In most organizations, change in leadership on a Board of Trustees tends to be a slow and gradual process. Board Officers, appointed at different times, also normally leave a Board at different times, intentionally creating a deliberate pace to leadership change. But sometimes change can be more rapid and comprehensive. With the concurrent ending of terms of Au Sable’s Board Chair, Dr. Robert Zwier, and its Vice Chair and Secretary, Dr. Steven Bouma-Prediger, the Institute will end 2018 and enter 2019 with an entirely new slate of Board officers.
“It is my prayer that this sense of stewardship—which has long marked the work of the Au Sable Institute—increasingly shape us, and the work we do as a Board of Trustees.”
Mr. Dave Lamb, Managing Director of Lake Ann Camp (Michigan) and former Board Treasurer has been elected to and accepted the position of Chair of the Au Sable Board for the year ahead. In addition to overseeing the administration and operations of a busy, year-round camp, Dave also works with Lake Ann Camp’s internship program and directs the camp’s international partnerships and training activities. Dave currently serves as an Elder at Sojourn Church in Traverse City, Michigan. Along with his family, Dave has visited many National Parks, and he, along with his wife Brenda, volunteer with the National Park Service at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Regarding his new role in leading the Board, and, through it, the Institute, Dave said, “I have found that as one takes on the outlook of a steward, one increasingly views the world around oneself as a gift and a trust. It is my prayer that this sense of stewardship—which has long marked the work of the Au Sable Institute—increasingly shape us, and the work we do as a Board of Trustees."
“It is my sincere hope that Au Sable will be able to share its vision to a wide audience of stakeholders, and to see transformation among a broad spectrum of people to experience the wonders of God’s creation.”
Dr. Eugene (Gene) Dunkley, Ph.D.,Dean of Diversity at Greenville University (Illinois) will be the new Vice Chair of the Au Sable Board. Gene teaches cell biology, forensics, microbiology, and bioethics at Greenville, and has played an important role in maintaining the environmental science major at the University. As Dean of Diversity, Gene has led implementation of strategies to achieve greater diversity among students, faculty, and staff. Outside the US, Gene is engaged in research and teaching in Malawi where he has worked with the support of Fulbright fellowships. Gene is also a pastor who shepherds the congregation of Coffeen Free Methodist Church in Coffeen, Illinois. In addition to his Ph.D. in biology, Gene also holds a graduate degree in Leadership & Ministry, and has practical experience in leadership through serving as Director of the Malawian-centered NGO Agape Scholars International. Gene explains his perspective on his new role as the Board’s Vice Chair this way – “I am greatly honored to serve Au Sable and its community in this role. It is my sincere hope that Au Sable will be able to share its vision to a wide audience of stakeholders, and to see transformation among a broad spectrum of people to experience the wonders of God’s creation.”
"Being a member of the Au Sable leadership is a wonderful opportunity to participate in a community that loves God and His creation.”
Ms. Sarah McCormack, J.D., is the new Treasurer of the Board of Trustees. Sarah currently serves as a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Boise in Idaho. A graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law, Sarah has extensive experience in environmental law regarding water use and water rights affecting western states. In addition to Au Sable’s Board, Sarah is also currently serving on the Board of the Idaho State Bar Water Law Section. Also experienced in mediation and reconciliation, Sarah has completed Basic Mediation Training and Certification at the University of the Oregon School of Law and worked at the Lane County (Oregon) Small Claims Mediation Clinic. Sarah has never been a Board Treasurer before, but explains her reason for accepting the position this way: "Being a member of the Au Sable leadership is a wonderful opportunity to participate in a community that loves God and His creation. I hope to use my gifts to further the Institute's mission and values.
“I am blessed as a board member to ensure Au Sable will continue to be a place where people not only learn about the creation, but also can discover how to live a life committed to serving God.”
Ms. Helena Cicero, M.Ed., Director of the Oakes Museum of Natural History at Messiah College (Pennsylvania), is the Au Sable Board’s new Secretary. No stranger to Au Sable, Helena took six courses at three different Au Sable campuses (Michigan, Washington, India), worked as an Au Sable Research and Teaching Assistant, and then an intern in Au Sable’s Environmental Education Program. Helena has spent the past 16 years working in museum education, beginning at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, and then moving to the Oakes Museum where after eight years as the museum’s Education Coordinator, she was recently appointed as the Director. Helena obtained her Masters of Higher Education from Messiah College, where she has also served as an adjunct faculty member. An active member of Harrisburg Brethren in Christ Church, Helena has led small groups, taught Sunday School, and tries to serve where needed. Helena lives in a three-generation household with her husband, her two children, and her parents in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Helena sees her new role on the Board this way, “Au Sable played a vital role in equipping me for a life of educating children and adults about our awe-inspiring world. I am blessed as a board member to ensure Au Sable will continue to be a place where people not only learn about the creation, but also can discover how to live a life committed to serving God.”
It might be a Board of new officers, but there is every reason to believe this will be a Board of great officers. Congratulations to Dave, Gene, Sarah and Helena for their elections, and, even better, their service in these new roles and all that will bring to advance Au Sable’s mission to inspire and educate people to serve, protect, and restore God’s earth.