Board of Directors & Staff
The Board of Trustees is made up of community members who represent a cross-section of Leelanau Township residents and who bring their unique skills to the board to guide the Foundation's operation.
Kathy Garthe - Board Chair
Kathy retired from a position as Vice President for Regional System Development and Corporate Communication from Munson Healthcare, where her focus was carefully coordinated health services care for the combined northern lower 21 counties. Since her retirement, she has committed her time to serving the Leelanau community through board involvement in the Northport Area Heritage Association, the Leelanau Township Community Foundation, the Leelanau Conservancy, and the Leelanau Children’s Choir and Youth Ensemble. She and her husband, Gene, are member of Northport Energy, and Kathy is active with the Dark Sky Committee of that organization. Gene is still busy growing cherries, apples, and pear.
Kathy and Gene are members of the Francis H. Haserot Legacy Society. “We treasure the work of the Leelanau Township Community Foundation as an umbrella organization for all not-for-profit work in our local communities. We consider leaving a legacy here as one of the best things we can do for the future of our local area.”
Barbara McCann - Board Vice Chair
Having resided and raised two sons at the Capt. Peter Nelson property south of Northport since 1980, Barbara retired from her Northport Public School teaching career in 2005. She continues to educate students in her position as Director of the Northport After School Program. She holds a Masters Degree in Education Administration and has been involved in leadership positions at her church, Northport Boy Scouts, Northport Booster Club, and other youth-centered activities.
Kimberley Armbruster graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry. She was employed for 32 years with the State of Michigan’s Departments of Natural Resources and Environmental Quality, working as a laboratory analyst and as an environmental specialist in air pollution control. After retirement, Kim moved to Leelanau Township with her husband in 2011, living in the Omena area. In the past six years, she has volunteered with Leelanau Christian Neighbors, the Inland Seas Education Association, and the Leelanau Conservancy. Kim is also current President of the Omena Women’s Club.
Northport native Fred Budd retired to his home community after a long career in Information Technology at the Pentagon. Fred also worked for Unisys Corporation, and with the Maryland Department of Transportation
Retired from the University of Michigan, Larry held faculty and staff positions in the School of Natural Resources, School of Education, Department of Family Medicine, School of Social, and Institute of Gerontoloy. Most recently, he has been a senior consultant to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.
Kristi is a lifelong Leelanau County resident! She graduated in Northport Public School in 1999, and then went on to graduate from Michigan State University with a B.S. in Communications in 2004. Kristi owns and runs her family’s restaurant and Leelanau establishment, Fischer’s Happy Hour Tavern, with her boyfriend Brian Hafner. She is mom to a 13-year old son, Caleb. She has also coached middle school JV and Varsity volleyball at Northport Public School for 7 years.
Rick had been a cardiologist and medical school faculty member in Grand Rapids until he and his wife, Barbara, retired to the Leelanau Township vacation house. In Grand Rapids, Rick had held leadership roles in the hospital, Dwelling Place (a nonprofit affordable housing developing agency), and their church. In Northport, he is active in the Lions Club, their church, LWVLC, and the county’s Housing Action Committee.
Lifelong resident of Leelanau Township, Kristi has worked at Northwestern Michigan College since 1987. Kristi resides in Omena with her husband, Eric and helps manage Eric Hallett's Home Maintenance, LLC. She is a member of the Leelanau Township Cemetery Committee.
John is a very happily retired Healthcare Executive who lives with his Michigander wife, Georgie, in Leelanau Township. Together they have three adult children and one grandchild. John holds an MBA in Healthcare Administration from the University of Dallas.
Ty is a retired University and K-12 educational administrator and teacher and resides in Northport, Michigan with his wife, Kathy. He is currently the Leelanau County Commissioner for District 4 and serves on the boards of the Leelanau Township Community Foundation, Northern Lakes Community Mental Health, Networks Northwest, Omena Historical Society, and Resources for Economical & Accessible Community Housing (REACH). He is also a member of the Traverse City Economics Club, Northport Lions, Suttons Bay/Leelanau County Rotary, League of Women Voters, and the Omena-Traverse Yacht Club.
Joan Moore, Executive Director
Joan Moore has served as the Executive Director for the Leelanau Township Community Foundation since September 2009. Her talents for community vitality began at Michigan State University in administration where she served for twenty years. After moving to northern Michigan she had the opportunity to develop her skills even further at Munson Healthcare and is very pleased to have the opportunity to serve her community in her current position.
Megan Ernst, Administrative Assistant
Megan moved to Northport in 2016 after a 25 year absence from her hometown to help her parents start a perennial farm and business. Splitting her time between several community non-profits, the perennial nursery, and the Foundation, she brings over a decade of marketing and social media experience from her previous career in book publishing in New York City.