Community Foundation Board Elects New Directors 2021
The Community Foundation Board of Directors recently elected six new Directors to three-year terms, which begin January 1, 2021. The Foundation Board of Directors includes representatives from each of the five-counties the Foundation serves: Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau Counties.
Kim Ranger, Antrim County
Kim spent 30 years as an educator for Elk Rapids Schools, teaching in an elementary classroom and library, and serving for six years as the coordinator for the district’s International Baccalaureate programs. Kim also served as President of the Elk Rapids Lions Club for two terms. She is a commissioner on the Elk Rapids Planning Commission and is a volunteer member of Green Elk Rapids.
Suzanne Miller Allen, Grand Traverse County
Suzanne employs her substantial experience in management, public relations, and fundraising as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Director of Community Responsibility. Prior to joining Blue Cross, Allen served in Chief of Staff positions in both the Michigan House of Representatives and Michigan Senate. Allen serves as a board member of Northwest Michigan College Foundation Board, a Traverse Connect Board member and ambassador, a National Cherry Festival ambassador, and a parent volunteer for Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts. Allen also co-chairs the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee. Allen and her husband, Jason, and their three children reside in Traverse City.
Dennis Pearsall, Grand Traverse County
Dennis has spent his working career in banking and finance, and the real estate profession, and is currently the President of Real Estate One’s Northwest Michigan & Franchise Divisions, Michigan’s largest real estate broker. Dennis has been an active Board member of the Real Estate One Charitable Foundation the past ten years and has a particular interest in supporting nonprofits that service the needs of our greater community. He is a past President of the Ann Arbor of REALTORS, past Chair of the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce, and Chaired the Ann Arbor Community Foundation and is well-versed in the value of Community Foundations.
Jerry Ring, Grand Traverse County
Jerry is the former Director of Global Contributions and Community Programs at The Dow Chemical Company, where he led a 39 year career in public affairs. He is also the founding principal for his consulting firm, Center for Public Affairs Strategies. Jerry has served on the boards of ten Michigan based nonprofit organizations, and is the founder of the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network in Bay City, MI. He is currently a Traverse City Rotary member, as well as a Board member of Inland Seas Education Association and Discovery Center and Pier.
Cari Jo Roberts, Kalkaska County
Cari Jo Roberts has been a resident of Kalkaska for most of her life and is a proud alumni of Kalkaska Public Schools. She received her Cosmetology License at the Career Technical Center in Traverse City in 1995. She also worked in the oil and gas industry as an office manager and supply specialist. Cari Jo served as an elected official for over ten years as Treasurer for Rapid River Township. She was also part of the Rapid River Township Planning and Zoning Commission and instrumental in the development of the Commission. In 2008 Cari Jo became a paraprofessional at Birch Street Elementary, and in 2014 was appointed the Secretary to the Superintendent, her current position. She is also a trustee of the Kalkaska Area Transit Board. Cari Jo is married with three children.
Larry Nelson, Leelanau County
Larry Nelson served as the Probate and Family Court Judge for Leelanau County from 2010-2018. He then served as a visiting judge for a number of counties in northwest Michigan. He received his BA from the University of Michigan and his JD from the University of Toledo. Larry has practiced law in both the private and public sectors, including serving as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Oakland County and as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and Prosecuting Attorney in Leelanau County. In addition, he maintained a private practice in Leland for over thirty years.
The Community Foundation is also deeply grateful to the following Board Directors who are ending their service on the Board: Troy Terwilliger (Benzie County), Jon Hawley (Benzie County), Marina Ascione (Grand Traverse County; youth representative), and Ann Neuenschwander (Kalkaska County).