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Our Leadership

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

Bryan Groff


Charles “Chuck” Baase

Vice President

Chuck joined the CCCF Board this summer and we are delighted to welcome him. After a career in Education and Law Enforcement, he and his wife Cathy moved to Cheboygan 20 years ago. Chuck is dedicated to improving his community and the Foundation fits right into that lofty goal.

Jamie Huber


Mr. Jamie Huber is the Superintendent of the Cheboygan Otsego Presque Isle Educational Service District, providing leadership and support for all school districts and students across a three county region.

Jamie also serves as a board member for the Cheboygan Area Hockey Association, a position he has held for the past 5 years and Co-Chair of the Financial Review Committee. Jamie received his Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley University and his Bachelor’s degree in Education from Central Michigan University.

Patricia Gildner


Patricia Gildner is a Cheboygan native and was a Cheboygan Middle School Teacher for 18 years. Prior to that she was United Way Director for Cheboygan County for 5 years and small business owner. Her love of volunteering is shown by serving on several community organizations Boards over the years including Ottawa Art Park, Cheboygan Economic Development Group, Main Street Steering Committee, Main Street Decor Committee, Co-Chair of Art Vision Plan Cheboygan, Chamber Ambassador, Women’s Resource Center, and Cheboygan County Community Foundation. All these experiences gives her a broad view and knowledge of Cheboygan economic needs and its residents. Patricia is currently Chair of Art Vision Team and is committed to beautifying our great town with interesting and exciting public art.

Matthew E. Keene

Matthew E. Keene is the president & CEO of Citizens National Bank. Mr. Keene has been in business development and the banking industry in northern Michigan for 25 years. He attended Central Michigan University earning a Bachelor’s degree and earned his Masters of Business from Western Michigan University. He is also a graduate of the American Bankers Association Graduate School of Banking in Madison, Wisconsin.

Matthew resides in Emmet County with his wife Lisa, an elementary art teacher in Petoskey, and their children Ayla and Crew. Keene stated, “My family loves living in northern Michigan, a place that I have called home for over 20 years. We are a civic-minded family participating in the many events and organizations in the region.”

As president of a community bank, and a former commercial lender, Mr. Keene understands the needs of start-up and young businesses and is excited to work with the Cheboygan County Community Foundation and local partners to help ensure the economic success of Cheboygan.

Tony Eustice

Dawn Bodnar

Dawn Bodnar is a well-known asset to the County as an active member in various organizations.
Dawn serves as Vice Chair for the Tuscarora Twp DDA, Chair for the Friends of Inland Lakes Schools, Chair of the Christmas In Indian River committee, is a Director on the North Central Michigan College Foundation Board, and is a Director on the Blue Ox Chapter of Credit Unions Executive Committee. She is the past Vice President of the Topinabee Development Association and was Director for McLaren Northern Michigan Hospice and Homecare Foundation until it was dissolved last year. Dawn was also involved with the Great Up North Alliance, the CEDC and the Cheboygan County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.
Dawn once served as the Executive Director of the Indian River Chamber of Commerce. She joined the Awaken Credit Union team in 2014 and is currently serves as their Vice President of Marketing and Community Development. Dawn loves living on Mullett Lake and has family ties to Cheboygan, dating back to the 1880s. She has two daughters and four grandchildren. She enjoys volunteering, boating, travel and spending time with family and friends. “I’m excited to be a part of the Cheboygan County Community Foundation,” said Dawn. “My hope is to help Cheboygan County become a place where my grandkids
can sustain and enjoy a full life with many opportunities for prosperity.”

Michele Andrews

Michele Andrews is an active member of the community with a wealth of talent and experience.
Majoring in Journalism, with a concentration in Public Relations and Communication, Michele earned her undergraduate degree from Central Michigan University and a Master of Arts in Organizational Management from Spring Arbor University.
Working for North Central Michigan College since 1998, Michele serves as Dean of Business, Education and Adjunct Faculty at NCMC. She is also an adjunct faculty member as an instructor in the subjects of Communication, Public Speaking, Customer Service and Employability Skills.
Michele’s contributions to Northern Michigan communities are impressive. Currently an active member of the Zonta Club of Petoskey, Michele has previously been involved in a number of organizations including Rotary, the Cheboygan Economic Development Group, Cheboygan Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Past Vice President, Straits Area Services Board, Gaylord Chamber Ambassador, and American University Women.
Michele and her husband Bob own several businesses in Cheboygan. The couple, married 24 years, enjoy traveling, boating and living in Cheboygan. “I’m honored and thrilled to be a part of the Community Foundation,” Andrews stated. “Helping Cheboygan County grow in economic development is essential!”

Dwayne LaPointe

Dwayne LaPointe is sure to be a positive contributor with his professional background and experience in other communities.
Dwayne received his Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University and worked for Stryker Corporation for seven years before becoming a Financial Advisor for Edward Jones. He recently opened his office in Cheboygan. “As a 14-year client of Edward Jones, I had the distinct pleasure to experience the power of the company’s philosophy. I felt a calling to help others experience the success I had,” said Dwayne.
Raised in Traverse City, Dwayne and his wife Tamara (Ginop) were eager to move back to Cheboygan to raise their three high school aged children Edward, Robert and Hayden. Dwayne said, “Tamara was born and raised here and we wanted our children to grow up in the lifestyle that Northern Michigan provides, as well as being closer to family.”
Helping Cheboygan County grow and continue to improve the area is a goal of Dwayne’s and he is looking forward to working on the Foundation Board.

David Butts, CFP, CMFC

Past President

Susan Eno

Past President

Joanne Welihan

Past President

Noreen Keating

Past President

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.

Richard B. (Dick) Sanford

President Emeritus

Dick 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!”

James Conboy

Director Emeritus

James 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.

Board of Directors

Alice Fernelius

Alice Fernelius is a resident of Mullett Lake and a member of an active local family business. She is also active at her church, St Mary/St. Charles, as a reader and involved parishioner. Her grandchildren are her pride and joy and she is a generous childcare helper. Alice initiated the PRIDE CHEBOYGAN program at local grade schools and high schools, starting in 2004 writing a curriculum to share positive messages about avoiding the pitfalls of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. She has marketing and human resources experience at Fernelius Auto Group, plus fundraising experience in Tawas. Her undergraduate degree is from Western Michigan University and she has a Masters's Degree from Central Michigan University.

Tom Eustice

Tom Eustice was born and raised in the City of Cheboygan and earned a BA from Ferris State University. He and his wife Annette have two sons, Tyson & Eryn and grandson, Mason. Tom served as City Manager of Cheboygan (2014-2021), Planning and Zoning Administrator (2010-2021), and other positions while working for the City. As City Manager, he helped to establish the Port of Cheboygan and with the Little Traverse Conservancy, established the Duncan Bay Preserve. He partnered with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Northern Lakes Economic Alliance to secure funding for multiple business and infrastructure projects. With his help, the Michigan Strategic fund invested $4.5 million in Downtown Cheboygan over a 4-year period and Cheboygan became a Pure Michigan Trails Town. Tom has a very active role in the community working with organizations including the Cheboygan Rotary Club, Cheboygan Little League and Cheboygan Blue Liners.


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