As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Institute for Sustainable Foraging is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.
Don Coe – Chair
Don Coe has a long history as a promoter of Michigan’s agricultural economy and as an advocate for farmland and resource conservation. For seventeen years, he served as co-owner of Blackstar Farms in Suttons Bay, Michigan, a world-class winery, bed and breakfast and agri-tourism destination. He served two terms on the Michigan Commission on Agriculture and Rural Development including a stint as chair. Don, his wines, and his business have been the recipient of numerous awards including the Milliken Distinguished Leadership Award from the Michigan Land Use Institute in 2012.
Elise Crafts – Director
Elise is a regional planner at Networks Northwest, a 10-county public agency that provides workforce, economic, and community development services to communities in Northwest lower Michigan. This position allows Elise to work alongside and learn from dedicated and experienced community leaders, residents, and volunteers, and she is encouraged by the sustainable and practical solutions proposed to tackle difficult social, economic, and environmental problems. The Institute for Sustainable Foraging is one such solution and she is grateful to play a small role in its mission.
Prior to her work at Networks Northwest, Elise worked as a community planner in both the public and private realms and helped launch a business development program with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. She enjoys walking to the office in the morning, playing with her dogs in the evening, home improvement projects on the weekend, and learning how to landscape her very sandy backyard (a never ending process).
Brian Price – Secretary
Brian was the Leelanau Conservancy’s first executive director and served from 1988–2014. The Leelanau Conservancy is one of the country’s oldest local land trusts working to protect the unique land, water and scenic character of the Leelanau Peninsula. During his tenure as Executive Director, the Leelanau Conservancy protected over 11,000 acres of land and established 22 natural areas.
Brian attended Oberlin College from 1968 to 1972, receiving a BS degree in Geology. Prior to his work for the Leelanau Conservancy Brian spent 15 years as a commercial fisherman on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Brian has conducted fisheries research for Michigan Sea Grant, and worked for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians in training tribal fishermen to use trap nets in catching whitefish.
Brian serves on the board of the Heart of the Lakes Center for Conservation Policy, a statewide organization composed of land conservancies. Brian also owns and manages a 160-acre tree farm and vineyard in Leelanau County with his wife, Susan. They have four children.
Marc Santicci – Bio coming soon
Joe Liszewski – Executive Director
Joe brings more than 17 years of leadership experience working in the nonprofit sector with a focus on the connection between people and natural resources in managing the Institute. Joe’s nonprofit career began in Washington, DC, as a Program Manager with the National Tree Trust. Joe joined California ReLeaf in 2005 and served as the Program Director before being promoted to Executive Director in 2010. As Executive Director of California ReLeaf, Joe was responsible for the overall direction of the organization, including advocacy, fundraising and program administration. While there, he managed state and federal grant programs, including the administration of over $6 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.
In 2014, Joe returned to Michigan and served as the Program Director of the NorthSky Nonprofit Network, the capacity building program of Rotary Charities of Traverse City. Joe was responsible for the overall management of the NorthSky Nonprofit Network Program including the professional development series, organizational counseling, and managing consulting engagements. Working with the Rotary Charities’ Leadership Team he managed programs and services, particularly in the areas of network and organizational capacity building.
John (Chip) Hoagland
Chip is dedicated to building a local food economy, promoting smart land use policies and supporting entrepreneurial efforts of all kinds. He is the owner and visionary behind Cherry Capital Foods, a local food distribution business in northwest Michigan as well as several other food-related entities including Earthy Delights, TLC Hydroponics, and Up North Distributing. These companies are now all housed under the holding company Tamarack Holdings. He has more than 30 years of experience in investment management and is a founding member of Northern Michigan Angels, an organization of local volunteer members focused on private sector economic development.