-dollar nonprofits and facilitated the governor’s 21-Century Infrastructure Commission. In addition to her broad corporate leadership duties, Julie manages the firm’s energy and environment practice and PSC’s new lines of business in marketing and communications, program management, and implementation.


John, Treasurer, has more than 35 years of experience on Wall Street, representing various asset managers. For the past 10 years he has worked for the Roosevelt Investment Group that began as the family office for the descendents of President Theodore Roosevelt. John and his wife, Rebecca, live on Old Mission Peninsula, where John also serves as a trustee for the Peninsula Community Library.


Ed is a retired lawyer from San Diego who served there for years on local and regional land-use planning committees. As a child growing up in Detroit, he learned the value of Michigan’s beautiful and abundant natural resources. Ed is now a part-time resident of Glen Arbor.


Chip is dedicated to smart land-use policies and building the local food economy. He is the owner and visionary behind Cherry Capital Foods, a local food distribution business headquartered in northwest Michigan and now serving the entire state. He also owns a number of other food-related companies. Groundwork honored Chip with the Milliken Leadership Award in 2016.


Cheryl is a developer focused on repurposing buildings using "green" practices. After developing LEED Platinum projects in California, she returned to where she grew up and restored the Historic Suttons Bay Stone Schoolhouse. Cheryl spent 20 years in travel technology, and over 10 years in nonprofit fundraising. She recently restored an 1890 lodge near Suttons Bay, to be used as a yoga and executive retreat, named The Lee Point Retreat. 


Bill has a commercial real estate brokerage in Ann Arbor, and is a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Realtors. He served as the 100th president of Michigan Realtors in 2013. He is a board member of New Detroit (, was a director of Republic Bancorp, and board chair of the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce. Previously, Bill worked in Washington, D.C., for NASA and the U.S. Dept. of Justice.


Christie is a community advocate who is passionate about gender equality, smart growth and issues surrounding homelessness. She has contributed a regular opinion column in the Northern Express and writes blogs for A Strong Personality. Christie currently serves as Chair of Woman2Woman TC and sits on the Traverse City Human Rights Commission. She owns Sanctuary Handcrafted Goods in the Village at Grand Traverse Commons.

Denis Pierce


Denis is a partner in the law firm of McCalla, Raymer, Leibert, Pierce, a Chicago real-estate law firm, and the founder and president of the Pierce Family Charitable Foundation. His foundation works primarily with helping to solve the problems of homelessness in Chicago. He is also a supporter of a number of environmental and community organizations in the Traverse City area. He summers on Glen Lake.


Tim is the co-founder and president of Keen Technical Solutions, LLC, which provides clients throughout North America with analysis and energy conservation strategies. Keen was designated as one of the fastest growing companies in the country by INC 500. Tim is an advisor on Groundwork's clean energy program and a spokesperson in the business community.

Maureen Smyth


Maureen is a longtime Groundwork supporter, retired from the CS Mott Foundation, where she worked in the communications department before becoming a grant maker, developing the Great Lakes Land and Water Resources funding program, and then serving as senior vice president. A former board chair, Maureen skillfully guided the Board of Directors to support Groundwork's mission and has recently resumed her role as board member at large.

Mary Van Valin


Mary is a respected activist in the community. She is a former teacher, and recently helped advance a public park on Old Mission Peninsula. Mary is involved in many community initiatives, including leading the effort to install solar panels on a local school and coordinating an initiative to help students become advocates for climate solutions.


Hans, Executive Director, keeps Groundwork effective by collaborating with staff on program strategy, cultivating relationships with key allies, and working with the Board, donors, and foundations to strengthen financial health. Hans’ longtime leadership makes him a credible spokesman and partner for the economic power of sustainable communities.

Carol Winograd


Carol is a former director of communications for the Michigan Democratic Party, and a speech writer for the Michigan Senate Majority Leader. A longtime dedicated board member, Carol brings an ability to craft messages of progressive environmental management, and knows how to use government to bring about policy change.

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