Jane Diesing | Board Member
Beka Alter | Impact Chair
I come from the engineering industry with professional experience in several fields. These include, Naval Architecture and federal contracted programs, a renewable energy startup, a venture funded health testing platform company, and a company that develops and sells electronic controls for the transportation industry. I have held various management and leadership positions in each of these companies. I am eager to utilize my technical and strategic skills to help the CEF and Chelsea community in any capacity that I can.
I have a BSE in Mechanical Engineering and a BSE in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the University of Michigan. I hope to use my experience in grant writing, strategic leadership, and technical management to help CEF be successful.
I love being outside! My family and I do a lot of local hiking, biking, swimming and paddle boarding. We love camping and visiting as many National parks as we can! I am passionate about constantly learning new things and helping my two little girls learn along with me. Our current venture is raising 8 chickens at our home!
I am looking forward to engaging with the community in Chelsea and helping our schools and students grow!
Sarah Button | Board Member
I bring nearly 10 years of marketing, sponsorship, and event planning experience in higher education. I have a B.A. in Sports Management from the University of Michigan and an M. Ed. in Training and Development from Oakland University. I’ve worked for University of Michigan’s Recreational Sports department for the last seven years. My background as a former athlete and coach has instilled in me a growth mindset that I bring to all of my work. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching at Concordia University and the University of Michigan as an adjunct faculty member. My passion for education has made me a lifelong learner. It’s a joy to make learning possible (and fun!) for others!
I love spending time with my fiancé (Dave), dog (Riggs), and nine chickens. Since moving to Chelsea in 2019, we’ve grown to love the authentic, down-to-earth feel of this community! In my spare time, you can find me gardening, hiking, or out on the golf course.
I’m so impressed with what CEF has already accomplished. I’m honored to be able to join such a passionate, community-focused group of folks working to make opportunities possible for students and educators! I’m excited to make connections in the Chelsea community and to make an impact where it matters most!
Matt Ceo | Board Member
I have 13 years in education - 7 years teaching, 5 years as assistant Principal at Beach Middle School, and 1 year as Principal at Beach Middle School. I have my Bachelor's Degree from University of Michigan and my Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia.
I am passionate about working with students! I'm also dedicated to the Chelsea School District and continuing to make it the best it can be.
As part of CEF, it gives me the opportunity to help Chelsea's bulldogs and teachers achieve their goals. My favorite CEF contribution has been the aid to dozens of children in order to attend the Washington D.C. trip!
Angila Chapman | Treasurer
I have worked at the University of Michigan since 1997 starting in Michigan Medicine and subsequently in several areas within Finance. Over the course of 15 years, I managed accounting, budgeting and finance technology. Today, I enjoy the closer view my current role as Vice President & CFO at the Alumni Association provides into non-profit business strategies.
I attended Eastern Michigan University and received a degree in Accounting Information Systems. The experiences I have had in various financial aspects of a non-profit organization namely, reporting, auditing, budgeting, combined with strategic planning, technology strategy and leadership training will be helpful in better understanding CEF and how I can quickly be a part of the team in making a difference.
I am passionate about my family, boating, reading and helping people. I want to give back to the community - helping CEF achieve its goals is a great place to start. I have expertise in donor software, finance and related strategies that I look forward to applying to increase the financial strength and ultimately the community that CEF supports.
John L Daly | Board Member
I spend five years in public practice with two of the big international CPA firms followed by 15 years as a Chief Financial Officer. I founded Executive Education, Inc. in 1998, building it to a company with seventeen professional speakers who have presented continuing professional education to corporation financial managers in 45 states and three countries.
I have a BS from Denison University in Granville, OH, and an MBA from the University of Michigan. I am a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and a Certified Production and Inventory Manager (CPIM).
My sons, James and Joseph are Chelsea High School graduates. James was a recipient of a CEF scholarship. I was assistant scoutmaster of Chelsea Boy Scout Troop 179 and my wife Nancy J. Daly is a board member of Material Girls. I enjoy canoeing, kayaking, hiking, downhill skiing and live theater, both as a performer and a patron. The Players in Detroit have produced eight one-act plays I have written. I am the author of Pricing for Profitability, published by John Wiley and Sons as well as a novel, Tool & Die. I recently completed editing my mother’s memoirs, Doctor Miriam.
Jane Diesing | Alumni Chair
I worked as a Medical Technologist at Sparrow Hospital for 8 years in Lansing. Upon moving to Chelsea, my sister, mom, and I became co-owners of The Village Shoppe of Chelsea and enjoyed eighteen years running a business in the community. I am now retired. During that time, I also served on the Chelsea Board of Education for twelve years and President for six years while we built Chelsea High School and Pierce Elementary. I was also on the Washtenaw Intermediate School District Board, the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, the Senior Citizen Board, and the Chelsea Library building committee. My years on many boards have given me training in leadership, finances, team building, goal setting, fundraising, and many more skills to help work together for success.
I have a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University and a year of internship at Sparrow Hospital.
I love reading, knitting, and spending time with my family, especially my five grandchildren. We spend the summers at our cottage up north and I love my time on and by the water. I love working towards a better community especially through education. It is important to give our children the best educational experience we can to prepare them for their future.
