OUR STEWARDS

BOARD MEMBERS

As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the Institute of 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.


Greg Young – Treasurer

Greg has a broad business background working for General Motors, New United Motors Manufacturing (NUMMI), Levi Strauss & Co. and as a consultant.  His experience includes Finance , Lean Manufacturing, Distribution, Marketing and Product Development.  Some of his major accomplishments include leading the Development Team for the current Cadillac SRX and Saab 9-4X and leading GM’s Lean Manufacturing Center of Expertise.

Greg and his family recently returned to Michigan where he has joined Food for Thought as it’s new CEO/CFO. Food for Thought is a producer of primarily organic and fair-trade value-added products such as jams, jellies and salsas. The company’s focus is on raising awareness around just and sustainable food.

Greg has been heavily involved in the National Ski Patrol most recently at Squaw Valley, but also was a member of the Boyne Mountain Ski Patrol (Michigan) for many years.


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.


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.


STAFF

Brian Bourdages – Executive Director

Brian brings more than 20 years of leadership experience working in the non-profit arena with a focus on natural resources stewardship and protection to his position as the Institutes first Executive Director. Brian’s non-profit career began working with the stewardship of natural resources as the Director of the Colorado Youth Conservation and Service Corps program in the Front Range of Colorado which included the Larimer County Youth Conservation Corps and the Weld County Youth Conservation Corps. These programs focused on putting teams of youth to work in the out-of-doors undertaking activities like trail building and maintenance for entities from local units of government to the National Park Service as sites such as Rocky Mountain National Park. Later Brian went on to work for the Colorado Youth Corps Association as the Technical Assistance Director helping to establish and strengthen the growing number of youth conservation corps programs around the state as well as their relationships with land management and natural resource entities from local parks departments to the Bureau of Land Management, the USDA Forest Service, the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy.

Returning to his home state of Michigan in 2000, Brian has spent the last 15 years prior to his position with the Institute working with local land trusts as a Farmland Program Manager focused on the preservation of the unique farmland of the West Michigan Fruitbelt and the associated high-quality hardwood forests and other natural lands of the unique region of NW Lower Michigan.