Board of directors
We’re a 501c3 arts organization dedicated to the idea that the friendly rural beauty of Alcona County can help develop a new economic base. We encourage art and cultural activity for visitors and for our neighbors.
Will St. John, president, of Lincoln, Michigan, a retired editor for the Detroit Free Press, is a founding member of Inspiration Alcona and organizer of its school programs. He is past president of the Alcona County Library Board and a board member of the Harrisville Arts Council. He serves on the grant review boards of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. He holds a BA from Rice University and a PhD from Johns Hopkins University.   

The Honorable Laura Frawley, vice-president, of Hubbard Lake, Michigan, is a founding member of Inspiration Alcona and judge of the Probate Court of Alcona County. She and her staff have won several awards for their work with juveniles. She sits on the State Bar of Michigan’s Standing Committee on Judicial Ethics. She helps Inspiration Alcona with legal issues and serves as cochair of the annual Alcona GospelFest event. Judge Frawley holds a BFA from Northern Michigan University and a Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School.  

Lynn VanderLinde, secretary, of Black River, Michigan, is the reference assistant for the Alcona County Library and directly responsible for the library’s art-related programming for all ages. She is also an Alcona Historical Society committee chairperson and financial secretary for her church. She is cochair of the Alcona GospelFest event. She holds a BS from Central Michigan University.

Judy St. John, treasurer, of Lincoln, is a retired banker turned artist. She is both a displaying artist and treasurer for the Dragonfly Gallery in Harrisville. She is also a board member of the Northeast Michigan Art Guild. She has taught classes for both local art guilds and for the Alcona County Library. She serves as cochair of the Alcona Arts Retreat. Judy holds a BS from the University of Michigan, an MS from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.

Mael Fritz,
board member, of Harrisville, is a former French and English educator currently working for Northeastern Michigan Community Service Agency as a school success liaison. She works with at risk primary students at Alcona Community Schools. She speaks four languages and is a member of a local craft makers collective. Her current project is raising funds to bring a therapy dog to Alcona Elementary School. The dog, Cona, already in training, is expected to begin calming overexcited children and listening to students read to her in
September 2018. Inspiration Alcona is serving as fiduciary for this project. Mael holds a BA in French from Grand Valley State University.

Helen Hierta, of Greenbush, Michigan, board member, is a ceramic artist and author. While living in Los Angeles, she was a celebrity chef specializing in organic farm to table cuisine, raw foods and fasting before those ideas became mainstream; built Noble Ideas, a natural dessert business distributing to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s; raised four children, and published a book of poems. Her new book, the true story of a heroin addict, will help build a foundation for children subjected to criminality and substance abuse to realize their potential.

Joe Thomas, board member, of Harrisville, Michigan, provides technical support for patrons and staff at Alcona County Library. He is responsible for photographing events and creating content for the library's social media accounts, and has contributed website and print design services for local businesses and promotions. He holds a BA from Earlham College.

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