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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 a volunteer in Alcona Schools’ award-winning woodworking program and a science and math substitute teacher. He serves Inspiration Alcona as webmaster and publicity chair, and organizer of school programs. He is past president of the Alcona County Library Board and a board member of both the Harrisville Arts Council and Michigan Arts and Culture Northeast, based in Alpena. 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.  

Judy MacNeill, secretary, of Harrisville, Michigan, is a founding member of Inspiration Alcona and a registered dietitian of more than 30 years’ experience with an active private practice. She was chair of the Alcona Culinary Retreat (2014) and Farm to Fork Alcona (2016) and is cochair for local fundraising. She holds a BS from Central Michigan and an MS from Finch University, Chicago Medical School.
  
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 and a displaying artist and vice-president of the Thunder Bay Art Council Gallery in Alpena. 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.

Maureen Castern-French, of Lincoln, a retired environmental engineer, is a founding member of Inspiration Alcona. She volunteers with the Alcona FFA Alumni Association and is also a master gardener. She has written successful grant applications for several organizations in Alcona County as she believes that local efforts must become economically sustainable in order to move from dreams to reality. She holds a BS in chemical engineering from Wayne State University and an MS in environmental engineering from Virginia Tech.

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.

Linda Powe, of Lincoln, Michigan, a retired registered nurse and nurse manager as well as a hospice director, is an artist in acrylic painting and a member of the Northeast Michigan Artists Guild. She is also on the board of directors of My Brother's Hope, an Alcona County food pantry and clothing redistribution facility. She is cochair of the Alcona Arts Retreat.

Richard Powe, of Lincoln, Michigan, a U.S. Army veteran, master mechanic, restaurant owner, retired builder and building inspector, is a former member of the Lost Lake Woods Club board of directors. He also works with the Alcona County Fair Board and is president of the men's group at his church.

Joan Shively, of Greenbush, Michigan, is a longtime advocate for the arts in our area. She was instrumental in forming the Dragonfly Gallery. She is a member of the Friends of Alcona County Library, Sunrise Artists of Michigan, Dragonfly Gallery and the Shoreline Players in Oscoda, Michigan. She is cochair for local fundraising. She holds a BS from Illinois State University.

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.

Lynn Vanderlinde, board member, 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.
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