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!
Simon Whitelocke—Past President
Simon Whitelocke is Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer for ITC Holdings Corp. where he is responsible for the corporate compliance functions of the company. Simon previously served as Vice President, Regulatory and External Affairs for ITC and was responsible for a number of functions including: Regulatory and Stakeholder Relations, Local Government and Community Affairs, State Government Affairs and Marketing and Communications. Prior to this he served as the Executive Director for ITCTransmission and METC and Director, Internal Audit. Before joining ITC, he was a Principal Financial Consultant for DTE Energy. Simon earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting from the University of Toronto and an MBA in finance and management from Michigan State University. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Detroit Public Television.
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.
Ginny Leikam—Vice President
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.
George Borel, CPA, is a Tax Principal at Rehmann in Ann Arbor. He advises high net worth individuals and business owners, providing individual, estate, and trust tax planning and consulting services. Prior to joining Rehmann in 2013, he was a Tax Partner with Deloitte for nearly 30 years, and before that he was employed at Iceman, Johnson & Hoffman. For both the Glacier Hills Foundation and Forest Hill Cemetery George serves as Treasurer of the Board.
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.
Jeff Lake teaches biology and environmental science at Adrian College, where he is in his second year chairing the Biology Department. 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, leading to his current faculty position, which he has held since 2011.
Jeff and his wife Julie live just outside of Tecumseh. He worked with Raisin Valley Land Trust and Legacy Land Conservancy to facilitate the donation to Adrian College of a conservation easement on Walden West, a 119 acre environmental study area near Tipton. His classes include plant biology, plant ecology, biostatistics, environmental science, conservation biology, evolutionary biology, as well as seminars and capstones. In his spare time, he enjoys the outdoors, tending his garden and succulent plant collection, and cooking.
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.
Gerald (Jerry) Nordblom
Jerry was born and raised near Portland, Oregon. He has an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Oregon State University and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Colorado State University. He has worked at the University of Michigan Medical School and Pfizer. Jerry is an active volunteer, board member, and mentor through organizations such as Reachout Michigan, Washtenaw Literacy, and Therapaws. He lives with his wife, Barbara Michniewicz, and 11 rescued pets on 28 acres in Webster Township, 25 of which are protected under a conservation easement with Legacy Land Conservancy.
Brenda relocated to Jackson in the 90’s and has served on various boards and volunteered for groups, organizations and nonprofits in Jackson County. Earning a BA in communications from Marycrest College, Brenda’s professional experience has been focused on nonprofits and using her diverse experience in financial development, communications, grant writing and legislative involvement. Her areas of passions are children/women’s issues, education, equity, and community activism.
Brenda currently performs as Planning, Program, and Development Director for Community Action Agency of Jackson, Lenawee, and Hillsdale Counties. Her interest and knowledge of environmental issues was gained during her tenure with the Dahlem Nature Conservancy as Development Director. Brenda has learned her respect for nature through her childhood experience of growing up on the Mississippi and Rock Rivers, a love of gardening and a father who was an avid sportsman.
Dale retired after a 43 year career as a Landscape Architect/Principal with Johnson, Johnson and Roy Inc., a nationally recognized design firm based in Ann Arbor. He joined JJR in 1967 after graduating from Michigan State University and participated in the Chicago Lakefront study, Michigan Environmental Features Study, Charlevoix County Environmetal Features Inventory, and Master Plans for five new towns along the Persian Gulf in Saudi Arabia. Currently, he volunteers at Legacy, Therapeutic Riding Inc. and Habitat for Humanity. He also enjoys building wooden boats, kayaking and exploring the natural environment.
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 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 four grandchildren.
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.