President Stephen Stier grew up on a farm, has a love of old-world techniques and enjoys teaching them. He has twenty years’ experience as a barn preservation expert and contractor. He holds masters’ degrees from Western Michigan University in Industrial Education and from Eastern Michigan University in Historic Preservation. Steve and his wife, Julie Avery, have both held numerous board positions with the Michigan Barn Preservation Network. In 2015 the couple was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award from the Michigan Historic Preservation Network. Julie Avery holds a PhD from Michigan State University in Interdisciplinary Arts & Letters. She was Curator of Rural Life & Culture at the MSU Museum where she produced programs, exhibitions, and publications interpreting and linking the historical with contemporary life. She designs and manages our Facebook page updates, email blasts and e-newsletters, chairs our Discovery Days committee, and contributes as consultant for most of our activities.
Board Vice-President Barbara Siepker and family moved to Leelanau in 1990. During her 19 years owning the Cottage Book Shop in Glen Arbor, she became obsessed with researching and recording local history. Moving a historic log cabin from the Glen Lake shoreline helped fulfill a love of historic structures. She and her husband Frank Siepker were founders of the Glen Arbor Art Center and Leelanau Press, and were board members of the Leelanau Conservancy, where Frank served as Board Chairman. Following a career as a corporate and banking lawyer in Chicago. Frank serves as LCHPS treasurer.
Board Secretary Laurel Jeris is a retired professor of Adult and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL. Her research and teaching foci included leadership studies, international community development, and research methods. Laurel and her husband David moved to Empire Township after over 30 years living in the Chicago area. They were raised in Detroit and are alumni of the University of Michigan. Laurel grew up loving the area as a summer resident on Glen Lake since 1955. David passed the premarital “cottage test” and the desire to retire here began early in their marriage. Their two children and families, as well as extended family, visit as often as possible. David Jeris is the LCHPS “go-to” technical and digital specialist.
Coming from Dayton, Ohio, Jane Cline has spent every summer on Glen Lake since her birth. After graduating from Northwestern Michigan College, Jane returned to Dayton to help care for her father. In 1983, Jane began a career at LexisNexis and became an account executive. While raising three sons, she was involved in nonprofit fundraising. After Jane‘s youngest son graduated from high school, she fulfilled her dream of living in Leelanau County. She enjoys hiking, biking, reading, gardening and exploring the beautiful waters of the county.
Tina Mehren has worked internationally as a management consultant and has extensive board leadership experience. She enjoys incubating passion projects in local communities, such as being founding chair of the Treasuring Childhood Film & Lecture series in Tucson, Arizona. LCHPS met her when she provided pro-bono consulting services to the family who long-owned the historic Brammer Gristmill in Glen Arbor, to formulate a vision for the sale and restoration of this iconic site. She and her family reside in Tucson, Arizona, in a restored adobe horse ranch dating back to the early 1800s. She has been a part-time resident of Leelanau County for over fifty years.
Springfield, Illinois born Tom Patton has been a life-long Leelanau summer resident. He moved here after retiring in 2010, following a diversified banking and investment advisory career in Argentina, Houston, and Grand Rapids. He was also a prison chaplain in Illinois, playwright and now Master Gardener. Tom is our flower garden manager.
Andrew White first came to Leelanau in 1977 to work at Camp Innisfree in the Port Oneida Rural Historic District. He has been involved in local historic preservation efforts at the Glen Arbor and Port Oneida Cemeteries, the Port Oneida School (about which he has written a book), and the Kelderhouse Orchard (as a National Park Service Volunteer). He helped others, including LCHPS before he became a board member, with research projects involving local archival records. He retired from a varied career which included years spent as an engineering officer on Great Lakes bulk carriers (“ore boats”), as an environmental educator, and as a residential builder. He lives in Traverse City.