Mackinac Economic Alliance

Ph: (906) 430-4774
749 Hombach Street, St. Ignace, MI 49781

Board of Directors

Anne Ottaway

Anne Ottawa

Executive Director — Anne Ottaway has served as the Director of the Mackinac Economic Alliance since its founding in November 2012. As the sole economic development organization in Mackinac County MEA operates as a public private partnership to spur economic development. Anne provides strategic direction for Mackinac Economic Alliance.

Anne worked with USAID as an international economic development consultant for over 10 years. During that time she created marketing strategies and implemented capacity building programs in a number of developing countries. Working closely with government agencies and the private sector, she was effective in crafting projects to advance sustainable trade. Anne draws insight and knowledge from years of experience as the owner of a successful small business she launched and operated in Lansing. Now focusing on the challenges facing our regional UP economy, she works with businesses, organizations and municipalities across Mackinac County to encourage entrepreneurship, support economic growth and improve prosperity.

Alex Iseri

Alex IseriDirector — Alexander Iseri’s career has been formed by his deep commitment to public service and community development.  After graduating with a BA in Political Science from Beloit College, Alex served for a year with AmeriCorps in Crawford and Roscommon counties, helping to open and establish Big Brothers Big Sisters programs.  Inspired by that experience, Alex went on to get a Master’s degree in International Development Administration, which was a huge asset when he subsequently served for two years in Nicaragua with Peace Corps.

Alex is excited to bring this body of knowledge and experience to Mackinac County as the Director for the Mackinac Economic Alliance, a position which he assumed in July of 2017.  He is dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to facilitate economic growth in the region, and through that growth raise the quality of life for the entire community.  A firm believer in servant leadership, Alex believes that the best way of doing is informed by conversations with the community, and so welcomes any insights and opinions that you have.

Dean RiedDean Reid

Chariman —Mr. Reid worked 30 years with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and he currently works with D & S Forestry Services. He previously served on the Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning & Development Commission, and currently serves on the Mackinac County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, the American Legion, and several timber products-related associations.

John KlingJohn Kling

Vice Chairman — Mr. Kling is a financial advisor at Edward Jones in St. Ignace, making it his home after 20 years in Cheboygan. He and his family also own and manage a motel in St. Ignace. He is currently serving as the St. Ignace Chamber of Commerce president, and on the St. Ignace Kiwanis Club and St. Ignace Events Committee.

Amy Polk

Amy PolkSecretary — Ms. Polk moved to Mackinac County from the metro Detroit area in 1997, and worked 11 years as a writer for The St. Ignace News and Les Cheneaux Islands Weekly Wave. She worked another 9 years as the Les Cheneaux Commerce & Tourism Coordinator in Cedarville where she developed the marketing and social media campaigns for the community, grew membership in both organizations, planned and executed community events with volunteers, and provided business assistance leads and guidance. In 2017, she left that position to launch her own business in Les Cheneaux: Applecore General Store, a shop offering Michigan made products. She serves on the Les Cheneaux Artisan Cooperative Board, Clark Township Recreation Committee, Eastern UP Regional Economic Development Advisory Collaborative, and was recently appointed to the Les Cheneaux Community Foundation Board. She previously served on the Les Cheneaux Historical Association Board, Les Cheneaux Economic Forum task forces, and Great Waters Steering Committee.

Lester Livermore Jr.Lester 2016

Treasurer — Mr. Livermore is the Chairman of the Mackinac County Road Commission and was first elected to the Commission in 1999.  He is currently employed as the Sobriety Court Coordinator for the 92nd District Court and Tether Officer for Luce County.  He also currently serves on the Commissioner Committee for the County Road Association of Michigan and the Graymont Communities Development Fund Committee.  He previously was employed by the Hiawatha Sportsman’s Club for 18 years where he served as the Manager.  He has been a Member of the Citizens Advisory Council and Chairman of the Committee to Prioritize Deer Range Habitat Acquisition of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Chairman of the Garfield Township Planning Commission.  He has also served his community in several other capacities including 5 years as Varsity Football coach, 6 years of volunteering as a youth basketball and baseball coach and a member of the Engadine School Board and Athletics Boosters Club.


