Trustees

Trustees

Legacy is proud to have an active Board of Trustees which provides expertise in areas of law, financial planning, fundraising, farming, and natural resources. Our Board meets six times a year and the committees meet at least six times a year.

We welcome inquiries from potential new committee or board members. Interested in becoming a committee or board member? Contact us!

 

Larry Doll—Past President

Larry is lifelong resident of Washtenaw County, and grew up on a 180 acre Sesquicentennial family farm in Sylvan Township that is being protected though a conservation easement with Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation. He and his wife Stephanie also own an adjacent 10-acre parcel that is protected under a conservation easement with Legacy Land Conservancy.

At the end of 2018, Larry retired after 44 years in the building material distribution business. He has a passion for farming and gardening. Larry and Stephanie live in Sharon Township where they proudly grow most of the food they use at home, including honey, fruit, vegetables, poultry meat, and eggs. He also operates a small poultry business called Old Brick Farm, LLC, selling meat and eggs to local restaurants and to the public. Larry has a particular interest in helping landowners preserve and retain ownership of farmland that has been in their family for generations. He also serves as Sexton for St. Mary Catholic Church’s Mt Olivet Cemetery in Chelsea, as well as Sexton for Sylvan Township’s Maple Grove Cemetery.

Bill Strohaver—President

Bill retired from Jackson Community College after 41 years where he served as a political science faculty member, dean and executive vice president. As an administrator, he advanced a number of “green” initiatives including LEED certification for new building projects – including a “live” roof on the Health Laboratory Center, hired the first Director of Sustainability, advanced the ACUPCC initiative, lobbied and hired an environmental science faculty position, started an alternative energy program, and helped secure grant funding for a wind turbine. After reading books by Douglas Tallamy, these green interests became central to retired life especially after moving into a new home on Skiff Lake in Jackson County with 15 acres of land where he could help slow the rate of habitat loss by removing invasive plants and planting natives. In addition to working on the Skiff Lake property, he has volunteered for a number of environmental organizations including Legacy, Dahlem, MNA and the Stewardship Network. He and his wife Deborah enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities including gardening, biking, hiking, walking their dog and fishing from their kayaks.

Karen Ufer—Vice President

After graduating from the University of Michigan, Karen spent time in Vermont attending grad school and living in a rural setting. She became interested in village government and land use as a volunteer in the village of Hinesburg, Vermont. Moving to Michigan some years later, she wanted to live in a similar setting and she and her husband found a home and some acreage on Scio Church Rd. Within a few years she joined the Lodi Township Planning Commission after successfully organizing to prevent both an asphalt plant and then a landfill from going into an abandoned gravel pit. She spent 19 years on Lodi’s Commission and then several years on the Washtenaw County Planning Commission with a few as Chair.

For the last 25 years, Karen has owned and operated a yoga school called Yoga Focus. She considers teaching yoga to be a preservation and enhancement of a different sort of landscape. She served on the Ann Arbor Y’s Board for several terms, one of them as Chair, and developed a strategic plan for them with the help of the Y of the USA. Karen’s interest in land use and land preservation took a more personal turn recently when she and her husband signed a conservation easement on 30 acres of woods on their property.

Rosanne Bloomer—Treasurer

Rosanne Bloomer is a retired Senior Financial Officer with Greenstone Farm Credit, Rosanne’s financial knowledge has most recently been an integral part of the Finance Committee and Legacy’s overall financial stability and she has previously served on the Board of Directors. Rosanne is a Michigan State University Graduate with a B.S. in Business. Since 2007, Rosanne has generously donated over 300 hours throughout various board, committee, and task force positions. She is currently serving on Packard Health’s Finance Committee and The City of Ann Arbor’s Greenbelt Commission. Rosanne and her husband protected their 152-acre farm – Bur Oaks – in 2005 through the City of Ann Arbor Greenbelt Program, not only did Rosanne devote her time to making delicious traditional, non-GMO varieties of popcorn at the family farm, she began volunteering and providing her expertise to the benefit of many nonprofits and people in the community.

Jeff LakeJeff Lake—Secretary

Jeff Lake Jeff Lake is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science at Siena Heights University. He previously taught Biology and Environmental Science at Adrian College. He grew up in southeast Iowa, where he learned an early love for the outdoors and nature. After earning his Bachelor’s in Biology at Grinnell College, he worked for a Member of Congress and as a policy analyst for the Iowa Senate. Lake went on to earn his PhD in plant ecology at the University of Georgia. Postdocs at University of Michigan and Michigan State brought him to Ann Arbor. Jeff and his wife Julie now live just outside of Tecumseh. In his spare time, he enjoys the outdoors, tending his garden and succulent plant collection, and cooking. 

Jena AglerJena Agler

Jena is a third generation Ann Arborite. She joined Bank of Ann Arbor in 2016, and serves as a Vice President and Trust Officer. She specializes in trust and estate administration, endowment administration, and harmonious wealth transfers. Prior to joining the Bank, Jena gained experience in the private practice as a Probate & Estate Planning Attorney. Additionally, she has experience working in the nonprofit sector with the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington, DC.

