Kate is Co-founder and President of Human Resource Partners, Kate has focused on talent acquisition, employee engagement, coaching, and development of leaders in the organizations and clients she supports. Throughout her career, Kate has been an active member of the community serving on numerous boards including the Traverse Area Human Resources Association (Past President), the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, the Community Reconciliation Service, and the Michigan State Human Resources Association. She currently serves on the HR Committees of TART Trails and Norte. She was recently appointed to the City of Traverse City Local Officers Compensation Commission. Kate lives in Traverse City with her husband, Matthew Schmidt, daughter and twin sons.
Alison grew up in Northern Michigan and is a graduate of NMC and Western Michigan University. She joined the staff of the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation in 2005. In her role at the Community Foundation, Alison enjoys working with generous individuals to create long-term funding resources to support the important work of nonprofits across our region that are building healthy, resilient, thriving communities. In addition to the Generations Ahead board, Alison is part of the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities Advisory Council and provides leadership for the Central Lake Early Experiences and Opportunities early childhood network. Alison and her husband, John, live in Traverse City with their three children.
Bob serves as Judge for the 86th District Court. He was elected Judge in 2018 after serving as elected Prosecuting Attorney for Grand Traverse County and as Civil Counsel and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. Bob is a former Pre-Hearing Attorney for the Michigan Court of Appeals, and worked for 5 years as an engineer for the U.S. Army. Bob and his wife Karin have three children Katie, Jack and Maggie. The Cooneys reside on Old Mission Peninsula with their Duck-Tolling Retriever, Bonnie, and English Golden Retriever Yosie. Bob and his family are members of Central United Methodist Church. In his free time, Bob enjoys cross-country skiing, backpacking, kayaking and, most of all, spending time with his family.
Sarah is the executive director for Benzie Area Christian Neighbors (“BACN”) and began her journey with Generations Ahead in 2022 as a finance committee member. She brings more than 20 years of finance and accounting experience with a special focus on non-profits. Since moving to Traverse City in 2020, Sarah has been active in the community through the noon Rotary Club of Traverse City, National Cherry Festival, Grand Traverse Area Spartans, Traverse Connect’s Professional Development Committee, Impact 100, and the Benzie Human Service Collaborative. Sarah’s passion for serving on the Generations Ahead Board is driven by her own parents’ experience, who began their family as teenagers in the 1960’s and dropped out of high school due to social stigma. She values how society has progressed to welcome organizations like Generations Ahead that empower young parents to succeed and grow healthy families. Sarah lives in Interlochen with her fiancé Andy and their two fur-kids. For fun Sarah enjoys traveling, soaking in nature, cooking, and entertaining.
Breanna, a client at Generations Ahead, and mother of 3 young boys, leads a busy life. She has taken advantage of many opportunities available to her through Generations Ahead. She has a close relationship with her mentor who helped her navigate her first year at NMC. She also participated in the GA Summer Career Internship program, interning at MI Works. She's been employed at Best Buy for almost three years. In her limited free time, Breanna and her husband, Erek, and their boys love camping and hiking. Breanna eagerly joined the Board to "support an organization that supported me and my family through the challenging early years of being a young mom!"
Sam joined the Pit Spitters’ staff as Director of Sales in October 2019 and is entering his fourth season with the team in 2023. Before joining the Pit Spitters, Sam spent six seasons working in different sales roles in Minor League Baseball with the West Michigan Whitecaps, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Peoria Chiefs and Fort Wayne TinCaps. Sam was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI, and is an avid sports fan. He attended Aquinas College where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration and Sport Management while also competing on the varsity baseball team.
When he is not at the ballpark, you can usually find Sam hanging out with his wife, Sarah, and son, Fielder, enjoying a drink at a local brewery, or cheering on his beloved Chicago Cubs and Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Sam is excited to continue to grow as a member of the Traverse City community.
Courtney moved to Traverse City and joined the team at Cherryland Electric Cooperative in 2021. She loves her work as the communications and member relations manager, supporting the members and communities served by the co-op. Prior to joining the team at Cherryland, she attended Central Michigan University and spent nearly ten years working in broadcast journalism. In addition to serving on the Generations Ahead board, Courtney is active with the Traverse City Young Professionals as a member of the executive committee.
She loves exploring new places, meeting new people, and learning new things. Most of all, Courtney enjoys spending time with her husband Matthew and their young son.
Lauren currently is enjoying her position in the Admissions department of Davenport University, helping NMC students find their path to their educational goals. Lauren has lived in Traverse City for the past 16 years, raising her two daughters. With experience in real estate, hospitality, and education she has found a strong connection to the TC community. She loves playing the local golf courses in the summer months and dining at the wonderful local restaurants throughout the area, but any chance she gets she travels to see family located across the US and abroad.
Sara is the founder and president of Strategic Policy Consultants. Sara has dedicated her career to developing and delivering meaningful policy solutions that can positively impact the lives of those around her. She is particularly passionate about policy that supports children and families, criminal justice reform and collaborative economic development models. Prior to founding Strategic Policy Consultants, Sara spent five years serving Governor Rick Snyder (R-MI) as his senior strategic policy advisor. A native of Metro-Detroit, she holds a B.A. in political science from Albion College and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Sara and her husband, Matt, live in Traverse City with their two sons. In her free time, Sara looks for any excuse to be outside, be with her family and eat good food.
Miaya currently works as a program manager at Grand Traverse Industries, assisting adults with disabilities. She enjoys helping her clients become everything they are capable of. She hopes to return to college in the near future to continue her studies in Social Work. Miaya is a busy mother of three young children, two boys and a baby girl. Together with her partner, Hason, and their children, they enjoy spending time as a family outdoors and at amusement parks whenever they can get away. Miaya is excited to serve as a client representative on the board of Generations Ahead. She believes that her personal experience as a young mother will allow her to be a great advocate at the board level.
Marsha spent almost her entire career actively working in the nonprofit sector. The first half of her career was spent primarily in fundraising capacities for social service, health care, arts and educational institutions in Northwest Michigan. She spent the last 25 years at Rotary Charities, 22 of those as the Executive Director. Marsha has served on numerous volunteer boards, including: the Michigan Community Service Commission; the Council of Michigan Foundations; Networks Northwest; and Munson Medical Center. She was also founding mother of the Women’s Resource Center. Marsha lives in Traverse City with her husband, Tom. In her free time, she enjoys spending time at their cabin, socializing with friends, and visiting her grandchildren.
You may contact any of the board members through our email address: