Our Board

The Watershed Center is governed by a board of directors.

The board consists of a mix of representatives from nonprofit organizations, businesses and governmental units from throughout the region. Candidates for board membership are drawn from a broad pool that includes members, donors, partners and others.

Are you looking to use your skills, experiences, and passions to protect clean water right here in your community? Join our Board of Directors.
We are especially recruiting board members with finance and/or human resources experience and those who live in our watershed counties of Antrim, Kalkaska, and Leelanau. Our board meets monthly in Traverse City. If you are interested, please contact Christine Crissman at
ccrissman@gtbay.org or 231-935-1514 ext 1.

Board Officers



Jeanine Easterday: Registered Nurse

Jeanine Easterday is a long-time resident and registered nurse with a history of political involvement. She understands the importance of water, not just as an essential component to life, but for our well-being as humans. For Jeanine, just watching water flow or the smell of water as it is carried by the wind, is core to her being.

Her goal on the board is to impact the political process and move our region forward in a way that benefits all its citizens as members of a global community. “The Great Lakes provides one-fifth of the world’s fresh water. That is critically important both politically and environmentally,” she says. “It is our responsibility as stewards of the earth to protect and strengthen them. The Watershed Center is the best way I know of to go about that.”



Tom Klein: Independent Strategic Marketing Consultant

Tom and his wife Lauren moved to Traverse City in 2017 from the Greater Grand Rapids area, embracing their love for the outdoors, environment, community, and affection for everything Northern Michigan has to offer.  Tom brings his 11 years of commercial marketing experience in the areas of market research, product development, branding, strategy, relationship marketing, digital marketing, international business, and business development to the board.  Tom adds a unique perspective in applying these core commercial principals to the nonprofit world in how we build deep long lasting relationships with volunteers and donors through a strong strategic marketing foundation.


Christopher Carol: Corporate Counsel

Christopher moved to the area in 2011 and joined the board in October 2017. Like many others, he was drawn to the beauty of the surrounding area, but hadn’t yet developed a true appreciation for how important the watershed is. “I think it’s easy to take this for granted. Once I found out about the Watershed Center and learned about its mission, I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of — for my own education and benefit, but also to help bring more awareness about protecting the environment and preserving this amazing resource. It’s an honor to serve on the Watershed Center board.”




Kevin Dillan: Chemical Industry Consultant/Dow Chemical Retiree

Kevin and his wife Kelly moved permanently to Traverse City in 2013 after visiting the area on weekends. The Dillans appreciate the unique natural gifts of this region and Kevin wanted to do his part to help ensure the vitality of our watershed in the face of ever-changing challenges.

“The Watershed Center fits my personal values because it seeks to work toward common good for the community from a proactive, positive and collaborate approach with stakeholders,” Kevin said. “I believe that most people want to do the right thing and will take appropriate actions on their own to protect the Bay if they become aware of how they can help.”

One of Kevin’s goals for his term include getting more young people involved and excited about the mission through educational and fun events that capitalize on our exceptional natural resources.

Board Members

JaneConradJane Conard: Part-time pharmacist, Munson Medical Center inpatient

Jane moved to the Grand Traverse region in 2001 and joined The Watershed Board in October 2015. She serves “to preserve and improve our precious water resources in northern Michigan.”

Her personal goals as a board member and the impact she’d like to see the organization make in the future include further educating the public about what is needed to do to preserve our waters. In addition to The Watershed Center, Jane is also active in Old Mission Women’s Club and enjoys playing pickle ball through the Senior Center.

Bill Hayes: Retired Toxicologist

Bill Hayes has lived in the Grand Traverse area since 2013 and retired from Dow Chemical after spending 27 years as an environment, health and safety professional. He joined The Watershed Center’s board in 2017.

“I love the natural beauty of the Grand Traverse Bay region,“ Bill said. “I also love all the outdoor activities available, like cycling, kayaking, and cross-country skiing.”

As a board member, a goal of Bill’s is to assist the staff in fulfilling The Watershed Center’s mission of protecting the bay and it’s watershed by becoming involved in key projects that improve water quality.

Joe Mello: Business Advisor & Private Investor

Joe and his wife, Ginny, relocated to Suttons Bay in early 2018 from Colorado.  He spent his professional career in health care services, the last 20 as a senior executive in a Fortune 250 company.  Joe currently serves as an advisor to companies, and a board member for both for-profit and non-profit organizations. He joined our Board in 2019. Living right on Grand Traverse Bay, Joe has a deep appreciation for the importance of sustaining a healthy watershed.  He has a passion for the environment and sustainability, believing that we all must be stewards of the natural resources that make northern Michigan such a special place. As a Board member, he hopes to enhance awareness and encourage engagement to ensure that our watershed remains vibrant now and for generations to come.

John NelsonJohn Nelson: Retired Grand Traverse Baykeeper®

John Nelson has been involved with The Watershed Center in some capacity for 20 years. He first served as a board member in 1999 and then became the first Grand Traverse Baykeeper® when The Watershed Center became a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance in 2002. He served as Baykeeper for 13 years before retiring in 2015 and re-joined the board in early 2016.

“Clean water is shared as a common essential for all life,” says John. “I value that we live in a truly unique water rich watershed and freshwater embayment that we must protect.

John says his goals on the board include supporting the mission and staff of The Watershed Center, working to ensure the organization is financially viable to further its mission and cultivating a team approach as a board to support The Watershed Center and its mission.

Rod Rebant: Retired IT Leader

After a 32 year career in a corporate global IT leadership position, Rod and his wife retired to their family cabin in Traverse City in 2006. A neighbor introduced him to fly fishing, as well as The Watershed Center’s Adopt-A-Stream program in 2011. Since that introduction, TWC helped him understand how important it is to protect and preserve our valuable watershed. TWC plays a vital role in our community. It is the perfect organization to provide the vision, and hands-on support of a precious commodity in our Grand Traverse Bay watershed. Finding an acceptable balance between the area’s residential and commercial growth, and our natural resources is critical.

RReiderRobert Reider: Retired Fisheries Biologist

Robert is a retired fisheries biologist and joined the board in early 2016. He chose to serve on the board because the organizations’ mission to advocate for for clean water in the Grand Traverse Bay and protect and preserve the Bay’s watershed, aligns with his personal values regarding the water resources of this beautiful area.

“I am very supportive of The Watershed Center’s active role in various restoration projects and monitoring activities in the watershed,” he says. “As a board member I will have the opportunity to be an active steward of the wonderful freshwater resources of the Grand Traverse Bay area.”

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