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Staff Directory


JAMES BRUCKBAUER, deputy director, manages finances, staff development, and organizational systems for Groundwork. Jim is also a respected leader on policy to support vibrant downtowns, housing strategies, and transportation choices in Michigan. 616-843-0419



DIANE CONNERS, senior policy specialist, has been advancing Groundwork's food & farming program for more than a decade. Diane is a champion—recognized nationally—for good food as the foundation for community health and farm to school programming. 231-499-3937



RIC EVANS, clean energy policy specialist, has been engaged in getting northwest Michigan "energy smart" for over 12 years, focusing primarily on sustainability issues and solutions in, and for, rural areas. Ric is an Antrim County resident who is passionate about clean water, air and soil, and excited to engage energy users throughout this exciting evolution of our energy system. 231-883-3146



MANDY GIBSON financial manager, takes care of Groundwork’s financial records and assists with budgeting, board reporting, grant reports and daily bookkeeping. She is a local entrepreneur who has spent the past 14 years as a business advisor to small businesses and nonprofits.



JIM LIVELY, program director, oversees policy staff and strategy for all programs. Jim directs our work to revive passenger rail and has been a crucial leader in the high profile campaign to shut down the Line 5 oil pipeline and protect the Great Lakes. 231-360-7222



AMY MACKAY, development director, is responsible for growing the base of supporters who strengthen Groundwork’s long-term financial stability. Amy coordinates our planned giving and major gifts programs and works with members and donors to raise awareness about our mission. 231-534-5259



MEGHAN McDERMOTT, food & farming program director, oversees all of Groundwork’s food & farming projects, including farm to school, food access, culinary medicine, and many other initiatives building the local food economy. Meghan manages Groundwork’s largest program team and promotes community food security by finding ways to connect classrooms, cafeterias and communities with healthy, locally-grown food. 773-294-9650


MIRIAM OWSLEY, volunteer & event coordinator, assists with outreach, events, administration and coordinates Harvest at the Commons, our annual community celebration. Miriam leads an integrated volunteer program to support programs and outreach initiatives. 231-941-6584



JENNIFER SCHAAP, local food policy specialist, coordinates our food and farming program in the Northern Farms Foodshed of Antrim, Charlevoix and Emmet counties. Her work includes support for our farm to school and food access projects as well as the expansion of markets for farms and food businesses. 616-856-1163



AMY SCHNEIDER, development specialist, manages Groundwork's member database, oversees administration, coordinates mail campaigns, and oversees our annual giving program. Amy makes sure members stay connected to programs. 231-590-0494



HANS VOSS, executive director, points Groundwork toward strategic goals by collaborating with staff on strategy, cultivating relationships with partners, and working with the Board, Advisory Council, donors, and foundations. Hans is an enthusiastic champion for community resilience. 231-620-6914



DAN WORTH, clean energy policy specialist, works with homeowners, businesses, institutions, officials, and utilities to advance cost-effective solutions for efficiency and renewables. In pursuit of a low-carbon future, Dan's work demonstrates environmental and economic benefits. 617-610-7399





TRICIA PHELPS, chief executive officer, directs the mission to expand markets and economic opportunity for farmers and local food entrepreneurs. Tricia manages a strategic marketing strategy to connect people with local food and products. A talented and thoughtful leader, Tricia is well respected and highly connected to Michigan's local agricultural community. Tricia began as an intern for TLD in 2014, managed farmers markets for several years and led communications projects for the Village at Grand Traverse Commons. 847-809-7643




Molly Stepanski, NE Local Food Coordinator (877) 562-2539, ext. 3


Bailey Samp, NW Local Food Coordinator (877) 562-2539, ext. 2


Kelly Wilson, SE Local Food Coordinator (877) 562-2539, ext. 4


Emma Beauchamp, Communications Manager

Portraits by Michael Poehlman Photography.