Board Members & History


Michele Worden
Orten Foundation

B.S. Chem/B.S. Ch.E. 1988 College of Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

M.B.A. 1999 Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Certificate of Fundraising Management, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University

Advanced Master Gardener Volunteer MSUE, Gold Badge

In her professional life, Michele worked as a consultant in product development in technology-based companies and managed capital projects as an engineer in the petroleum and chemical industries, both overseas and domestically. In 2021 Michele has taken on the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of her family’s trucking and logistics company.  

Michele has been an Extension Master Gardener since 2003.  She served on the MGANM board from 2006-2008 as Vice President and President starting in 2016.  She has enjoyed serving on the Committee for Master Gardener College twice.  She also currently also serves on the Operating Committee of the Northwest Food Coalition.  Since moving to Northern Michigan, Michele spent 6 years, collectively, as school garden and ‘Food of the Month’ program instructor, followed by serving as a Farm to School Educator in 5 northern Michigan elementary schools.  She is a founding board member of The Greenspire School, Traverse City. 

She lives in the woods in Traverse City with her husband and two teenage children.  She enjoys hiking the trails and working in her garden.


Vice President & Membership Chair
Nancy Popa

B.S. in Chemistry and M.S. in Environmental Management

Advanced Master Gardener Volunteer MSUE

Nancy is a recent retiree of Consumers Energy where she had a long and successful career in nuclear energy, air quality, corporate strategy, and renewable energy.  Before retiring Nancy was responsible for the development of the two largest solar facilities in Michigan.

Nancy has been involved with non-profits as a board member for the past 10 years including the Greater Lansing Food Bank, Leelanau Christian Neighbors, By-the-Bay Garden Club, and the Lake Leelanau Lake Association.  Nancy is a Past-President of Leelanau Christian Neighbors, which provides food and financial assistance to those in need.  While in that role, Nancy developed a food pantry garden that produced 750 lbs. of food for the pantry every year.  Nancy joined the Board of the MGANM in January of 2020 as Vice-President.  Currently Nancy is on the Stewardship Committee of the Leelanau Conservancy.

Nancy lives in Leelanau County with her husband.  She loves to garden, hike, bike, ski, cook and sew.



James Egan

B.B.A. Accounting and Finance Loyola University. 1980 Darden School of Management, University of Virginia

Master Gardener Volunteer MSUE

Jim retired in late 2018 after an extensive career in the financial services industry, beginning with Price Waterhouse in the oil and gas, mining and transportation industries.  Prior to his retirement Jim served for over 10 years as Senior Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer of Charles Schwab.

Jim joined the Board of MGANM in 2019 as Secretary.

Jim has worked with several nonprofit organizations over the years, including the Western Rivers Conservancy, Trout Unlimited and The Watershed Center of Grand Traverse Bay.

Jim is married and has two children. Jim’s wife Jill is a volunteer school ship instructor for the Inland Seas Education Association. His interests include woody plants and native perennial gardens.  Jim is part of the EMG group working with the Leelanau County Government Center Native Plant Gardens. Jim is working with The Friends of the Commons, a nonprofit formed by the residents, to design and install a perennial garden at the entrance to Stella’s. The garden will be completed this spring.



Looking to fill this position

Looking to fill this position

MGANM is looking for MGANM member to volunteer to serve on our Board as the Treasurer.

The duties of the Treasurer role include maintaining the association’s financial accounts in Quickbooks, making deposits and writing checks, reconciling accounts monthly and a few other duties. We are looking for someone with bookkeeping experience.

The Board meets monthly and it is a friendly and fun group of people to get to know.

If you are interested please send a Contact Us message. It is a great way to acquire your volunteer hours.


Sue Newman

B.A. Personnel Administration/B.A. French, Michigan State University

M.B.A. Oakland University

Advanced Master Gardener Volunteer MSUE

Sue worked for General Motors for 25 years in southeastern Michigan, mainly focusing on strategic planning, process improvement, and business application support.  After moving to Traverse City in 2015 she managed the gardens at The Homestead Resort for two seasons.  She currently works in the Admissions office at Northwestern Michigan College as a CRM/Admissions Specialist.

Sue has been an Extension Master Gardener since she completed her certification requirements in 2001 and has served on the Board of Directors of MGANM since 2018. 

She lives in Leelanau County with her husband and dog.  Her current gardening interests are learning to grow and harvest food throughout the year, and landscaping with native plants to support the local animal, bird, and insect populations.



Barbara Fasulo-Emmott

B.A. University of Michigan

M.A. Central Michigan University


Advanced Master Gardener Volunteer MSUE

Barbara is a retired Munson Behavioral Therapist with a background in photojournalism and professional photography. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Resource Center, worked with the 86th District Sobriety Court for 10 years and given many presentations on prescription drug addiction.

