Our Team

Meet the Staff

David ‘DJ’ Jones

Executive Director

David Jones “DJ” has been with the Community Foundation since 2000. He served as the program officer from 2000 to 2009 and began his role as executive director in 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 (and only the second employee of the foundation). Laurie is our Director of Finance and Operations and in her years has seen significant growth not only in the foundation’s assets but also in its community impact. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Alma College. Laurie lives in Harbor Springs and enjoys spending time with her granddaughter.

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. In her spare time, she enjoys being outside enjoying our area’s amazing trails, paths, preserves and waterways, usually with a camera in hand. Mary lives in Harbor Springs. 

Loriel Grigsby

Program and Accounting Associate

Loriel joined the Community Foundation in April 2021. Raised in northern Michigan, Loriel brings a broad work background to her role at the Community Foundation and is currently studying for her Bachelor of Applied Arts in Organizational Leadership. Additionally, she is an advocacy consultant for early childhood education and child care, working toward more and better options for women, children and families in Michigan. Loriel volunteers her time as a Thrive 45 board member, a Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce ambassador and a facilitator for the Girls Who Code program. Loriel lives in Oden with her daughter and husband.


Board and Committees

2021-22 Board of Directors

Dedicated directors provide the structure the Community Foundation needs to maintain a healthy balance. Their commitment to supporting worthy causes and fulfilling the trust put in them means more organizations can be supported and more needs met.

Hon. Jennifer E. Deegan, President
Mr. James W. Ford, Vice President
Mr. Dana F. Andrews, Secretary
Mrs. Melissa A. Nguyen, Treasurer
Mrs. Jennifer H. Attie
Mr. Steven L. Boeckman
Mrs. Kathryn S. Erber
Mr. William D. Goelz
Mr. Robert E. Keedy
Ms. Janet M. Mancinelli
Mr. Emerson J. Meyer
Mrs. Mary E. Rapin
Mrs. Sarah L. Shuman
Mr. B. Thomas Smith


Advisory Committees

Throughout the year, trustees and other volunteers ably serve on our advisory committees, sharing their talents, knowledge, and abilities. We appreciate their time and effort!

Executive

Dana Andrews
Jennifer Deegan
Kathryn Erber
James Ford
Melissa Nguyen

Governance

Jennifer Attie
Jennifer Deegan
James Ford
Maureen Nicholson
James Ramer

Development and Marketing

Charles Gano
Susan Howbert
Virginia McCoy
William Meengs Jr.
Emerson Meyer
James Schroeder
Sarah Shuman

Grant Distribution

Jennifer Attie
Steven Boeckman
Carla Crockett
Steve Cross
Will Henagan
Robert Keedy

Finance

Steven Boeckman
Daniel Clarke
Denise Croake
Clark Elwood
John Fought
Janet Mancinelli
Melissa Nguyen
Todd Winnell

Investment

Dana Andrews
Courtney Font
Emerson Meyer
Maureen Nicholson
Jeffrey Shepard
B. Thomas Smith

Scholarship

Joelle Drader
Robert Keedy
Maggie Kloss
Mary Rapin
Glen Young

Little Traverse Bay Protection and Restoration

Jennifer Attie
Frank Ettawageshik
James Ford
Doug Larson

Community Impact Committee

Daniel Clarke
Jennifer Deegan
James Ford
Janet Mancinelli
Emerson Meyer
Sarah Shuman
Todd Winnell