Our Leadership

Home   Our Leadership


The board and officers of the Cheboygan Communities Foundation, Inc. are all private sector non-paid volunteers who bring their talent, energy, and knowledge to the mission of the organization.


Joanne Welihan (President & CEO) has spent her professional career as both the In-service Coordinator/Editor and Executive Director of the Michigan Elementary & Middle School Principals Association as well as being an author and lecturer of educational programs for teachers and parents across the United States and Canada.

A graduate from Spring Arbor University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management and Organizational Development, Joanne participated with a study group from Michigan State University in an information exchange on U.S. public schools with major Chinese cities. She also presented to the National Association of Elementary School Principals, The Effect of China on Education in the United States.

She has a strong background in education with past and current involvement with such state committees as the Committee on Administrator Certification, Education Alliance of Michigan, MEAP Task Force – Michigan Department of Education, Safe Schools Initiative, Michigan Virtual University, and is currently Chair of the Foundation Board for Michigan Elementary & Middle School Principals Association.

Joanne’s is an active community member as former Chair of NCMC Cheboygan/Straits Area Initiative (2010), and currently is Treasurer of Seedums Garden Club, 2nd Vice-President & Conference Chair of Keep Michigan Beautiful, Treasurer for Lord’s Kitchen and a member of the Perennial Garden Club and the Cheboygan Yacht Club.

Joanne and her husband, Daniel, have six children, 14 grandchildren and reside on Cordwood Point.


Philip Welch (CCF Secretary)  Phil founded Michigan Lake Products of Indian River after 25 years co-owning a manufacturing operation in Owosso, Michigan. After graduations from the University of MIchigan with a degreee in civil engineering, he worked in Chicago and Toronto.

Among other leadership roles, Phil was a Director of Chemical Bank in Owosso and has been involved locally as a member of the Tuscarora Township DDA, the Topinabee Development Association, the Cheboygan County Airport Board, and as President of the Mullett Lake Area Preservation Association.


Jodie Borowicz, C.PA. (CCF Treasurer) is a Cheboygan, Michigan native and a graduate of Central Michigan University. She is a registered Certified Public Accountant in the State of Michigan and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants.

Jodie began her career in public accounting with KPMG as an auditor in Tampa, Florida. She later transitioned into corporate accounting and finance within the healthcare and insurance industries with WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (WCG) an New York Life Insurance Company.

In 2013, Jodie and her husband returned to northern Michigan to be closer to family and make Cheboygan their home. She is currently the Corporate Controller at Citizens National Bank.

Jodie is an Ambassador with the Cheboygan Chamber of Commerce and an active volunteer in the community.

Jodie believes Northern Michigan is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. She enjoys our lakes, camping and the outdoors.

Jodie and her husband Jason reside in Cheboygan with their daughter, Brooklyn.


Richard B. (Dick) Sanford (President Emeritus) is a semi-retired entrepreneur, author, and strategic planning coach who in addition donates his time and skills in assisting non-profit and charitable organizations achieve their dreams and goals.

Sanford’s business career includes the organization of many successful enterprises, notably the IBA Health and Life Assurance Company, of which he was the founder and CEO. Dick is also the founder and Honorary Chairman of the Small Business Association of Michigan. He is past Chairman of the Cheboygan Economic Development Group.

Dick is a graduate of Madison University with post graduate honors in business from North Eastern University and The American College. He has lived at Mullett Lake since the early 1980s with wife Cay. They call Cheboygan County their home of choice.

One of Dick’s personal values is “Leave the community you live, work, and play in, better then you found it!”


David R Butts, CFP, CMFC  attended the Graduate School of Business at Saginaw Valley State University before enrolling in the College for Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado. He is a registered Principal with LPL Financial, LLC (Member SIPC/FINRA) and has over 36 years of experience in the financial planning business. Mr. Butts is listed in the “Guide to America’s Best Financial Planners” published by the Consumers’ Research Council of America based in Washington DC.

Dave served on the Saginaw Community Foundation Board and Executive Committee for over 25 years and on United Way of Saginaw County Board and Executive Committee for 15 years where he was Chairman of both organizations’ Distribution Committees. Dave is also on the YMCA of the USA National Committee for Regional Membership Standards which oversees all YMCAs in the Midwest.

As a former small-business owner employing over 90 professionals, Dave has learned how to work for profit making companies as well as non-profits. He is happy to return to Cheboygan and Northern Michigan where his family is from and where he is a proud member of the Mackinac Band of Chippewa and Ottawa Indians.

Dave is a Managing Principal with LPL Financial, the largest independent broker dealer in the nation. He is a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. He is also the past President and Charter Member of the N.E. Michigan International Association for Financial Planning chapter and was instrumental in its formation. Additionally he served as a director of the Michigan Society of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners.

Dave believes it is important for everyone to give back to their community and is dedicated to helping Cheboygan County communities prosper and grow.

Dave and his wife Brenda reside on Lake Huron.


