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PARC building rendering

Board Elections Notice & Candidates 2020–2022


November 13, 2019

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that board elections will be held following the final meeting of the Board of Directors on December 11, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the Friends of the Rouge offices at PARC in Plymouth, Michigan. This meeting of the members will be held for the purpose of considering and acting upon a slate of member representative nominees for election to the Friends of the Rouge board of directors.

Any FOTR member in good standing is entitled to one vote in person at the meeting or by proxy (maximum two (2) votes per member household).

By order of the Board of Directors,
By: Susan Thompson
Its: Secretary

How to Vote – Election Details

The Friends of the Rouge invite dues-paying members to cast their vote for the 2020 Board of Directors election.

Members can download a printable PDF ballot, fill-out and sign. OR members may attend the final meeting of the year in person on December 11, 2019 and submit a ballot no later than 6:00 PM.

Completed electronic ballots can be returned via an email with attached signed PDF of your ballot, or can be mailed in directly.


Nominee Bios

Ballots must be returned to the following address:

Via email to:
Secretary, Susan Thompson at sthompson@therouge.org with the Subject line: 2020 FOTR Board Ballot


Via U.S. post to:
Sue Thompson, Secretary
Friends of the Rouge

650 Church Street Suite 209
Plymouth, MI 48124

Ballots will be accepted via email or U.S. post from November 13 – December 11, 2019. Any mail in ballots received after December 11, 2019 5:00 p.m. will be VOID.

Alternatively, members will be able to vote in person following the end of the year board meeting on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.

The meeting will be held at:

Plymouth Arts and Recreation Complex (PARC)
Friends of the Rouge office

650 Church Street Suite 209
Plymouth, MI 48124

Directions can be found here.

Final votes will be counted and announced at 6:30 p.m that day.

Additional candidates may be added to the website during the voting period, however, they will need to be written in on member ballots to be considered for a position. Members may write in a nomination, but the candidate must consent to the nomination to be considered. Member households and corporate members are only allowed two votes per household or per corporation.


View 2020 Board Candidate Bios below.

We are looking forward to another great year of board development and support for Friends of the Rouge in 2020! Thank you for your participation as a member of Friends of the Rouge!

Warm wishes,
Friends of the Rouge, Board Nomination Committee

If you have any questions, please e-mail Sue Thompson at sthompson@therouge.org for more information.

2020-2022 Friends of the Rouge Board Election Nominees

Alice Bailey, PE (i)

Alice has served on the Friends of the Rouge Board of Directors for six years as Vice President and the chair of the Fund Development Committee. Over that time, she has learned a lot about fundraising and has enjoyed learning from and working with the FOTR board and staff on many types of initiatives for the organization. Having grown up near the Rouge River and having worked within the watershed for nearly 20 years, Alice has appreciated having been able to serve Friends of the Rouge in this capacity these past 6 years. Professionally, Alice is an engineer at Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc. and has served as a technical lead in a variety of habitat restoration, streambank stabilization, stream restoration, slope stabilization, dam removal, dam reconstruction, green infrastructure, and stormwater management projects within the Rouge Watershed. Alice lives in Ann Arbor with her husband and two children.

John Deslippe

John is an ecologist and environmental planner who is a lifelong resident of the Rouge watershed (Minnow Pond Creek subwatershed, currently). Holding a Bachelor of Science degree from U of M- Dearborn in Environmental Studies, he regularly works on stream, wetland, and shoreline restoration projects, as well as stormwater management and environmental education programs. During 2019, John served on the Rouge Education Project and the Lower Rouge Water Trail committees for Friends of the Rouge, along with playing a lead role in rain garden construction at two Detroit elementary schools and serving as a citizen forester with the Social Forestry Project. Recently completing stormwater management plans for the Huron-Clinton Metroparks and the Alliance of Downriver Watersheds, John is excited about continued opportunities to be involved in the planning and implementation of green infrastructure and riparian habitat restoration projects. In free time, John prefers the company of his large family and dedicates himself to trail running, completing 50k runs in 2018 and 2019.

Matt Gower

Matt has lived and worked along the Rouge River since 2007. For 23 years, he worked in manufacturing, most recently as the Site Operations Manager for Carmeuse Lime and Stone located in River Rouge. Prior to his current position at Carmeuse, he worked in the role of Senior Process Engineer at St Mary’s Cement, and the Site Manager for the Detroit, St Mary’s Ontario and Dixon Illinois Operations for St. Mary’s Cement. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science in Administration. Combined with work experience, Matt has been able to bridge technical aspects as well as political aspects of managing facilities and business assignments.

Orin G. Gelderloos, Ph.D. (i)

Dr. Gelderloos is Professor of Biology, Professor of Environmental Studies, Emeritus and founder and former Director of the Environmental Interpretive Center at the University of Michigan-Dearborn (UM-D.) He has taught more than 20 courses in biology and environment including Watershed Analysis, Environmental Instrumentation and Analysis, and Ornithology His number one course was Field Biology, which he taught entirely outdoors beginning at 6:00 a.m. in the University’s Natural Areas on campus. Professor Gelderloos has a B.A. in biology from Calvin College, a M.A. from Western Michigan University, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University where he conducted research on biological rhythms. Professor Gelderloos is currently engaged in research on urban and floodplain ecology – in this activity he has inventoried all the trees (14,000+) on the Rouge River floodplain between Ford Road and Michigan Avenue. He has taught “Ecology of the Indian Tropics” during January in South India for students from North America and India. He has received awards for distinguished teaching, the Governor’s Service Award for Service-Learning Educator of the Year, and a Green Leader of Michigan Award in 2010 from the Detroit Free Press.

Bill Hazel

Bill has worked on the Rouge River daily for more than 27 years, and as an employee of Marine Pollution Control has responded to environmental incidents there many times. A critical focus in that relationship to the Rouge is a focus on planning, preparedness and protection; how to get the personnel and equipment in place to mitigate harmful conditions such as oil and chemical spills. He worked on a proposal that resulted in the removal of derelict vessels in the lower Rouge, and welcomes the opportunity to continue those sorts of efforts and other initiatives that the Friends of the Rouge carry out.

David Maurice

David supervises the development of all aspects of the geographic information system (GIS) program for Canton Township as the Asset Management Supervisor for Municipal Services. He has been with the city since 2004 and has previous experience at City of Novi; US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census; and Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. David has a BA in Environmental Studies and Resource Policy & Management from the University of Michigan Dearborn and an MS in Geography with a specialty in Cartography and Remote Sensors from Eastern Michigan University. He also completed extensive coursework there in IT and Systems to support his career interest in GIS. A resident of Canton Township since 1989, Dave and his wife, Sheri, are proud parents of daughter, Kenzie, a 2019 graduate of Grand Valley State University.

Laura Wagner (i)

Laura is a 30 year resident of the Rouge Watershed with a passion for the environment. She is completing her first, three-year term on the board of Friends of the Rouge as Member at Large, responsible for board development and preparing the elections. Laura received her Masters of Environmental Science from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2017. She is the electric vehicle Battery Life-cycle Manager at Ford Motor Company where she develops strategies for second-use, recycling, and tracking of lithium-ion batteries throughout their life cycle. She spent her early career in Purchasing and holds two patents in supply chain solutions.