Jena earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Grand Valley State University before earning her Juris Doctorate from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. She passed the Michigan July 2011 bar exam. Jena is active within the community, volunteering with several animal welfare nonprofits. She has extensive board experience. Additionally, Jena is a member of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, Washtenaw Estate Planning Council, and Michigan Bankers Association Trust Counsel Committee.

Ginny Leikam

Ginny is currently the Superintendent of Park Planning and Natural Areas for Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission. Ginny holds a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science from Baylor University and a M.S. in Natural Resource Policy from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. In addition to serving on the board of Legacy, she is also a trustee on the board of Heart of the Lakes.

Prior to working for Washtenaw County, Ginny worked for over 15 years with non-profit organizations, most recently with The Conservation Fund. While at The Fund, through a contract with the City of Ann Arbor, she managed their Greenbelt Program, focused on farmland preservation. In addition, Ginny provided oversight and direction for Food Security projects to increase the supply of healthy food for underserved communities across Michigan and West Virginia. Additional past experience includes grant writing and management, budget management, international development and public outreach. She also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Russia, focusing on environmental education.  

John Moran

John was born and raised in the Detroit area and lived in Cleveland and Chicago before relocating to the Ann Arbor area. He earned an undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University, his law degree from Case Western Reserve University, and a master’s degree from Northwestern University.

John is an Associate in the real estate practice group of the law firm of Miller Canfield and works in the firm’s Ann Arbor office. John lives with his wife, son, daughter and dog in Saline.

Steve Palms

Stephen (Steve) Palms is a seasoned professional. He has represented developers, lenders, borrowers, governmental entities, landlords, tenants, contractors, sellers and purchasers in such areas as development, financing, construction, leasing, and sales and purchases of both improved and unimproved property.

Steve has participated in transactions involving all types of real property, including office buildings, shopping centers, industrial and research parks, hotels, hospitals, schools, stadiums, single-family residential subdivisions, multi-family apartment projects and affordable housing projects.

Steve’s case files are filled with many big-ticket successes, including a $530 million arena, a $300 million ballpark, an $80 million shopping center, a $35 million residential housing community, and two urban office buildings worth $66 million, to name just a few. He also has represented owners and underwriters in issuing tax exempt bonds. His honors include Best Lawyers in America, Real Estate Law, 1983 to 2023, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers, Real Estate Law (Band 1), 2007-present, Michigan Super Lawyers, Real Estate, 2007-present, State Bar of Michigan Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2020-present, DBusiness Magazine, Top Lawyers, Real Estate, 2011-present, University of Michigan Law School, magna cum laude; Associate Editor of the Michigan Law Review; Order of the Coif. Steve is or was involved with the Universal Musical Society Board of Directors, Artrain USA Board and officer, Boy Scouts of America and Performance Network. Steve has been providing pro bono help with conservation easements and other advice to Legacy since 2021.

Shikha SinghShikha Singh

Shikha is the coordinator for the Jackson  Lenawee Washtenaw Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (JLW CISMA). She performs invasive species survey and management activities, and provides education and outreach opportunities within the tri-county region. She is also seeking ways to increase the reach of environmental education and capacity within underserved communities!

Originally from London, Ontario, she completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Western Ontario and came to Michigan State University to complete her graduate work in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. Her master’s research focused on water and sediment quality in the Lower Grand River and Lake Michigan beaches, and her Ph.D. research centered on the water policy and conservation efforts of local and county governments. Some of her hobbies include playing soccer, outdoor photography and cooking international foods.

Sandy Sorini ElserSandra Sorini Elser

Sandy was born and raised in the Chicago area, moved to Ann Arbor over 45 years ago, and graduated from the University of Michigan School of Law in 1983. Her law practice focuses on real estate and municipal law, with a special emphasis on conservation easements. As the Ann Arbor Township attorney, she drafted the purchase of development rights ordinance and millage proposals that have helped Ann Arbor Township preserve over 1000 acres of farmland and open space. In early 2020 Sandy moved to an Of Counsel position at a local law firm, and now spends much of her time volunteering with non-profit, non-partisan organizations such as the League of Women Voters, Voters Not Politicians, and most importantly, Legacy Land Conservancy.  She also enjoys spending time spoiling her grandchildren.  

Simon Whitelocke

Simon Whitelocke is Vice President, ITC Holdings Corp. and President, ITC Michigan. Prior to this role, he was Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer for ITC Holdings Corp. where he was responsible for the corporate compliance functions of the company. Simon also served in other roles responsible for regulatory affairs, external affairs, and internal audit functions. Prior to joining ITC, he worked at an energy utility company and in public accounting. Simon earned a Bachelor of Commerce in accounting from the University of Toronto and a Master of Business Administration in finance and management from Michigan State University.

Simon also serves on the boards of Food Gatherers, Ann Arbor SPARK, ReliabilityFirst Corporation, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and Detroit Public Television.