News

  • Meg A. Thomas Ackerman

    mthomasackerman@gmail.com

    Meg is retired having been the Director of Michigan’s Safe Routes to School program. In that role, she also collaborated with other trail groups on various projects designed to improve active transportation. Prior to that, she was the head of a Montessori school after having taught upper elementary. In those positions, Meg held a firm belief in the need to encourage and enable students to use active transportation whenever and wherever possible. Prior to her move to Traverse city, Meg served on the Board of Directors of Girls on the Run Mid-Michigan and Friends of the Lansing Regional Trails. Along with husband Glen, she loves taking advantage of everything Michigan’s trails have to offer, and values living steps from the TART trail. Meg enjoys rowing, biking, hiking, yoga, gardening, and spending as much time as possible with her little granddaughter.

  • Jessica Alpers

    raschjessica@gmail.com

    Jessica joined the TART board in March 2019. She became an avid user of the TART Trails network after moving to Traverse City in late 2012 for a job assisting growers to voluntarily implement environmentally friendly best management practices. Upon starting a family, Jessica joined her husband, Chris, at his family’s cherry and apple business in Leelanau County. On most days, she can be found pushing a jogging stroller somewhere along the TART Trails network training for upcoming running races and triathlons.

  • George Bearup

    GBearup@greenleaftrust.com

    George has been a practicing lawyer in Traverse City for almost 40 years, emphasizing estate and tax planning in his law practice. He and his wife Pat have been married for 40 years and have two children both of whom live in Traverse City, Brooke Bearup-DeBoer and Jay Bearup. George has been actively involved with numerous organizations including Traverse City Noon Rotary Club, Women’s Resource Center, Rotary Charities of Traverse City, Traverse Community Health Clinic, Munson Healthcare Regional Foundation, Munson Medical Center and the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority. He is also a frequent speaker and writer on behalf of the Institute of Continuing Legal Education for the State Bar of Michigan. Besides cycling along the trails, George’s other hobbies include scuba diving, writing and attending U of M football games.

  • Sara Harding

    saranharding@gmail.com

    Sara Harding is the COO for Spirituality & Health Media LLC, Director for Yen Yoga & Fitness and Communications Director for FIM Group. Along with Sara’s commitments among the three entities, she is also on the board of Venture North, the Treasurer for Utopia Foundation and last but probably the most fun, the curator and organizer of TEDx Traverse City since 2010. Formerly, Sara served on the Board of Directors for City Opera House, Northwestern Michigan College and as a Co-Chair of the 2016-2017 NMC Annual Campaign from 2011-2016. Sara has spent the past 20 years in different marketing and sales positions. In recent years, her focus and responsibilities have grown more operationally and strategic for the various organizations. Early on in her career, Sara worked in her family’s publishing and wireless business, eventually coordinating the sale of the companies and working for Dobson Communications before embracing the entrepreneurial world again. A native of Traverse City, Sara attended the University of Michigan and graduated with a business degree from Davenport University. Still, in the midst of finishing her MBA, Sara continues to be a member of Vistage and learn from the MBA of life.

  • Matt McDonough

    mattmcdonough44@gmail.com

    Matt joined the TART Trails board in 2017. Matt is a Leadership Giving Officer with the Munson Healthcare Foundation. A resident of Traverse City, Matt is an avid user of the Vasa and Leelanau trails and loves to say hello to fellow trail users. Matt lives for mountain biking, cycling, hiking, reading, and being outside in northern Michigan with his wife, Ann, and their two great kids.

  • Rick Simonton

    ricksimonton@gmail.com

    Rick joined the TART Trails board in 2016. He and his family have been vacationing in Northern Michigan for decades and finally decided to move to Suttons Bay from Dublin, Ohio in November 2013. When Rick is not managing his wealth management team at Merrill Lynch in Traverse City and Columbus, Ohio, you can usually find him and his wife, Donna, biking, hiking or cross-country skiing on the TART Trails network. His passion and support for the TART Trails organization was enhanced during the 2015 Vasa Cross-Country Ski Race. During the race, he experienced frostbite to both corneas and was the recipient of incredible volunteer support. Fortunately, his eyesight returned to normal and he is on a mission to remind everyone he meets that life is too short and to enjoy every minute.

  • Laura Galbraith

    Galbraith@tcchamber.org

    Laura joined our board in March 2015 and has been employed with the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce for over eleven years.  As the Senior VP of Finance, Laura oversees some of the key operations of the Chamber’s enterprise: financial, accounting, information technology, and human resources. Laura and her husband, John, have three children. They spend most weekends skiing, hiking, biking and utilizing the TART Trail network to commute to the farmers market and the beaches.  Laura & John are also involved in baseball in the spring and have coached little league teams over the past seven years. It’s important to Laura that the trails are safe, accessible and that they promote healthy/active lifestyles in our region.

  • Mike Tarnow

    mtarnow@nmrec.com

    Mike joined the board in 2008 and is a real estate appraiser for Northern Michigan Real Estate Consultants of which he is both founder and co-owner.

  • Wayne Olsen

    wlolsen@chartermi.net

    Dr. Wayne Olsen, DDS joined the TART Trails board in February 2012. Wayne enjoys bicycling, running, boating, kayaking, gardening, and woodworking. He looks forward to helping TART Trails with trail development, maintenance and community events.

  • Brian Fisher

    bfisher795@gmail.com

    Brian joined the board of directors in May 2007 and served as president from 2012 to 2016. A TART Trails supporter for many years, Brian is out biking on the trails frequently. Brian explains, “My interest in TART was really formed by my trail usage – I ride a lot. I think it’s great you can get from here to there by using the trails.” One of his most enjoyable trail activities is riding up to Suttons Bay after work, jumping in the water, and then riding home. Brian also values riding as a form of transportation, and wants to continue to promote that aspect of trail usage. Brian is a dentist and resides in Traverse City with his wife Vera.