BOARD OF DIRECTORS

David Gard, President

Senior Consultant, 5 Lakes Energy, LLC

David Gard works as a senior consultant for 5 Lakes Energy, LLC. Previously he directed the Oberlin Project in Northeast Ohio and served as energy program director for the Michigan Environmental Council. David holds degrees in business, natural resource policy and engineering.

Matt Gougeon, Vice President

General Manager of the Marquette Food Co-op

Matt Gougeon is the general manager of the Marquette Food Co-op (MFC), a vibrant 3,600-member consumer cooperative located in Marquette, Michigan where MEO has our Upper Peninsula Office. The MFC specializes in sourcing local, organic, fair trade, and wholesome food and goods for its members and other customers. In addition to operating as a community-owned retail grocery store the MFC provides significant outreach services and programs for its members and the community at large. Matt believes that building resilient local and regional food systems, increasing the capacity of small sustainable farms, and promoting healthy eating to individuals are keys to reducing negative environmental impact and increasing energy efficiency. Matt also serves as the fiduciary representative from the MFC to the U.P. Food Exchange, a regional food hub in the Upper Peninsula.

Susan Walker, Secretary

Energy Project Manager, General Motors

Susan has served as a MEO board member since April 2006. She is a 31-year employee at General Motors where her responsibilities have included electrician, skilled trades supervisor, tool design, power distribution engineer and utilities manager. For the last six years she has served as manager and engineer for GM’s corporate Energy Savings Project Implementation program. She is a Michigan State University alumna, licensed electrician and Certified Energy Manager. She is also a lifelong resident of Michigan with a strong passion for the Upper Peninsula. Her other community activities include volunteering at the Grace Center of Hope in Pontiac, and doing home builds for Habitat for Humanity.

Jeffrey Kusler, Treasurer

Vice President of Operations, CASE Credit Union

Jeffrey Kusler is the Vice President of Operations at CASE Credit Union in Lansing, Michigan.  In this role, Jeff oversees all customer facing areas at CASE, including their seven branch locations and Contact Center. CASE Credit Union is a full-service financial institution serving over 35,000 members and managing approximately $250 million in assets, and is committed to exceeding the financial expectations of today’s society through convenient products and services. Prior to taking this position, Jeff worked for Michigan State University Federal Credit Union as the Director of Regulatory Affairs and Compliance, serving as the company’s principal compliance researcher and political advocacy specialist. As a resident of East Lansing, Jeff actively serves as the Chairperson of the East Lansing Downtown Management Board, is a member of the East Lansing Downtown District’s Marketing Committee, and was appointed as a steering committee member to help rewrite the City of East Lansing’s Comprehensive Plan. This community involvement was recognized in 2013 when he was named as an Emerging Leader by the East Lansing City Council.  In his free time, Jeff enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife, Grace, and their two dogs, Keelin and Hawthorn.

Fred Jacobs, Board Member

Associate Professor, Department of Accounting and Information Systems, Michigan State University

Fred Jacobs has lived in East Lansing for 35 years and has served on the Board for the past six. Because of his background and expertise, Fred focuses on MEO’s financial issues, but he has been committed to the environmental movement his entire adult life, or at least since he helped his wife, Kathy, build a solar oven for one of the first Earth Day celebrations, in 1973.

Daniel Kraft, Board Member

Principal, The Kraft Law Firm PLLC

Daniel Kraft is a Lansing attorney with over 26 years of valuable experience in real estate transactions and land use, farm credit, farm reorganizations and other related issues. Kraft has served as general counsel and a board member of The Michigan Farmers Union Foundation. He was also general counsel for The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association. As a volunteer, Dan has been serving for many years on the Williamston Township Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals. He also worked as the bookkeeper for MEO’s predecessor, Urban Options, in the early 1980s. Dan believes energy efficiency is the economic tool that can save the planet and improve our lives.

Tim Schmitt, Board Member

Community Development Director, City of Howell

Tim Schmitt initially joined the Board in 2013, as a representative of the City of East Lansing. The City and MEO (previously Urban Options) have had a long partnership, which includes the City’s ownership of the Energy Demonstration Center where MEO is located. Tim is now Director of Community Development for the City of Howell, focused on downtown preservation and corridor planning, bringing elements of the Regional Energy Study further afield from, its initial boundaries. He’s a proud Ohio University alum, with an undergraduate degree in Geography. Tim also serves on the board of the East Lansing Art Festival and the Capital Collective (a local placemaking nonprofit in the Lansing region). He is known to volunteer at many events around the City, supporting community building efforts in any way possible.

Wayne Ekren, Board Member

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