The Little Traverse Conservancy’s annual meeting for 2019 convened at the Harbor Springs Performing Arts Center in Harbor Springs. Chair Marta Olson opened the meeting, welcoming more than 120 members and partners in attendance. She noted that “partnerships” is the theme for this year’s conference, the first since transitioning to new staff leadership. She also pointed out that as of the next day, the Conservancy would be closing two projects that would bring the total acreage protected to more than 60,000.
Treasurer Ian Bund expressed that LTC is in good shape, with the strong foundation set by the previous leadership, founders, etc. Referencing page 18 of the 2018 annual report, Bund pointed out the fund flow and explained the three primary funds that support LTC. He noted that 57% of LTC funding comes from membership, 30% from the endowment, and the remainder from special events and contributions. He also recognized the Taylor Family Endowment Fund. Bund explained that in December 2018, LTC switched to a new advisor fund, Azimuth. In closing, Bund recognized the Investment Committee for their support and involvement. He asked for a motion (made by Dianne Litzenburger with the backing from Mary Faculak) from the board members to affirm the acts and deeds of the Conservancy for the previous year.
Staff presentations took a unique style this year, with a partner introducing each department. Student Sakura Springborn introduced the Education Program, Land donor Barbara Forslund introduced the Land Protection Program, Longtime LTC members Lee and Lauren Tegland introduced the Membership Program. Volunteer Glen Matthews introduced the Stewardship Program. Volunteer Mary Trout introduced the Volunteer Program.
Executive Director Kieran Fleming thanked Frank Ettawageshik for his many years on the LTC board. He also acknowledged numerous contributions and the passing of one of LTC’s seven founders, Dr. John Tanton, who left many legacies through LTC and several other organizations, including a most recent gift from John and his wife Mary Lou, the Tanton Working Forest Reserve. Fleming then highlighted one more partnership by acknowledging the three groups who helped get disabled veterans onto LTC protected lands for hunting during the remarkable Independence Hunt.
Nominating Chair Joe Kimmell thanked outgoing board members Jim Baumann, Dale Lewis, Ashley Moerke, Frank Ettawageshik, and Tom Jeffs. He listed those returning for additional terms: Mary Faculak, Tom Ford, Eric Hemenway, Dan Jarzabkowski, Dianne Litzenburger, and Kerri Mertaugh. He introduced new board members, Glen Matthews of Alanson, retired DNR Biologist; Emerson Meyer of Petoskey, Waffle Cabin owner and Investment Committee member; Darrell Lawson of Boyne City, former President of Petoskey Audubon, and volunteer field trip leader; George Covington of Les Cheneaux, Chicago lawyer returning to the Board after many years; Dave Kring of Petoskey, returning after two years off; Tom Litzner of Levering, retired school principal; and Bill Stark of Harbor Springs, on the Finance Committee. Ian Bund made a motion to approve this slate of board members, seconded by Dianne Litzenburger. Dianne Litzenburger made a motion to approve the last board member’s minutes, supported by Mary Faculak.
Chair Olson then thanked the partners and members and called a close to the regular meeting portion. The Board convened to introduce new board members and found no new business. Jim Bartlett made a motion to close the meeting, approved by Maureen Nicholson.