I spent a year as the school board liaison to CEF just after Joe Piasecki had organized the initial group. He would be so proud of the growth and many accomplishments of the foundation. It has become the organization he envisioned. I am pleased to once again be a member of the board and hope to continue expanding the vision.
Amy Forehand | President
I have 20+ years of experience working in operations and human resource functions culminating in starting my own Consultancy in 2019. I worked for Consumers Energy for 16 years in a variety of strategic and operational capacities, including workforce programs to create sustainable cultural change and support talent development. I attended the University of Michigan and received a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering.
My professional passion is fueled by my deep conviction that all employees can thrive when the right conditions are created. In 2019 I started The Forehand Company providing leadership coaching, employee engagement and culture transformation consulting. I focus on problem-solving, and bringing leaders and their organizations to new levels of success.
At CEF, I love that we have the ability to enable teachers to create amazing experiences for Chelsea’s children to learn and grow. So many of the grants that the Foundation funds create experiences that explore future passions and careers for the kids, enabling them to learn in ways that take them out of the traditional classroom. These conditions foster a love of learning and future passions, success enablers for life!
I am excited about the opportunity presented to CEF as we embark on strategic planning. We are setting new goals and paths forward that will strengthen the contribution to the Chelsea School District’s Students.
I enjoy downhill skiing in the winter, hiking and spending time on the water in the summer with my husband Jim and two boys, Sam and Nolan.
Frank Grohnert | Policy Chair
I have gained considerable experience helping others through my practice of law in Dexter for the last 39 years. I am a graduate of Chelsea High School, and got my Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Detroit in 1979. Thereafter, I went and earned my Juris Doctor degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1982.
My passion is for the common good, and I hope to be a productive member of CEF. I want to see all who desire a quality education get one, whether that is pre-k, K-12, or adult education. I have followed the activities of CEF from the outside, and I am impressed with its accomplishments!
Katie Hepler | Vice President
I worked for more than 15 years in public relations and corporate communications at a major automaker before leaving the workforce several years ago to stay home with my three children. My work experience is in media relations, crisis management, message development, executive communications and reputation management.
I have been a board member for the Chelsea Elementary Parent Teacher Organization for three years and continue in that role currently.
I graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a B.A. Communications Studies and Psychology (dual major).
I love spending time with my family (husband Jason, children Will (12), Owen (10), Ryan (6) and our dog Roscoe, as well as with our extended family and friends. We love to travel, share adventures and be outdoors.
CEF makes such a positive impact in our community. Joining the board has given me even more appreciation for how CEF supports the work of our amazing school district. I am honored to serve with a group of such wonderful individuals who are so committed to doing positive, meaningful work in our community.
I recently participated in our current grant cycle’s review committee, reviewing the grant requests submitted by CSD staff and awarding grant monies for various projects. First, I was blown away by the creativity and rigor with which CSD staff all the way from early childhood to high school are augmenting the amazing work they’re already doing with these awesome projects and programs. Second, I’m not sure you get much closer to feeling like Santa Claus on Christmas to say “yes” to a whole bunch of Chelsea’s amazing educators!
Sandy Lantis | Secretary
I recently retired from Chelsea School District where I taught for 23 years. I have taught early elementary for my career. I also taught in Stockbridge for 4 years. While teaching I was very involved as a grade level chair as well as with our union.
I have my Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Spring Arbor College. I also have my Masters Degree in Elementary education from Spring Arbor University. (There was a name change while I was away. )
I enjoy spending time outdoors camping. My husband and I recently bought a 5th wheel. We have had several trips around the state of Michigan exploring and enjoying the great state. In my spare time while home I love to spend time in my sewing room creating and sewing. I have been working hard on making quilts. It is very exciting to see how each one turns from scraps to a piece of art.
One of my favorite things about the Chelsea Education Foundation is the beautiful Gala that they put on as a fundraiser. I have attended a few times and have enjoyed the evening. This allows for so many grants that are provided to the schools. I have personally benefited from grants for our book room at North Creek. On a personal level my daughter received several grants her senior year toward her tuition her freshman year.
Wendy Zielen | Board Member
I am currently Development and Communications Director at St. Louis Center, a residential community for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This position combines my experience in marketing, digital outreach, and client relations with my commitment to non-profit fundraising and governance.
I earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and have a background in marketing, administration, and management with a specialty in small to mid-sized businesses and nonprofit organizations. I utilize my organizational expertise to help support worthy youth advocacy, underserved community, environmental sustainability, and historical preservation causes.
My passion for philanthropy and volunteerism was inspired by experiencing the generosity of others toward my youngest daughter during her struggle with a rare disease. I greatly enjoy many volunteer activities, as well as running, reading, and traveling. One of my greatest joys is the view from our family’s lakeside cottage on one of Michigan’s beautiful inland lakes near Chelsea.
As a new member of the Chelsea Education Board, I’m looking forward to working with other members of the board and the community to help support the students of Chelsea School District.
I'm thrilled with the opportunity to help other students in the Chelsea School District have the same educational experiences and opportunities that my children had!