Jenny spent over 30 years in education, teaching and then in administration her last 22 years. As an administrator she developed and coordinated programs for students as well as for teachers, writing and receiving state and federal grants along the way. Jenny is also president of the St. Johns – Konan Friendship Society, which coordinates an annual exchange of elementary student art between St. Johns and Konan, in Shiga Prefecture, Japan. The exchange just celebrated its 23rd year. Jenny is also a board member of the Michigan-Shiga Sister State Board, and she serves on the St Johns Murals and Sculpture sub-committee in St. Johns. Residence: St. Johns; age in her 70s.
She and her husband are the co-managers of the Clinton Northern Railway Museum branch of CCAC. They have both enjoyed learning about the history of this area and of the rail cars. Jenny uses her skills in organizing programs to create exhibits and events at the depot every summer; including field trip experiences for pre-school through elementary students. Gary uses his unusually strong talents of special visualization and mechanical understanding to give detailed explanations of how the old steam trains worked as he takes people of all ages through the rail cars. He also has a great sense of humor, entertaining the visitors as he enlightens them. Gary and Jenny are supported tremendously by a crew of 9-10 men who are on their 8th summer voluntarily restoring the rail cars, and by a group of 5-6 women who volunteer their services to raise the funds needed for the restoration.
Bill was born and lived in Detroit; eventually moving to Dearborn to be close to his father’s work. He received degrees in music from both Western Michigan and Michigan State Universities. He taught public school instrumental music for 36 years – the last 34 of those years as the Director of Orchestras for the St. Johns Public Schools.
While teaching, Bill served on state and district MSBOA & MASTA boards, holding several different leadership positions, also serving on the Michigan Youth Arts Festival board from 1976 – 2013. He is currently on the staff of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp where he has held positions as a Staff Conductor, Camp Director of the Family Suzuki Camp, and as a Scholarship Representative. Bill was the State of Michigan Orchestra Teacher of the Year in 1986 and the State of Michigan String Teacher of the Year in 1997. In 1991, he created, organized and ran the first MASTA String Chamber Ensemble Festival, which is still going strong.
Bill was a founding member of the Clinton County Arts Council and headed a committee to build the Performance Shell in the St. Johns City Park. He currently leads a committee that runs the Concert in the Park series. He headed up the Entertainment Committee for the St. Johns Sesquicentennial in 2006, which has since lead to the renovation of the historic Wilson Center Auditorium, a project that Bill still leads. He is currently on the St. Johns School Board, being elected in 2004, serving as President for 10 of those years.
Ruthie has resided in Michigan for 22 years. She is a retired medical biller. She is active with GracePointe Church, Clinton County Relay For Life, Clinton County 4H, His Cup runneth over traveling soup trailer, and Clinton County Arts Council.
She is on the leadership team for the Relay For Life and on the board for His Cup Runneth over.
Ruthie has two military sons, who she is very proud of and 11 grandchildren that she adores!
Ruthie joined our Board in December 2018.
RAILWAY PROJECT MANAGER:
MINT CITY SINGERS CHAIRPERSON:
Tom has been an educator for over 40 years teaching everything from third grade through
eighth grade. He retired from the Fulton Schools in 2006 to pursue additional opportunities at
Walden University where he served on the faculty for fifteen years. He currently is a substitute
teacher at various schools in the St. Johns area.
Tom has been associated with Homegrown Productions since its inception and continues to
work with the local theater group as a producer, director, and occasionally works on stage. His
experience with community theater goes back to the mid 1970’s with the Pewamo-Westphalia
Community Players. He has played numerous roles on stage and particularly enjoys musical
theater. Susan DeRosa and Beth Webb are the founders of Homegrown Productions and,
between the three principals, continue to promote live theater in the greater Clinton County
Jodi Parker is a graphic artist for Lansing based Public Relations firm, Martin Waymire. Her portfolio includes work on elements of the nationally acclaimed Pure Michigan campaign, and extensive experience designing infographics, logos, brochures, website and social channel materials, direct mail pieces and more. She also worked as a graphic designer at Lansing Community College (LCC), where she provided high-quality graphics to promote the people, programs, and special events of LCC.
Jodi and her husband Kelly live in St. Johns with their two daughters, Cameron and Olivia. In her spare time Jodi enjoys volunteering her time for various community organizations and playing recreational softball and volleyball when her girls aren’t keeping her busy with sports of their own.
HOMEGROWN PRODUCTIONS CHAIRPERSON:
Debi has lived almost her entire life in St Johns. Growing up, she has fond memories of time spent on Twin Oaks golf course, once owned by her grandparents. She has three wonderful boys and one grandson. Her and her husband, Jim, love to travel. They have taken several cruises, visited Nice, France and mediterranen countries and snowmobile Michigan and Minnesota trails.
Debi's career background is in Administration, Database Design, website maintenance and reporting. She resigned from Jackson National Life after 20 years. Debi started her Fruits of the Spirit-Herbal Tea business while recovering from a lumbar fusion. After experiencing the benefits of herbal tea remedies, she loves sharing it with others. She opened Deb's Sereni-TEA Lounge in April of 2017.
Debi joined the Board as Secretary in 2015 and also became our Executive Director in September, 2017.
Mark worked for 30 years in the field of education both as a High School teacher and Library Media Specialist retiring from St Johns Public Schools.
His involvement in the arts/singing began in church and school youth choirs, continuing through high school and college. Currently, Mark sings and serves on the leadership board of the Mint City Singers.
Mark and Cheryl have made St.Johns their home since 1974. His hobbies include travel, reading, exercising, and spending time at the cottage. The Gruenebergs support the local arts through both their participation and attendance at events.
Mark joined the Board December 2018.
Jason Butler is President of Butler Financial Services, LLC and has over 18 years' experience in the financial service field. He is graduate of Northwood University with a degree in Business Administration. Proudly registered as an investment advisor representative, he holds a Series 66, and 7 securities registrations through LPL Financial, as well as, his life and health insurance license through the state of Michigan Department of insurance and financial services. Jason is involved in many civic organizations and boards. He is currently Vice Chairman of the St. Johns board of Parks and Recreation, Member of the St. Johns Principal Shopping District/Downtown Development Authority, and President of the Clinton County Arts Council. During his spare time Jason enjoys traveling, golfing, bowling and the occasional craft beer.
Ms. Applebee became our Treasurer in September of 2017. Her previous work experience brings to the Council over 30 years’ experience in accounting. Sheri graduated from Western Michigan University in 1984 earning a Bachelors in Administration, with an Accounting Major. She was employed by the State of Michigan, Office of Financial Management’s Payroll Division for 15 years and then transferred to the Bureau of State Lottery for her remaining 16 years of employment. Sheri retired from the State of Michigan in December 2017 after 31 years of service.
Sheri has lived most of her life in the Ovid and St. Johns areas. She loves to travel the United States and looks forward to doing more traveling in her retirement. In the winter, Sheri loves to snowmobile the many trails Michigan has to offer in the Upper Peninsula. In the summer, Sheri enjoys gardening and has multiple flowers beds that keep her busy. Sheri is also an animal lover and has several cats that keep the rodent and bird population in check around her home.