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Community Advisory Council

Interlochen Public Radio is owned and governed by the Interlochen Center for the Arts and its Board of Trustees, with advice from our Community Advisory Council.

Help IPR engage with the communities it serves
Help IPR think strategically about its mission  
Help IPR find the financial resources needed to thrive

Advisory boards are required of most public broadcasting stations to help stations serve their community effectively. The CAC is composed of at least 10 members serving two-year terms. A member may serve two consecutive terms for a total of four years and then must rotate off for at least one year. Members are appointed by IPR’s Executive Director who chairs meetings of the full council.

Expectations of CAC Board Members
1. Represent the interests of the communities served by IPR.
2. Be well versed in IPR’s mission, programs, services, strengths and needs.
3. Participate in three annual council meetings.
4. Actively serve on council committees.
5. Be willing to serve in a leadership capacity when asked.
6. Support IPR financially at a personally meaningful level.
7. Actively engage in open and honest dialogue about IPR programming.
8. Offer advice to Interlochen Trustees regarding IPR as required by federal law.
9. Identify candidates to serve as new advisors.

The role of the Council is purely advisory. Fiduciary responsibility and governance of IPR rests ultimately with the Interlochen Center for the Arts Board of Trustees.

Meetings of the IPR Community Advisory Council are open to the public, though some require that you make reservations in advance. Certain meetings or portions of meetings may be closed in order to address confidential information or proprietary matters. Meetings are announced on the air and on the station’s website. Records of meetings are posted on the IPR website.

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, from 5 to 6 p.m. - more information to come

Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. - Interlochen Board of Trustees meeting on the Interlochen campus

Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. - IPR Community Advisory Council
Mallory-Towsley Center for Arts Leadership (MTCal) building Great Room at the Interlochen Center for the Arts - open to the public

Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. - IPR Community Advisory Council

Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. - IPR Community Advisory Council Engagement Committee

Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. - IPR Community Advisory Council News Committee

Tuesday, Jan. 25., 2022 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. - IPR Community Advisory Council Classical Committee

IPR Community Advisory Council Members:
Larry Mawby is a winegrower on the Leelanau Peninsula, a poet, a Buddhist, a drinker of winter & eater of foods. He is a third generation fruit grower and since establishing the second commercial vineyard in this region in 1973 he has been growing grapes and making wines. Since 2000, all wines produced by L.Mawby are sparkling. Larry has served on the board of the Leelanau Conservancy, has been a planning commisioner in Bingham Township, a trustee and president of the Suttons Bay Village Council, and has served on several other civic group committees and board. His second term expires in February of 2023. 

Ron Becker of Glen Arbor began his career as a chemical engineer starting up oil refineries around the world. He then made the move to corporate finance, spending 26 years at Eli Lilly and Company where he did long range planning and financial consulting for the treasury, international operations and manufacturing divisions. Ron became involved at IPR when he and his wife retired to Glen Arbor in 2015. He also enjoys his work with the Glen Arbor Arts Center and the Glen Lake Association. His second term expires in February of 2023. 

Elara Coleman of Traverse City works as a Metalsmith and Jeweler. As the daughter of Cellist Cripsin Campbell, she spent much of her youth around Interlochen Arts Academy. The passion and inspiration that is so central to the Academy inspired her to pursue the arts herself. She graduated from the Academy with a major in Visual Arts and went on to get a BFA in Metals and Enameling from the Cleveland Institute of Art. The wealth of beauty that this area has in its forests and lakes along with its supportive community called her home to start a family and a business. Her second term expires March 2023. 

Margaret Pierson of Traverse City retired after 37 years as an Elementary music teacher. She continues to follow her passion of sharing music with people of all ages. She is currently on staff with Heart to Heart music, providing singing experiences with residents of various Assisted Living facilities in the Grand Traverse region. Her second term expires June 2023. 

Bill Northway, of Frankfort, is a newly retired orthodontist who has loved being able to improve the bites and smiles of Northern Michigan for the past 40 years.  He continues to publish, lecture and serve on the review committees for numerous orthodontic journals.  Having accomplished his secondary education at a boarding preparatory academy, he has come to know many of the Interlochen students as orthodontic patients.  Thus, he has seen first hand what a Wonderful World Experience is being provided at IAC and wants to participate.  His second term expires October 2023.

Beth Fitzsimmons, Ph.D, of Frankfort, founded and operated Information Strategists for 26 years, providing information services to high tech companies and government agencies.  She consulted for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and chaired the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science.  She has served as Regent for Eastern Michigan University.  In Frankfort, she serves on the Board of the Oliver Art Center and assists EMU with programming at the Parsons Center for Arts and Sciences in Lake Ann. Her second term expires October 2023. 

Tom Berg, of Traverse City, is a retired food industry executive.  Tom  held various management positions in sales, marketing, private label and business development. He has served on the  boards and councils of Junior Achievement, Private Label Manufacturing Association, Michigan Grocers and Special Olympics of Michigan. Tom and his wife are active volunteers at Interlochen Center for the Arts. His second term expires October 2023.

Jessica Ann Rickert, D.D.S. is the first female American Indian Dentist in the world, a proud member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. Dr. Rickert attended the University of Michigan from 1968 to 1975. From 1975 to 2014 she owned her private dental practice.  She served on the Michigan Urban Indian Health Council Board of Directors and on the Board of Directors of the Society of American Indian Dentists, among many others. Recently retired, she is the Anishinaabe Dental Outreach Specialist with Delta Dental of Michigan. Her first term on the council ended in June 2022. 

Becky Ruthven, a new member of CAC, resides in Westport, CT and summers in Frankfort, MI. Retired from Ruthven and Associates as CEO. Formerly a high school social studies teacher and later transitioned to the telecommunications industry as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, responsible for the distribution of several cable networks. Becky has a long family history with Interlochen and served on the Board of Trustees for nine years until July of 2021. Her first term on the council ends in November 2023.

Kama Ross recently retired from her position as the Forestry Assistance Program Forester for Leelanau, Benzie, and Grand Traverse Conservation Districts. She also enjoyed a career as an outdoor environmental educator. After receiving her forestry degree from Michigan State University, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay, currently serving as the President of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Northern Michigan. Kama plans to return to volunteer service in West Africa as soon as Peace Corps is back. Kama has three grown children (two who graduated from IAC) and lives just north of Cedar. Traveling and music are two of her other passions which bring joy to her life. Her first term ends in November 2023.

Megan Heator

Tom Quinn

Andrea Mack

Whitney Waara

Raul Gomez

Liaisons from our Board of Trustees, Nancy Hoagland, Sumit Sengupta, and Cindy Hann.

Former CAC Members:
Pam Horne of Interlochen
Walter Muellenhagen of Traverse City
Peter Bergin of Traverse City
Charles (Charlie) MacInnis of Harbor Springs
Karen Puschel Segal of Traverse City
Tom Quinn of Manistee
Suzy Voltz of Frankfort
Whitney Waara of Traverse City
Robert H. (Bob) Giles of Traverse City
Nancy Giles of Traverse City
Evy Kaplan Sussman of Northport
Marcia Curran of Frankfort
Stephie Luyt of Traverse City
Sarah Helge of Manistee
John Martin McDonald of Frankfort
Isaiah Wunsch of Traverse City