Board of Directors
President Jim Bradley (2017)
Vice President Robert Wagner (2017)
Hello to all the Friends! I was the Friends Secretary/Board Member for 5 years, and I now serve as Vice President. Sarah, my wife of 28 years and also an active member, and I have always shared a love of the outdoors and are avid hikers, “explorers”, and cross-country/downhill skiers. We have shared many wonderful adventures in our beloved Porkies ever since we met, and find that being actively involved in the Friends Of The Porkies is a great way to not only give something back to the park, but also help improve it to enhance our future experiences there.
I have a BS and MS Degree in Forestry from Michigan Technological University. Having grown up in New Jersey, I have since lived most of my life in the “Great UP” attending college and then working for the USDA Forest Service on the Ottawa National Forest for nearly 30 years as a Soil Scientist and Silviculturist. Since my retirement 3 years ago I remain very active both in personal and volunteer activities and have found being involved in such an active and beneficial organization like the Friends a very rewarding experience.
My wife and I try to remain involved in our professional careers (Sarah is also a retired Forest Service Soil Scientist) on a volunteer consulting basis, and also like to cook, garden, bike ride, volunteer for the local animal shelter, and participate in community events. Our family also includes 3 cats and a 165 pound Landseer Newfoundland, Fluffy, who is also a Friends Pet Member, and has participated in many local parades and Friends events over the years.
I look forward to many more years of activity in the Friends, and adventures in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and encourage others who love the Porkies to also become more involved in it support through our organization. Thank You.
Secretary Jim Waters (2016)
Jim is a long-time member of the Friends. He is a retired high school science educator and an avid runner and skier.
Treasurer Barb Braithwaite (2018)
Barb has been on the Friends Board or involved in Friends of the Porkies volunteer efforts since the mid-1990’s when Dan Urbanski invited her to an early-days board meeting to help out with a cross-country ski event sponsored by the Friends. She is married to Dave, a retired park ranger from the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, and herself is an ex-park ranger from lower Michigan, a former DNR district office manager, and most recently, a clinical psychologist. Some of Barb’s other volunteer efforts include local ski patrol at the Porkies, duties with social work agencies around the area, and Board Treasurer for the Friends.
Susan Giesen (2016)
Eric Hopper (2016)
Eric Hopper is a musician and freelance writer who was drawn to the Ontonagon area because of its natural beauty. His passion for nature is what connected him with the Friends of the Porkies organization and is what keeps him searching for new adventures in the outdoors. The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park provides Eric (and everyone else) a 60,000 acre playground where plenty of adventures await. Eric’s hobbies include hiking, canoeing, kayaking, camping, swimming, snowshoeing, snowboarding, and skiing.
Sally Berman (2017)
Sally Berman, Folk School committee member, with her late husband, Al, fell in love with the Porkies when they purchased their home “between the Cranberries” in 1976. Sally taught chemistry at a large Chicago suburban high school, and after she stepped through a golden early retirement window in 1994, she led workshops and graduate courses for educators for several years. While they were still in the classroom, she and Al spent all of their holiday and vacation time at their home on the lake and moved to the shore when they retired from teaching in 1994. A few years ago, Sally joined the Folk School Committee, and for the past several years she has been the weekend Ontonagon Lighthouse tour guide. As a Board member, Sally’s goal is to help the Friends grow and thrive.
Carol Maass (2018)
A recently retired professional interpreter with 35 years working in National Parks, Carol has volunteered as the Outreach Coordinator for the Friends of the Porkies. With two Bachelors of Arts degrees from the University of Minnesota (Archeology and Geography), she has extensive experience in Cultural Resource Management and Interpretation. Carol has been a member of the National Association for Interpretation since 1989. Accomplishments include planning and designing multiple exhibits and print materials at three parks. For the last, 8 years of her career, Carol was the NPS Midwest Region Interpretive Media Project Manager managing over 180 exhibit, audiovisual, wayside, brochure and social media projects ranging from the a YouTube exotic species video to the Keweenaw Calumet Visitor Center exhibits.