Board of Trustees

John Sanregret - Board Chair

Professional Title: Branch Manager/Commercial Lending Officer , The Miners State Bank

Why KCF: I have had the good fortune of growing up in this community and benefiting from all the activities and experiences that make it a great place to live. Now, as a KCF Board member, I have the opportunity to give back. I can and will make a difference, and I look forward to enhancing the lives of the people in our community.

Passions: Youth sports, outdoor recreation, the arts, and continuing work toward a doctoral degree from the school of hard knocks.

Karyn Olsson - Vice Chair

Professional Title: CEO, Upper Peninsula Marketing Department Inc.

Why KCF: After being an active community member, sitting on many boards, and volunteering for local organizations, I realized one common denominator: money and people are the only things that ensure community programs will be sustainable and effective. While we have a great community full of passionate, loving people, Keweenaw Community Foundation is the vehicle and asset that allows our community to sustain great programs that improve the lifestyle of the people who live here.

Passions: Family first, good health, and mindfulness. Karyn, her husband Dave, and two children (Amelia and Cameron) live in Houghton where they spend summers on the boat and winters playing board games and watching Star Wars.

Cathy Benda

Professional Title: Executive Director, Keweenaw Family Resource Center and the Copper Country Great Start Collaborative

Why KCF: The Foundation has the ability to support programs and services that make the Keweenaw a great place to live, work and play. We can address areas of concerns and needs that will have the greatest impact on our community now and for future generations.

Passions: Nurturing and supporting the creative side of life.

Jan Cole - Secretary

Professional Title: Managing Partner, Edochi LLC

Why KCF: I wanted to be part of an organization whose vision and impact will serve the community for generations.

Passions: The economic and environmental sustainability of the Keweenaw, the remarkable, resilient people that choose to call this home, and getting my hands dirty.

Jennifer Julien - YAC Advisor

Professional Title: Operations Manager and Technical Coordinator, GS Infrastructure

Why KCF: I had been involved in a youth leadership committee in my hometown of Saginaw. When I relocated to Houghton, I wanted to share my experiences as a young leader to help them grow their YAC organization and be a young mentor that they could connect with. I then became a KCF Board Member and became involved with the granting committee while continuing to advise the students in YAC.

Passions: As a high school senior, I wanted to attend a university away from home but had to do so independently—which meant finding my own funds to attend college. I applied for and received individual private scholarships that were ultimately enough to start a new life here in Houghton. Many of these scholarships came through the Saginaw Community Foundation, which grants over 180 scholarships a year to local students. I am passionate about fostering that same culture of giving back in our own community—especially among our youth.

Jonathan D. Julien

Professional Title: I am the founder of 6 companies employing over 50 people in Michigan and California.

Owner, Campus Housing, LLC

Owner, Julien Properties, LLC

Owner, LJJ Construction, LLC

President, Quincy Woodrights, LLC

Why KCF: I feel that KCF is curator of all things philanthropic for our community. When I choose to give to the KCF, I’m choosing to give back to my whole community, not just one special interest within my community.

Passions: Giving back to the kids in our community and providing other opportunities for our area’s youth to develop and grow that are not normally found in small, remote communities like ours.

John Lehman

Professional Title: Associate Vice President for Enrollment and University Relations, Michigan Technological University

Why KCF: Living here for the last 20 years, it never ceases to astound me how gracious the people of the Keweenaw can be. This is such a special little corner of the world, rich with people who have incredible gifts and a deep ethic of care for one another.  I wanted to be part of an organization focused on amplifying that graciousness.

Passions: My wife, Jodi, and daughter, Maddy.  Working for the success of our youth and college students.  Hopelessly addicted runner.  Any adventurous activity involving snow.

Sam Lockwood

Professional Title: Principal, Baselodge Group, Austin, Texas; research physician, consultant in medical and nutraceutical fields; multiple Keweenaw affiliations spanning the service industry to local renewable energy.

Why KCF: Its comprehensive view of the local assets and opportunities leads to targeted project management and concrete results that enable the community.

Passions: Evidence-based solutions to community problems.

Chuck Ouellette - Board Treasurer

Professional Title: Retired Construction Project Manager having worked primarily in the electrical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning industries.

Why KCF: It seems to me that the effects of the good we do in our community are what live on long after we each move on to whatever or wherever.  It is a kind of immortality that we can be sure of. The Foundation’s motto, “For good. For Ever.”, embodies that philosophy perfectly.

Passions: Life-long learning and the outdoors.

Brian Rendel

Professional Title: Training and Prevention Coordinator, Copper Country Mental Health Services Board, Inc.; Clinical Supervisor, Dial Help, Inc.; Professional Counselor

Why KCF: Communities with clear identities, such as the Copper Country, thrive by investing in people that empower community growth and sustainability. That is the opportunity that KCF offers our community and why I stepped forward to help.

Passions: I enjoy exploring human potential, purpose, and mission. I enjoy creating audio and visual media and writing. My favorite place to be is somewhere on or near water.

Chris Riesgraf

Professional Title: Financial Advisor with Edward Jones

Why KCF: I was a visitor, due to marriage, to the Keweenaw for five years before making this my home three years ago. I think everyone naturally wants to make their home a better place to live and being on the KCF Board gives me this great opportunity.

Passions: My faith and my family. Beyond that, sports, board games, and being outside.

Amanda Shelast

Professional Title: Regional Clinic Director, Aspirus Keweenaw and Ontonagon Hospital’s and Clinic’s.

Why KCF: The Keweenaw has held a special place in my heart since I was a child. My grandparents and mother called this area home. I visited every summer when I was young. There is something magical about this community and its residents and I’m committed to preserving its magic through giving back. My husband and I have lived all over the United State and Canada and feel blessed to call the Keweenaw home for the past 8 years. My goal in life is to help people, to make a difference in this world. I couldn’t think of a better board to serve on as the KCF provides a vehicle to give back to the community I love.

Passions: My family is my all. My husband Tyler and I enjoy hockey and sports, sushi and our three dogs.