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                               Meet Jeff Smith

Communications Director

[email protected] | (231) 499-5874

Jeff’s job is to share the many stories that make up the broad narrative of Groundwork, helping people fully understand the results and scope of our work. Jeff’s background writing about federal and state hazardous waste policy for a decade and then as editor of Traverse Magazine for two decades has given him a mix of environmental policy understanding and consumer communications experience that he looks forward to putting to use for Groundwork. Even the book Jeff wrote, Becoming Amish, is ultimately an exploration of close and cohesive community, which resonates here.

The idea that strong, healthy communities give rise to strong, healthy individuals lies at the heart of Groundwork’s mission, and Jeff looks forward to sharing the many ways our work supports that important and valuable notion.

As a devoted road cyclist, Jeff spends many hours and many miles each year pedaling the rolling hills and twisting two-lanes of his home county of Leelanau. “It’s impossible to ride through that beautiful countryside and those lovely small towns without seeing the need to create a world where economy, environment and health converge to create great lives, and that’s what Groundwork supports."

Good to know


Bachelor’s of Arts in journalism and psychology, University of Michigan

In his spare time ...

Jeff likes to get outside in whatever way he can: paddling canoes or kayaks, road cycling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking ... He also loves to read at 5am and spending time with his family. Jeff is author of the book Becoming Amish, a journey of faith, community and purpose.

Favorite spot in northern Michigan

Anywhere on two wheels or in any kind of boat in Leelanau County.

Why the prop?

"I love being out in the snow on XC skis and snowshoes. For me, many of the best moments of the year happen on snow!"

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