James Conboy retired as CEO of Citizens National Bank in 2007, where he also served as a director for 29 years. Prior to joining the bank as an employee in 1998 he practiced law having been admitted to the Michigan Bar in 1972. Jim received his law degree from Wayne State University and his undergraduate degree i from Oakland University. Jim served on the Alma College Board for 12 years before becoming a trustee emeritus. Jim is a past chairman of the Michigan Bankers Association

His local activities include past membership on the Cheboygan School Board, the Cheboygan County EDC, NLEA board and present membership on the City of Cheboygan’s Blight Committee. Jim is a board member of the Top of Michigan Trails Council and Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance.


Kay Flavin over the past 40+ years has served nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. The settings are in diverse populations offering opportunities to support and assist programs along with creating and developing strategies, in order to provide new initiatives in development that promote missions and core values, secure funding, strengthen infrastructures and build community awareness.

Kay’s interest is in providing community awareness that serves the needs and desires of its population along with creating new initiatives that serve those who seek help and also benefit the community. The work experiences shared are diverse in demographic, economic, socio-economic, etc. disciplines. Cheboygan, Emmet and Charlevoix counties are diverse in the populations they serve and my professional background is consistent in working with diverse populations.


Mary J. Hebert  A resident of Aloha Village, a Senior Project Director and Education Specialist, has a unique combination of credentials and expertise in community development, business and education.

Mary was the first Executive Director of the 250-member Rivertown Business Association and its companion organization, the Rivertown Foundation (Detroit). Mary formed a coalition for a bi-national effort that secured designation of the Detroit River as one of the nation’s first American Heritage Rivers and led initial planning and funding efforts for the Rivertown Master Plan resulting in the the successful completion of the Detroit RiverWalk project, a continuous riverfront pathway from the Ambassador Bridge to Belle Isle.

A member of a fifth generation Cheboygan County family, she contributes her professional expertise to several local civic initiatives: Port of Cheboygan, Great Up North Campaign, grant seeking for the Aloha Township Fire Hall, Aloha Train Depot and Aloha Welcome Garden.

Mary earned B.A., M.A, and Ed.S degrees from Wayne State University, founded the Detroit New Center Lions Club, and has led and served on Boards of local, state, national and international organizations.

Noreen Keating is a business leader with numerous accomplishments under her belt. She graduated from University of Detroit Mercy with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. She also completed Non Profit Management Training at Harvard Business School.

Noreen has used her education to the benefit of many residents of Michigan to create and implement Lighthouse Emergency Services in Clarkston, Lighthouse PATH and Montessori childcare, the Oakland County community housing development program Lighthouse Community Development, fundraising for the Kresge Van Dusen Endowment ($1.1 million), Keepers of Hope Program & Endowment Campaign ($6.7 million) and over $1 million for The Noreen Keating Endowment for Lighthouse of Oakland County. She also raised funds for the construction of the Operations Building of The Robert and Mary Flint Campus of Caring.

Her work as a consultant to both non- and for-profit business and prior as CEO/President of Lighthouse of Oakland County, Inc., garnered her numerous awards in recognition of her dedication. These awards include: Circle of Hope Award – CareHouse of Oakland County, University of Detroit Mercy Hall of Honor, Oakland Schools Housing Advocate Award, Community Leader Award – Bloomfield Hills Rotary Club, Detroit’s Enterprising Women – Detroit Historical Society, Michiganian of the Year – Detroit Newspaper Agency, Crain’s Detroit Business Best Managed Nonprofit Award, Athena Award – Oakland County Chamber of Commerce, Executive of the Year/Program of the Year Award – United Way Community Services and as a group with other Lighthouse volunteers, the 376th Point of Light Award from President Bush.

Noreen also spends time serving the following boards:  CareHouse of Oakland County Board, Chair of Dean’s Council for the UDM School of Liberal Arts and Education, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital Board of Trustees, Building Industry Association Foundation, Leadership Oakland Health & Human Services Committee.

She and her husband Terrance live in Auburn Hills and Cheboygan and have 2 sons and 1 grandchild. In her downtime Noreen enjoys gardening, travel and reading.


Spencer Libby is the owner of Wheeler Chevrolet Buick in Cheboygan. Prior to this, he worked for twenty years as a manufacturer’s representative of American and European machine tools at Spenser Machine Sales Company.

Spencer’s local community involvement includes memberships with both the Rotary Club and the Cheboygan Chamber of Commerce. He is focused on conserving the environment on both a professional and personal basis. He has many hobbies he partakes in when not working or volunteering.

He and his wife Debra have two children, Travis and Melissa, and three grandchildren.


Tom O’Hare After graduating from Michigan State University, Tom spent over 30 years in management and executive positions. He recently served as President of an Ophthalmic Health Care Company in Toronto. Previously he was Executive Vice President for Host Marriott Services North American Operations where Tom was responsible for over 23,000 associates, $1.4 billion in revenue, and a multi-million dollar capital expenditure program.

Today Tom is an entrepreneur and serves on corporate and four community boards. Tom resides with his wife in Topinabee. They have four sons, a daughter, and nine grandchildren.



James Conboy, James “Bud” Darnell, Susan Eno, Richard B. Sanford, Chris Sangster


We welcome additional talent and experience for our project ask forces and board of directors.