Community Foundation staff (l to r): Sarah Ford, Jessica Searles, Laurissa Wendland, David (DJ) Jones, Kassia Perpich, Mary Cummings

David ‘DJ’ Jones, Executive Director

David Jones “DJ” has been with the Community Foundation since 2000. He was the Program Officer from 2000 to 2009 and has been the Executive Director since June 2009.

DJ has a BA degree in International Studies from the University of South Carolina and in 2007 he received his MBA from Lawrence Technological University through the University Center at North Central Michigan College in Petoskey. He is a member and past-president of the Kiwanis Club of Petoskey. In 2001, he completed the Leadership Little Traverse program and later served in its steering committee. DJ lives in Petoskey with his wife, Patricia “T”, and their two daughters.

Laurissa Wendland, Director of Finance and Operations

Laurie joined the Community Foundation in 1996 as a part-time administrative assistant.  Currently she serves as the full-time Director of Finance and Operations. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Alma College.

Sarah Ford, Director of Community Philanthropy

Sarah joined the Community Foundation in 2016. Sarah brings more than 10 years experience working with nonprofit membership organizations. Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from Montana State University and a Master’s of Public Administration – Nonprofit Leadership from Western Michigan University. She is a graduate of the Leadership Little Traverse Class of 2016. In her free time, you’ll find Sarah enjoying all that northern Michigan has to offer with her husband and two children. Sarah lives in Harbor Springs. 

Kassia Perpich, Director of Community Philanthropy

Kassia joined the Community Foundation in 2016. She is an experienced philanthropy professional, having worked with foundations in Boston and Chicago before joining our staff and returning to her northern Michigan roots. Kassia holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Public Administration from Indiana University. Locally, she also completed Leadership Little Traverse and Petoskey Citizens Academy. Kassia is active with the Noon Rotary Club of Petoskey, where she currently serves on its Board of Directors.

Mary Cummings, Communications Officer

Mary joined the Community Foundation in March 2019. Born and raised in Harbor Springs, Mary brings over ten years experience in nonprofit management as well as a background in writing, photography and design. She holds a BA from the University of Michigan, graduated from the Leadership Little Traverse (LLT) program in 2001 and served a number of years on the LLT steering committee.


Jessica Searles, Administrative Assistant

Jessica joined the Community Foundation in July 2020. Born and raised in northern Michigan, Jessica has a diverse background of experience including work in the nonprofit sector, client relations, accounting, marketing, and real estate. She studied Business Administration at Central Michigan University as well as accounting and administrative support services at North Central Michigan College. In Jessica’s free time, she enjoys the outdoors, the arts, or exploring one of her many interest.