Gary Reid

Gary ReidMr. Reid is Supervisor of Clark Township, and serves on the Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning & Development’s He is a 13-year business owner, and previously worked as a surety underwriter. He has served with Michigan Works!, Mackinac County Economic Development Association, Mackinac County Road Commission, and the Les Cheneaux Sportsman’s Club, Historical Association and Chamber of Commerce, Michigan United Conservation Clubs and Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Lake Huron Fishery Advisory Committee. He currently serves on the EUP Regional Planning & Development Commission board.

Jim Clapperton

Jim Clapperton

Mr. Clapperton has owned and operated several business in the county, served on the St. Ignace City Council. Having resided in Mackinac County for over twenty-seven years, he currently serves as Mackinac County Coordinator for Michigan Works!


Cheryl Schlehuber

Cheryl SchlehuberMs. Schlehuber owns Mackinac Properties Real Estate, which she started 1998, and she recently acquired Northern Michigan Vacation Rentals. She previously managed the St. Ignace Golf Course, Clearwater Resort Hotel in Brevort, and worked at First National Bank of St. Ignace. She moved here from Detroit in 1969. She serves on the Water Wonderland Board of Realtors, and the boards of the Fort de Buade Museum and Great Waters Center for Lifelong Learning.

Dick SterkDick Sterk

Mr. Sterk owned and operated R & R Steel in Ft Lauderdale Florida 1980 to 2010 and then returned to St. Ignace where he was born and raised. He began work on the Mackinac Bridge in 1954 until 1957 as an ironworker.  He also co-founded St. Ignace Sewn Products.


Bruce Gustafson

Bruce GustafsonA lifelong resident of the Upper Peninsula, Mr. Gustafson has lived in Naubinway since 1996, and worked 25 years as a conservation officer and 11 years as a Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtor. He has been involved with the Top of the Lake Communities Association since 2004, serving as president since 2008. He chairs the Naubinway Christian Fellowship Church, and was a former President of the Hiawatha Sportsman’s Club.

Shirley Sorrels

Shirley SorrelsMs. Sorrels has served as Director of the Museum of Ojibwa Culture and Marquette Mission Park in St. Ignace, Mi for 14 years. She has served on many boards, including Legacy House, St. Ignace Chamber of Commerce, the St. Ignace Chamber of Commerce Foundation. She obtained funding to start a Traditional Arts Entrepreneurship program for Tribal youth in our community and implemented an intergenerational project to link tribal youth with elders. She has also been nominated for the Northern Ontario’s Most Influential Women Award.

Mary Swiderski

Mary SwiderskiMs. Swiderski worked for Michigan State University’s Extension for 25 years, before that she owned her own business. She has served as a Mackinac County Commissioner, Mackinac County Roundtable Coordinator & Board member, as co-founder and board member of Housing Opportunities Made Equal, and as a Human Services Collaborative Body Member. Born and Raised in Mackinac county, she makes her home in St. Ignace.

Luke Paquin

Mr. Paquin is a rising star in his hometown of St. Ignace.  After the Straits Breeze Hotel sat vacant for over two years, he and his father bought the property and began extensive renovations.  He opened the doors to his family-owned business, The Cedar Hill Lodge, in the summer of 2013, and the Lodge has continued to thrive as an attractive addition to the St. Ignace business community.  In addition to his entrepreneurial pursuits, Mr. Paquin is an active member of the Chamber of Commerce Events Committee, the Board of Directors for the Visitors Bureau and the Kiwanis Club of St. Ignace, and was newly elected to the St. Ignace City Council in November 2015.

Curtis Task Force

  • Bud Chamberlin — Chamber of Commerce
  • Pat MacLachan — Portage Twp. Clerk
  • Tom Lenchid — Erikson Center
  • Tom Hoogterp — Portage Twp. Supervisor
  • Kelly Chamberlin — Erikson Center
  • Bill Mundinger — Lions Club
  • Sue Pann — Three Lakes Academy