She does volunteer work at the Boardman River Nature Center with the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network, is a docent at The Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park, MSU Diagnostic Clinics and is the Chairperson of the MGANM Book Club.  Barbara has served on the Board of Directors for the past two years.

Barbara is a Certified Shoreland Steward, and her property is a Certified National Wildlife Habitat.  She finds serenity and much joy in spending time with her 10 grandchildren.

Kathleen MullaneyProgram Co-Chairperson
Kathleen Mullaney

Master Gardener training from the Extension of University of Illinois, Chicago

Certification in Ornamental Plants from the Chicago Botanic Garden School, Glencoe, IL

LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy Efficient Design) which includes landscaping.

Kathleen worked as a professional Landscape Designer in Boulder, CO and Chicago, IL for 18 years until she retired in 2019.  She worked on residential, commercial, and municipal projects.  Kathleen moved to the Traverse City area in early 2020 from Denver, CO.

She loves to travel, hike with her dog, kayak, camp, bike and enjoys all winter sports. 

Kay GoodallProgram Co-Chairperson
Kay Goodall

M.A. Educational Leadership Eastern Michigan University

Advanced Master Gardener Volunteer MSUE

For 33 years, Kay was employed by Goodrich Area Schools teaching high school art.

She joined the Elk Rapids Garden Club in 2006 and has held many leadership positions including ERGC President in 2011-2012. For 14 years, she has volunteered with the Yuchasz Walk-Through Garden in Elk Rapids. ERGC honored her with several awards including Lifetime Membership in Michigan Garden Clubs.

Her Master Gardener volunteer projects include an employee garden at Munson Cowell Family Cancer Center and a memorial garden at Michael’s Place.  Kay was honored as the Grand Traverse Master Gardener Volunteer of the Year in 2019.

She has been married to Jim for 44 years. Together they enjoy gardening, biking, hiking, and traveling.


Grand Traverse Conservation District

Boardman River Nature Center Liaison
Judy Reich

B.F.A. Wayne State University

Advanced Master Gardener Volunteer MSUE

Along with working as a graphic artist, managing a resort office and working as an art therapist for a children’s clinic, Judy has been a registered nurse since 1978, and was Education Coordinator in the Operating Room.  Judy helped to found a regional chapter of the Association of Operating Room Nurses, developed a senior practice in the O.R. for R.N. students, trained the labor and delivery nurses, and wrote and produced an educational film for the AORN. In 1994 Judy accepted a position as a supply chain consultant visiting procedural areas of hospitals helping them design custom kits for their procedures.

Judy has been actively involved in the maintenance and development of the Boardman River Nature Center Native Plant Gardens. Judy and her partner, Tim McGrew, were involved in the installation of the Green Roof Project.

Judy has been a docent for the Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park and was chosen as Grand Traverse County Master Gardener of the Year in 2015. Judy also had served as MGANM Secretary for 3 years.

Judy lives in the Old Town Neighborhood of Traverse City in a 130 year-old “Painted Lady”.

Liz Clous

Botanical Garden at Historic Barns Park Liaison

Liz Clous

Three years college at Central Michigan University

Advanced Master Gardener Volunteer MSUE

Liz is the owner of Heritage Landscape Design, a full-service design landscape business, incorporating design, planting, and maintenance of the landscaping. Liz started the business in Traverse City in 2004.  Prior to this time, she was a teaching assistant at Blair Elementary School.

Liz has been Treasurer, Vice-President, and President for the Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan.  She also has been on many different boards at her church where she held positions of Treasurer, Secretary, and a Board Chairperson.

Liz has enjoyed working with MGANM in administrations and office positions and a favorite MG project was “Friday Night Live” in downtown Traverse City.

She and her husband, Gary, have lived in Traverse City since 1976, where they raised their two girls as well as being foster parents for 10 years. Liz loves the beauty of the area and doing all things “Traverse City”. Liz is an avid reader and loves learning about new horticultural practices, as well as new plant material as it becomes available.

Past Presidents

In recognition of all the hard work and dedication that it takes to run a volunteer organization, we would like to recognize and honor our past MGANM Board Presidents.  

Sue Sensenbaugh-Padgett, & Marina Deering Emeritus: 2015

Liz Clous: 2014

Erik Zehender: 2013

Kristine Drake: 2012

Liz Clous: 2011

Ellen Lapekas: 2010

Joe Sarafa: 2009

Marina Deering: 2008

Jill Porter: 2006

Gabby Thompson: 2005

Deb Burge

Sally Weaver: 1996 (Inaugural President) 

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