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Beka Alter

Board Member | Events 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!

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Sarah Button

Board Member

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!

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Angila Chapman

Board Member | Co-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. 

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Jane Diesing

Board Member | Vice President

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.

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Amy Forehand

Board Member | Secretary

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.

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Lynn Fox

Board Member | President

I managed book inventory and external mail order for Bookcrafters/Sheridan Books. I designed computer manuals for Peoplesoft systems, managed contracts, services and billing for international book sales. I informed local community organizations about the original Library Bond and Millage and have managed successful grant funding for a variety of Chelsea area organizations. 

I have a BA: Psychology and Behavioral Science; Social Sciences and Elementary Education, and an MA: Early Childhood Education and have experience in Grant Writing

I have a passion for education and access to information for everyone, giving people a hand up in order to better the community. I love making the resources we have at CEF grow to provide the best educational experiences for the students in the Chelsea School District.  I love the passion of the current  Board - committed to expanding the organization, its funding resources and its future in the community. 

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Kimberly Gillow

Board Member 

I am Principal at North Creek Elementary, Chelsea, and have been an elementary educator, Region 2 Treasurer for Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principal’s Association and Speech-Language Pathologist 

 

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Speech-Language Pathology, Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology, Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Specialty Endorsement: Leadership Matters Program 

 

My passions include being an advocate for students, teachers and families. Early childhood and early literacy have been the focus of most of my career. Being part of CEF has helped me develop relationships with community members outside the school who collaborate with us to support our students and staff on a regular basis.

 

One of the things I love about CEF is that it exemplifies one of the many ways the Chelsea community shows their support for our students, teachers and schools. It is a group of dedicated volunteers who are committed to our vision and mission to support our students socially, emotionally and academically. One of my favorite things about CEF is that they are a forward thinking group who truly care about our kids.

 

Our staff and students are truly grateful for the support of the Chelsea Education Foundation.

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Frank Grohnert

Board Member 

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!

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Julie D. Helber, Ed.D.

Board Member | Nonvoting member representing the school 

I have been the Chelsea High School Superintendent since 2016. I was a Lecturer at the University of Michigan’s School of Education Masters Program. I was Region 8 President of the Michigan Association of School Administrators, I am currently a Board member of the Chelsea Area of Chamber of Commerce and an active member of Chelsea Rotary 

 

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology with a Graduate Teaching Certificate, Master’s Degree in K-12 Curriculum Development, Education Specialist in Education Leadership and a Doctorate in Education Leadership 

 

I am passionate about providing quality academic, social, and emotional opportunities for our youth. I love the collaborative relationship with CEF, they are an integral member of the Chelsea School District Team. 

 

Joe Piasecki, late Chelsea School District superintendent founded CEF.  I am proud to be involved in maintaining the relationship he developed so long ago with CEF and to support the vision he had for this foundation.

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Katie Hepler

Board Member | Marketing Chair 

Katie Hepler 

Board Member | Marketing Chair 

 

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!

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Sharon Hillis

Board Member | Co-Treasurer

I joined the CEF board in 2018 and am on the scholarship committee.  I was a Treasurer (2 Years) for the Panther Cubs PTO in Stockbridge, MI

I have a B.S.B.A. Business Administration (Finance Major, Economics Minor) from the University of Florida 

I worked for Borders Books as a Senior Financial Analyst for 8 years where I worked in the International Inventory Control department, which covered stores in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore.  

My passions include my son (a 4th grader in South Meadows Elementary), Taekwondo: I am a 1st-degree black belt and a 1st level instructor for the ATA; horseback riding and Music. I love being a part of the scholarship committee helping to decide which deserving CHS students and graduates can get financial assistance with scholarship money.

I love being able to work with the passionate, outstanding CEF board members.
We all have a common purpose to improve things and provide opportunities for the students in the Chelsea School District.

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Sandy Lantis

Board Member 

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.