Dale M. Herder, Ph.D. (Chairman) Dr. Herder has lectured and consulted in the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of Georgia, Germany, England, Italy, New Zealand, Taiwan, Japan, and Canada. He served as an enlisted man and commissioned officer at sea in the U.S. Navy and retired with the rank of Commander. He is a former Fulbright Fellow in West Germany and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history, and a Ph.D. in English/American studies at Michigan State University. His articles, essays, and book chapters appear in a variety of academic and popular publications, and his book, Common Sense Rediscovered: Lessons From the Terrorist Attack on America, was published in 2004. After over forty years as a high school principal, English professor, department chair, dean, academic vice president, and interim college president, he is retired and resides in beautiful northern Michigan.
Mary Lou Tanton (Vice Chairman) Mary Lou Tanton is a dedicated community volunteer and conservation activist and holds a master’s degree in special education from Michigan State University. She is a former member of Michigan United Conservation Club’s billboard control task force and helped found Scenic Michigan, whose mission is to preserve and enhance the scenic character of Michigan’s communities and roadsides. She worked as a low-vision consultant at the Burns Clinic in Petoskey, Michigan and continues to work for outdoor lighting that enhances night vision by eliminating impediments like glare. Ms. Tanton served on the Emmet County Planning Commission and in 2000, received the Northwest Michigan Outstanding Citizen Planner Award. She chaired the Bear Creek Township Sign and Lighting Committee, and serves on the Emmet County Sign and Lighting Committee. In 2008, Ms. Tanton received the President’s Award from the Michigan Association of Planning in recognition of her work.
John E. Fought (Treasurer) John Fought is a retired CPA and partner in an accounting firm, having practiced public accounting for over 40 years. He is a graduate of Albion College and received his MBA from the University of Michigan. He is a member of the board of trustees and treasurer of North Central Michigan College, located in Petoskey, Michigan, former chairman of the City of Petoskey Zoning Board of Appeals, founder and past treasurer of the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Community Foundation, and a past president of the Little Traverse Conservancy, a land conservation organization.
Richard J. Clark, esq. (Board Member) Richard Clark is a retired trial attorney. He graduated cum laude from Michigan State University with a degree in social science before earning a law degree from the University of Toledo. Mr. Clark joined the staff of the Automobile Club of Michigan rising to the position of senior trial counsel. He later served as a member and then chairman of the planning commission for the city of Novi, Michigan, and subsequently was elected city councilman and mayor of Novi. Since retiring from the practice of law, Mr. Clark has been serving as president of the Little Traverse Bay Historical Society and vice chair of Brother Dan’s Food Pantry and Outreach to the poor in Petoskey, Michigan. Mr. Clark is also a member of the National Lawyers Association and presently teaches American Government as an adjunct instructor at North Central Michigan College in Petoskey, Michigan. He is the recipient of the Paul Harris Award from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.
Rear Admiral Francis W. Harness, USN, Ret. (Board Member) Frank Harness is a thirty-four year U.S. Navy veteran who achieved the rank of Rear Admiral before he retired. During his Navy career, he commanded more than 64,000 military and civilian personnel in the United States and overseas and frequently briefed members of Congress on operational, manpower, budget, and training issues. Since leaving the Navy, Harness has pursued a career as a business executive and entrepreneur including serving as vice president of ExpressTrak (1999-2006), vice president of Green Zephyr, Inc. (2009-2011), a member of the board of ERS Industries, Inc., and vice president of Operations for McKay Transcold, LLC. (2013-present). He holds a bachelor of science degree in industrial education and technology from the University of Wisconsin.
Tom Shier (Board Member) Tom Shier earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Christopher Newport College, a branch of the College of William and Mary in Newport News Virginia, and he later earned an MBA from Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie in 1989.
Tom has been a realtor in Michigan for more than 30 years, and currently is employed as Associate Broker in Bay View for Graham Real Estate. He has been a member of the Bay View Association since 1987, continuing his family’s membership that began in 1875, and he is affiliated with the United Methodist Church in Bay View and Petoskey. Previously, Tom served 8 years as Emmet County Commissioner for District 3 in Harbor Springs.
Outside of the office, Tom has a deep appreciation for the outdoors. He enjoys fitness, swimming, sailing, surfing, hiking, traveling, amateur photography, and cross-country skiing.