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Community Advisory Council

Advisory boards are required of most public broadcasting stations to help stations serve their community effectively.  Members of the IPR Community Advisory Council are appointed by the IPR Executive Director. 


Help IPR engage with the communities it serves

Help IPR think strategically about its mission  

Help IPR find the financial resources needed to thrive


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.

Meetings of the IPR Community Advisory Council are open to the public. Meetings are announced on the air and on the station’s website. Minutes of meetings are also posted on the IPR website. 

Expectations of 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. Meetings are announced on the air and on the station’s website. Records of meetings are also posted on the IPR website. Certain meetings or portions of meetings may be closed in order to address confidential information or proprietary matters.

IPR Community Advisory Council Members:

Marcia Curran of Frankfort. Marcia Curran has worked as a staff member in the U.S. House and Senate, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the State Department, and served for twelve years on the board of the local land conservancy. Her second term on the Council expires in January of 2021.

Stephie Luyt of Traverse City. A former middle and high school English teacher, Stephie is currently the elementary teacher librarian for Traverse City Area Public Schools.  She works to increase information and digital literacy across the district. Her second term on the council expires in November of 2021.

Sarah Helge of Manistee. Sarah Helge is a retired English, French, and Choir teacher. She is currently on the board of directors (president) at the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts in Manistee, where she's lived with her husband and two children for the last twenty years. Both children are camp alumni, so Interlochen is dear to our hearts. Her second term on the Council expires in November of 2021.

John Martin McDonald of Frankfort.  John McDonald is the founder of Caeli Communications, a strategic communications consultancy specializing in crisis management and communications leadership. His second term on the Council expires in July of 2021.

Isaiah Wunsch of Traverse City.  Isaiah Wunsch is a cherry and apple farmer and agribusiness consultant from Traverse City, as well as a Peninsula Township trustee.  He spent his early career working in policy and economic development in Lansing.  His first term on the Council expires in November of 2021.

Pam Horne of Interlochen.  Pam is an independent higher education consultant following over 40 years of full-time service to a number of institutions, including the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.  She retired from Purdue University as Vice Provost for Enrollment Management.  Both of her daughters attended Interlochen Arts Camp for many years, and now Pam volunteers at ICA and the State/Bijou theatres.  Her second term on the Council expires in June of 2022.

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 first term expires in February of 2021. 

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 first term expires in February of 2021. 

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 first term expires March 2021. 

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 first term expires June 2021. 

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 first term expires October 2021.

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 first term expires October 2021. 

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 first term expires October 2021.

Walter Muellenhagen was raised in the Detroit area and has been a resident of Traverse City since 1986, where his career in sales and commerical lending covered a span of over 20 years.   While semi-retired, he hones his wordworking skills and works as a consultant.  He is a seven year veteran of the United States Air Force.  A classical music fan since childhood, he enjoys attending concerts by the Traverse Symphony Orchestra and other classical ensembles in the region.  Walt resides in Buckely with his life partner Renaye, their dog and cat.  His first term on the council ends in October 2022. 

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 ends in June 2022. 

Former CAC Members

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