Board of Directors
CRAIG SHARP, Chair, is a wealth management advisor and certified financial planner with Merrill Lynch in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He specializes in wealth management planning and investment consulting services for non-profit endowments and foundations. He and his family live in Grand Rapids and Frankfort where they once owned and operated the Coho Café.
MAUREEN SMYTH, Vice-Chair, a longtime MLUI supporter, recently 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 serving as a senior vice president.
JEFF GIETZEN, Treasurer, 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.
JULIE METTY BENNETT is a Vice President at Public Sector Consultants in Lansing. She manages the firm’s environment and energy policy development, and client projects concerning water quality, land use, community and economic development, and natural resource management.
JENNIFER BLAKESLEE is chef and co-owner of the popular Cook’s House restaurant in Traverse City. She honed her culinary skills for years at restaurants across the country before returning to northwest Michigan to open the celebrated restaurant, which sources local foods whenever possible.
ED GERGOSIAN, a class-action lawyer from San Diego who has served on local and regional land- use planning committees, grew up in Detroit. As a child, he learned the value of Michigan’s beautiful and abundant natural resources. He is now a part-time resident of Glen Arbor.
LESLIE HAMP is owner of Forward Momentum, a consulting business specializing in public relations, marketing communications and event management. She and her husband live on the shores of Lake Superior and head to Benzie County each summer to enjoy the region’s lakes, trails and local foods.
JOHN HOAGLAND is dedicated to smart land-use policies and building a local food economy. He is the owner and visionary behind Cherry Capital Foods, a local food distribution business in northwest Michigan. He has more than 30 years of experience in investment
BILL MILLIKEN is a longtime Realtor in Ann Arbor; Milliken Realty, which he formed in 1996, was named Best of Michigan Business by Corp Magazine in Detroit in 2008. He also serves on the board of directors of New Detroit and the Washtenaw Community College Foundation. He previously served as board chair of the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce.
ROB MOSSBURG owns The Cottage Company, a Harbor Springs development and interior design firm. The company has attracted national notice for the quality and environmental sensitivity of its properties, particularly its Bay Street Cottages project in downtown Harbor Springs, named the best cluster community in the country by Builder Magazine.
ROGER NEWTON has worked for twenty-nine years in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. He is currently Founder, President & CEO, and a Director of Esperion Therapeutics, Inc., which has its laboratories and offices at the Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center in Plymouth, MI. Roger is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Michigan Medical School.
TIM PULLIAM 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 recently designated as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States by INC 500. Tim leads Keen's technical and sales teams.
MARY VAN VALIN is active in the Traverse City community. This former math teacher, who still tutors kids, recently helped advance the new, public park and trail on Old Mission Peninsula. She’s also involved with Bay Bucks, Transition Towns, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, and other local projects.
HANS VOSS, Ex-Officio, keeps MLUI effective by collaborating with staff on program strategy, cultivating relationships with key allies, and working with the Board, donors, and foundations to strengthen our financial health. Hans’ longtime leadership makes him a credible spokesman and partner for the economic power of sustainable communities.
CAROL WINOGRAD is a former Director of Communications for the Michigan Democratic Party, and was a speech writer for the Michigan Senate Majority Leader. She brings an ability to craft the message of progressive environmental management, and is experienced in using government to bring about policy change. She has been a long time summer resident in Glen Arbor.