© 2018 by Polestar LGBT+ Community Center a 501(c)(3) organization

Board of Directors

Chairperson - Jon Link

  

If there's one thing that has always made sense to Jon, it's numbers.  In fact, they made so much sense that he went to school and got himself a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting through Ferris State University.  Now he works at Crystal Mountain as an Internal Auditor.  As an adopted child, Jon is aware that sometimes, all you need in life is a place to call home. He hopes that through Polestar he can create a place that everyone in the LGBT+ community can call home.

Vice-Chairperson - John Young

  

John recently retired from his job with Envoy (a subsidiary of American Airlines) to devote more time to Polestar. One of the original Exploratory Committee members, he was instrumental in doing the initial research to get this whole thing started.  He is passionate about providing services and programs to all members of the LGBT+ community, but feels youth programming is particularly needed.

Secretary - Emily Pelky

  

Emily recently relocated to the Grand Traverse area from downstate. She earned a Bachelors degree in Music with minors in Women's Studies and LGBT and Sexuality Studies. During her time at Michigan State University, she was involved in various student and community organizations that advocated for, educated, and connected LGBTQ+ folks. The most interesting educational experience she had was taking a study abroad trip to Amsterdam to study gender identity, sexual politics and sex work. Emily is eager to continue to support and advocate for LGBTQ+ folks in the Grand Traverse area through Polestar.

Abby Boonzaaijer - Transgender Support and Volunteer Coordinator

  

Abby recently relocated to Traverse City Michigan to complete their clinical rotation in Occupational Therapy Assisting. They have an interest in advocating for the transgender community through the healthcare system by changing documentation practices in healthcare reporting. Abby has vast experience in volunteering in LGBT services by sitting on the board of directors for PFLAG Owosso while managing their web presence. While on the board at Polestar they have been assigned to the youth seat position to ensure that the needs of the youth and young adults in the Traverse City community are being heard, in addition they are also spearheading transgender services and volunteer coordinating at the community center.

Christina Walsh

  

Christina comes to Northern Michigan from California and has lived in Traverse City since 2009, where she studied Social Work at Northwestern Michigan College and Ferris State University. For many years she has been dedicated to helping the most vulnerable members of our community, from those experiencing a housing crisis to members struggling with addiction. Christina is passionate about improving connections and services for LGBT+ community members and hopes to help create a cohesive environment of unity between all those living in our area.

Inaugural Board and Exploratory Committee

  

Polestar wouldn't be where it was today if not for the hard work and dedication of its initial Exploratory Committee and Inaugural Board of Directors.  We are grateful for all they have done to lay the foundation.  

The Exploratory Committee Members were:

  • Eddie Grim

  • John Young

  • Rebekah Fuller

  • Ruth Spalding

  • Emily Fern

The Inaugural Board of Directors were:

  • Rebekah Fuller

  • John Young

  • Ruth Spalding

  • Jon Link

  • Caroline Gersch Leff

  • Michelle Peters

  • Bella Larabee