Tom Bailey, Executive Director
Tom has been Executive Director of the Little Traverse Conservancy since November, 1984. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Park and Recreation Resources from Michigan State University, where he also pursued graduate studies in land use, resource economics and environmental law. Before joining the Conservancy, Tom spent six years with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He has been a member of the National Land Trust Council, the Michigan Water Resources Commission, the Michigan Great Lakes Protection Fund Technical Advisory Board, and boards of several other non-profit organizations. He was co-founder of Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conservation Policy, Michigan’s state association of land conservancies. In the 1970s, he worked as a citizen representative and lobbyist for several local, state and national conservation groups. He is a former National Park Ranger, and has fond memories of his days as a fishing guide in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where he grew up. Direct phone line: 231.344.1001. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tom Lagerstrom, Associate Director
Tom grew up in suburban Detroit and summered in the Gaylord area of Northern Michigan. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Management. Following graduation he was a partner for six years at Morgan Engineering, a sheet metal fabrication company. He returned to Michigan State and received his Masters degree in Environmental Education. Tom began working at the Conservancy in 1984 as the half-time membership coordinator. In 1987 he became the Associate Director where his responsibilities include managing business operations, membership and fundraising. During that time the Conservancy’s membership have grown from 500 members in 1984 to more than 4,000 at present and the Conservancy has successfully raised funds to protect preserves such as Seven Springs, Little Sand Bay, Oden Island and North Point. Tom is married to MaryAnne Griffin who was the Administrative Coordinator for the Conservancy for nearly 20 years. Together they have four daughters. Direct phone line: 231.344.1003. Email: email@example.com.
Melissa Hansen, Education Coordinator
Melissa earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources of Michigan State University. She completed an internship jointly with Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council and Little Traverse Conservancy in 1994, and was hired by the Conservancy as a full time stewardship staff person. “I am a native of Charlevoix, MI and northern Michigan is very near and dear to my heart. It is extremely satisfying to be part of the Conservancy team working to protect some of the same wildlife habitat and beautiful landscapes I grew up exploring and enjoying. It is assuring to know future residents and visitors (both wildlife and human) may continue to do the same.” Direct phone line: 231.344.1004. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ty Ratliff, Land Protection Specialist
Ty is a native of northern Michigan and has grown up enjoying the outdoors of Antrim county. With a Fisheries & Wildlife degree from Michigan State University, Ty has past work experience that includes river restoration, MDNR fishing clinics and surveys, watershed management planning, and a ruffed grouse research project in the Pigeon River State Forest. Prior to joining the Conservancy, Ty worked as a land protection specialist for the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy where he headed up the land protection efforts in the Chain of Lakes, Acme Creek and Manistee River watersheds. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, canoeing hunting and fishing. Ty is married to Sarah and they have three children Audrey, Emmitt, and Grayden. Direct phone line: 231.344.1005. Email: email@example.com.
Kieran Fleming, Director of Land Protection
Kieran joined the Little Traverse Conservancy in February, 2000. A native of Wisconsin, he holds both bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Kieran spent ten years doing wildlife research on a variety of species including bear, deer, prairie chickens, waterfowl, songbirds and birds of prey. He and his wife, Anne, worked for the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy of Traverse City for three years where Kieran was both Stewardship Coordinator and Land Protection Specialist. Anne is a Petoskey native and grew up on a farm in northern Emmet County where they are now raising their two daughters, Claire and Ellie, on their own farm. Anne works part time for the Conservancy as the Communications and Publications Coordinator. Kieran’s direct phone line: 231.344.1015; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - Anne’s direct phone line: 231.344.1007; Email: email@example.com.
Charles Dawley , Stewardship/GIS Specialist
Charles, a native of Petoskey, joined the Conservancy as an intern in the spring of 2003. Charles has a multitude of talents ranging from building boardwalks to producing maps and documentation for the land and stewardship projects and Conservancy publications. His formal education is a Bachelors Degree in Geographic Information Systems and Environmental Land Use and Planning from Central Michigan University . “I get the best of both worlds; I spend lots of time in nature and lots of time with high technology. What a great job. I love what I do and am proud to be a part of saving my heritage.” Charles is married to Sarah, a Petoskey school teacher, and has two sons. Direct phone line: 231.344.1019. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doug Fuller, Director of Stewardship
A Wisconsin native, Doug spent his childhood summers visiting the Lake Charlevoix region where much of his father’s family lived. After completing a degree in Fisheries Management at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Doug worked as a research assistant at the University of Michigan Biological Station on Douglas Lake where he did aquatic ecology research, especially on lakes in Emmet and Cheboygan Counties. He also worked for a time for a regional planning agency doing lake management work. Following a seven year stint working with a local wooden boat builder, Doug spent most of his professional career in water resource management with Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, a sister conservation organization that shared an office with Little Traverse Conservancy for many years. Before starting at LTC in October, 2006, Doug worked for SEE-North as a water resource educator. His return to LTC’s office under the hemlock trees completes a full conservation circle of sorts. Doug works with the other members of LTC’s Stewardship Team to manage and care for LTC’s 217 Nature Preserves, and to monitor the 260 conservation easement-protected properties. Doug is married to Martha Lancaster and, in their free time, the two of them enjoy many outdoor pursuits including hiking, backpacking, sea kayaking, and cross country skiing. Direct phone line: 231.344.1009. Email: email@example.com.
