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.
Patty Ball – (2022)
I discovered the UP and the Porkies in 2011 had have been coming up here ever since. It didn’t take long to realize that I loved this place and needed to be here. We bought a home in Ontonagon in 2015 and moved here permanently from Madison Wisconsin in 2018. I’m invested in this place and the Porkies in particular.
My love of hiking and the outdoors has led to my commitment to preserving the Porcupine Mountains for future generations. I see serving on the board of Friends of the Porkies as the best and most active way to accomplish that goal. Since moving to Ontonagon in 2018 that concern for the Porkies has only grown.
I bring with me 40 years of retail experience having managed a location for the family business I was a part of since birth as well as other multiple location operations throughout the area. I served as president of the board of one of Madison’s largest malls. I have also had personal involvement with the AIDS network of Dane County and Second Harvest Food Bank of Madison, the largest food bank in southern Wisconsin.
Sarah Anderson – (2022)
Sarah is an Ontonagon native who joined the Friends of the Porkies in late 2019. She graduated from Northern Michigan University in 2009, is currently employed in the 98th District Court and is also a part-time Emergency Medical Technician for SONCO Ambulance. Since moving back to the area in 2016, she quickly rediscovered her enjoyment of the outdoor recreation opportunities the Porkies provide, especially back country camping and yurting. She hopes to contribute her passion for the Park as well as her experience in the graphic design and
marketing fields to support the Friends' mission for many years to come.
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 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".
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.