Board Members

Sally Berman – President (2020)

Sally Berman fell in love with the Porkies in 1976 when she and her late husband, Al, purchased their home on Lake Superior "between the Cranberries. After 30 years teaching high school chemistry, she retired from the classroom in 1994 and became an Ontonagon resident. Sally joined the Friends' board in the early 2000s and became President in 2016. With a focus on sustaining the organization, she and other board members are reaching out to the next generation, working with them to maintain a commitment to preserving the Park, supporting its staff, and connecting, educating and inspiring its visitors.

Carol Maass – Vice President

A retired professional interpreter with 35 years working in National Parks, Carol is the Friends of the Porkies Vice President who guides our community and Porkies outreach. With two Bachelor 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. Her many activities on behalf of the Friends have been key to renewing our focus on interpretation and education.

Jane Rasmussen – Treasurer

Jane has been a member of the Friends for many years, even before moving to the U.P. in 2014. She is a member of the Folk School committee, hosts and takes classes and volunteers for the music festival when time allows. As an advocate of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, she enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing, fishing, participating in the park events and showing off the Park to family and friends. Jane has been our volunteer bookkeeper for 5 years and has now assumed the Friend’s Treasurer position.

Michael Heitjan – Secretary (2022)

Michael Heitjan recently joined the Friends of the Porkies Board.

Michael received a BS degree and an MBA from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is a Detroit native who recently retired after many years working for General Motors in Finance, Purchasing and Supply Chain. He and his wife Dawna have been vacationing in the Ontonagon / Porcupine Mountains area for many years. They purchased a home just outside Ontonagon a few years ago, and have been anxiously waiting for their opportunity to move here permanently. That chance came in Spring 2019 – they are now full-time residents.

After their first trip to the Porkies, Michael was hooked. He enjoys hiking in the park, enjoying the serenity, beautiful views and friendly people in the area. He’s looking forward to helping others enjoy the Porkies as much as he does.

Marlene Broemer – (2020)

I am a native of Ontonagon County and grew up with the Porkies as my backyard. My family owned a motel in Silver City, so I was also in the hospitality business, both winter and summer. After many years away from Michigan in business and education in California, Oregon and Finland, I have returned to share any skills in marketing and communication that I have to
promote a healthy outdoor life that encourages good spirits in the community. As a support group for the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, I feel that the Friends group helps visitors learn about local history and find the renewal nature so generously provides, while it also provides benefits to locals through the wealth of outdoor adventures available to them all year round.

Sue Basile 

Sue joined the Friends of the Porkies board in 2017.She has served in different organizations over the years; Ontonagon County Habitat for Humanity, the local animal shelter, OCAP (Ontonagon County Animal Protection), and currently volunteers at the annual Porcupine Music Festival.

Sue’s mother is from Ontonagon and lived here until she went to college, and then to the Air Force, where she met Sue’s father. After Sue's father retired from the Air Force and she graduated from Gwinn High School in 1972, the family moved to Ontonagon permanently. Sue chose to stay in the area and call it home. She has worked at Citizens State Bank, Smurfit-Stone Container and White Pine Electric Power. She is currently retired, but went back to Citizens State Bank on a part-time basis. Sue laughs when she tells people that, "I've come full circle".

Joanie Hawley 

Joanie Hawley is a lifetime member of the Friends of the Porkies.  She has been a property owner on Lake Superior since 1986 and has many family members in the area.  She recently served 4 years as a Board Member of the Water Environment Federation, which has over 35,000 members and 75 associations (  She has volunteered for over 30 years in numerous capacities focusing on workforce development and “making the water clean”.  She is a professional engineer and water operator.  She likes to ski and hike, especially in the Porkies.  Her hobby is to fix and repair lamps.

Farren Shamion – (2022)

Farren joined the Friends of the Porkies Board in 2019. She was born and raised in Ontonagon. After high school, Farren moved away from the area for several years, and it was not until she returned that she truly came to appreciate the beauty of the Porcupine Mountains. Farren has a young daughter, and part of her reason for joining the Board is to keep the Porkies beautiful,
abundant and wild for future generations. She works full time as a claims representative for Sedgwick and is also involved in Ontonagon Area Figure Skating Club. Farren is looking forward to exploring more parts of the park and all that it offers and to increase her activities that promote and serve the community.