Jay Neff, Stewardship Specialist
Born in Petoskey and raised on the Lake Michigan shore of Good Hart, Jay Neff brings with him a wealth of varied experiences that make him uniquely suited for the job. After completing a degree in Geography from Michigan State University, Jay did mapping work withthe Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 1990, he moved back to the region and started a seven-year career as a paramedic based in both Bellaire and Petoskey. Most recently, Jay spent five years in the financial planning world. He joined the Conservancy in June, 2007. Jay and his wife, Shawn, recently placed a conservation easement on their own land and this experience further strengthened his interest in helping others protect their land. The son of famed “Michigan Outdoors” host Mort Neff, Jay has a passion for the natural world in his blood and he is excited to now apply his skills toward land conservation. Jay and Shawn live with their two children, Hannah and Forrest, on their farm adjacent to the Goodhart Farms Nature Preserve. Direct phone line: 231.344.1006. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cacia Lesh, Volunteer Coordinator and Outreach
After working as LTC’s administrative coordinator for more than two years, Cacia has moved into the Conservancy’s first formal position to coordinate the growing pool of volunteers . Born in Vermont, Cacia has conservation in her blood with both parents working in related fields. In her young life, she has already lived in and traveled to numerous places including a year of high school in South Africa on a Rotary Exchange program. After graduating from Prescott College in Arizona with a degree in Environmental Conservation, Cacia lived in Wyoming, Maine, and for two years in Alaska. Her husband, David Lesh, has connections to northern Michigan on Burt Lake and after several years of moving, the young couple decided that northern Michigan had everything they wanted. You might also find Cacia teaching yoga at the Yoga Roots studio or running the North Country Trail. Direct phone line: 231.344.1002. Email: email@example.com.
Sarah Mayhew, Education Coordinator
The Education department received an infusion of enthusiasm and passion for this work when Sarah came on board in February, 2011. The granddaughter of Dana Houseworth, a well-known Michigan state park manager whose duties included Petoskey State Park, Sarah has conservation in her blood. In 2006, she received a B.S. degree in Outdoor Recreation Leadership & Management from Northern Michigan University. Since then, her experiences have taken her to places such as Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest where she has taught in a variety of education and outdoor leadership settings. “As an environmental educator I am able to expand on a traditional classroom lesson into one that will reach multiple learning styles while providing a REAL life, hands-on experience. They can see it, feel it, smell it and understand it. They are “experiencing” nature. This experience gives them a sense of adventure, confidence and accomplishment. It’s a really rewarding feeling for me to be a part of that experience.” Direct line: 231.344.1018. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Lynch, Preserve Stewardship Specialist
Mike first joined LTC in Summer 2012 when he was hired for a temporary seasonal position. He moved to northern Michigan from Illinois 6 years ago after spending many summer vacations in the area, and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Mike holds a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from Lake Superior State University. Last summer, he quickly demonstrated his strong work ethic and ability to handle whatever was asked of him. When a staff vacancy was created later in the season, Mike was the obvious choice to come on as a full-time staff member. “It is an honor and a privilege to be a full time member of the LTC staff,” Mike said. “Working for LTC gives me the opportunity to protect what I love, but also a sense of accomplishment that I have never encountered before, and that means the most to me! I’m looking forward to expanding my knowledge and protecting the natural beauty that is northern Michigan.” Direct phone line: 231.344.1011; Email: email@example.com.
Sarah Gurney, Administrative Coordinator
The Conservancy is thrilled to welcome Sarah Gurney to the LTC Team in Spring, 2013. A native Michigander, Sarah didn’t experience northern Michigan until her early 20s. She then knew this was where she wanted to be. But before permanently landing here, she fulfilled a childhood dream by dancing for Disney at Disneyland in southern California. After settling in northern Michigan for good, Sarah obtained her bachelor’s degree in Business from Lake Superior State University and worked for Irish Boat Shop in Harbor Springs for 13 years. Sarah brings strong communication, organization, and business skills to LTC as well as a familiarity with many Conservancy members and projects. Sarah is married to Pete Gurney and the couple are avid outdoor lovers. From road and mountain biking to backcountry skiing, you can find them and their English Yellow Lab, Billy, all over Michigan through all four seasons. Direct phone line: 231.344.1000; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caitlin Donnelly, Stewardship and Education Assistant
Following a six-month AmeriCorps tenure as a Stewardship Technician with LTC in 2013, Caitlin Donnelly has stayed on to help out in both the stewardship and education departments. After growing up in Harbor Springs, Caitlin first attended Michigan State University in the pre-vet program, later switching to the Fisheries and Wildlife program. “My greatest memory of college is my study abroad trip to Svalbard, in Arctic Norway. I spent time on an ice breaker, at approximately 80 degrees north, where I saw ice as far as the eye could see, glaciers, reindeer, sea and bird life, and of course polar bears in their natural habitat.” After graduation, Caitlin backpacked extensively in Argentina, Chile, and Peru, and then returned to northern Michigan to work and volunteer as an environmental educator and continue working at the Harbor Springs Marina. “I cannot be more grateful for this opportunity to take advantage of everything the Conservancy has to offer,” Caitlin said. “I look forward to being involved in an extremely respected and successful organization, learning from everyone on staff. I hope this experience leads me to finding where I fit in the environmental world.” Direct phone line: 231.344.1010; Email: email@example.com.