Legacy Board strengthens financial and legal expertise with addition of three new trustees

We are pleased to announce and welcome three new members to the Legacy Land Conservancy Board of Trustees.

The Legacy Board elected Jena Agler, Rosanne Bloomer, and Steve Palms at the June 21, 2023 meeting. They will each serve a three-year term, which officially began on July 1, 2023. Rosanne was previously a trustee from 2007-2013.

Jena, Rosanne, and Steve are three outstanding Washtenaw County community members whose experience in estate planning, finance, and real estate law with a land transaction emphasis, will be great assets in supporting Legacy’s long-term financial goals.

“In 2022, Legacy began working on a ten-year plan to build a stronger foundation for a future of fiscal sustainability,” Bill Strohaver, Legacy Board of Trustees President said. “The wealth of financial and legal expertise Jena, Rosanne, and Steve bring to our team, will be an integral part of building this foundation and greatly enhance the work we started.”

These appointments come at a significant time for Legacy as the cost of protecting land forever continues to rise. Every conservation easement and preserve added to our land protection portfolio significantly increases our financial responsibilities. While Legacy has always sought to fully fund its long-term financial obligations, recently Legacy began implementing a new ten-year plan based on innovative and diverse strategies that will broaden and deepen our base of support, invest in bolstering stewardship reserves, and ultimately promote sustained financial health.

Welcome, Jena, Rosanne, and Steve!

Jena Agler

Jena Agler

Jena 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.

Rosanne Bloomer with her two dogs

Rosanne Bloomer

Rosanne Bloomer

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.

Steve Palms

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.

The Legacy Board of Trustees currently has 13 members. Click here to see the full list and bios. If you are interested in serving on the board or a committee, please contact Diana Kern at dkern@legacylandconservancy.org.

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