MEET THE HIAWATHA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Julie Foster-Lindquist, President
A few years back (1978), I moved to the Marquette area to attend NMU. It didn't take me long to fall in love with this beautiful area and I've lived here ever since! In 1979, I just happened to find the Hiawatha Music Festival taking place in Champion.
The whole experience was so enjoyable that I was immediately hooked and have been volunteering with HMC ever since. Over the years I've had the privilege to serve on the Board many times, as both President and Vice President. I've been Festival Coordinator, back when it was a lot simpler, worked with Artists in the Round, and have been in charge of getting the annual logo art on the posters, mugs, and Festival t-shirts.
I have met so many wonderful people, and made so man friends over the years and I feel truly blessed to be a a part of this great organization!
First Term through 2022
Sue Bertram, Vice President
As part of the founding group out of Deerton, MI, the Hiawatha Music Co-op has been a legacy passed on to my children and grandchildren. The greatest joy I have is seeing the future of true traditional music live on in the families who attend and volunteer each year.
I have served on the Board for multiple terms and in many capacities. I am active on the concert and events committee, as well as the strategic planning committee. During the Festival, I coordinate the Tokens and enjoy the year round music the Hiawatha Music Co-op works diligently to provide.
Second Term through 2022
Melinda Britton, Treasurer
From the time I was a little, music has been a source of joy and deep comfort in my life. As a toddler, I would stand on the pews belting from the top of my lungs in the small country church my grandparents attended. I can say that I never feel as alive, moved, or fully human as I do listening to live music (in addition to Hiawatha, my favorite concerts I have attended are Brandi Carlile and Jennifer Knapp).
Music is what ultimately brought me to meeting my partner, Phil, when I moved to the UP in 2004 to attend NMU. As a partner, parent, queer human, and owner of a local family-centered business (Doulas of Marquette), my focus and devotion are to amplifying other's voices, listening to stories, and creating community. Hiawatha is a collection of our stories, of families and friends, neighbors and new friends yet to make. As a board member, I will continue to help center sustainability, so that stories of Hiawatha are created for many generations to come.
Hiawatha to me is a love of music, family, and community. I am so thankful for the opportunity to give back to this organization who has, and continues, to give to us all.”
First Term through 2022
I have always had a few passions in my life that have continuously intertwined throughout my lifetime. My love for music. My love for event production. My love for travel, the outdoors and community. Hiawatha is all of that rolled into one.
My husband Jeff (a Marquette native) and myself (a Pacific Northwestern) moved to the UP in late 2012 and I found my love for the Hiawatha Music Festival that first summer here. My husband had gone to the festival when he was younger and from the first moment of taking our young daughter that first year and volunteering a few shifts, I was hooked. We finally started camping at the Festival, and I started inviting more and more friends (new and old) that hadn’t been before to come and experience this amazing weekend. Over the next couple years I continued to volunteer more in different areas at the festival and then started helping out pre-festival by connecting with local businesses to participate in the Festival’s Program Ads.
As an event planner to my core with a severe case of Wanderlust at all times, I wanted to contribute my skills to something I believed in. After growing up in a small town in Cottage Grove, Oregon I migrated to Sunny Southern California for college and continued to stay there spending many years in the Entertainment & Action Sports Industry helping to organize award shows like the Grammy Awards, American Music Awards, the Super Bowl Halftime Show to X Games, the US Open and an international skateboarding competition in South Africa. Those experiences gratefully took me all over the world, but in 2012 I found a place to call home in Marquette, Michigan. Stumbling across Hiawatha only a few weeks after moving here seemed to be in my stars.
There is such community in Hiawatha and it is such an incredible experience. It is history. It is family. It is friendships made over the years. It is something that I have been craving in my life and something that I want my children to be a part of for years to come. I’m so thankful to be a part of this organization and I want it to be sustainable for generations down the road. Music, through experiences, holds such power for people. I want everyone to be able to experience this very incredible family.
First Term through 2022
I am good at writing, at social media and perhaps most importantly, Fundraising. That is not to say that I have secret list of funders Hiawatha has never considered, or a lot of rich friends, but just that I've written lots of grant proposals and reviews more and I'm not shy about asking for support for organizations I believe in. I have been on both sides of the Board/Executive Director equation and believe strongly that an organization belongs to the Board, who represents its mission to the community, but that an Executive Director should generally not be micromanaged by the Board. I am generally calm and cheerful and a good person to have in a meeting, and I am also good making decisions, even hard ones, when decisions have to be made. And... I love Hiawatha!
First Term through 2023
Jenna Hartom, E-Board Member
I contribute to the success of the mission of Hiawatha by offering support through brainstorming, contributing to grant writing, and fundraising in order to maintain the operations of the festival. Since I have been a lifelong attendee and contributor through years of volunteer work, I understand some of what it takes to help keep the Festival running smoothly year after year. I have made it a priority to come back and volunteer each year because it is an exceptional event which has shaped and influenced me through childhood. I envision the festival continuing for decades to come, but I know that will only be possible through continued engagement across generations.
Second Term through 2025
I grew up around Escanaba, MI and my family has a strong connection to roots music. There are French-Canadian fiddlers and Swiss community band leaders in my ancestry. I was taught ukulele and guitar (and Hank Williams songs) by my grandfather who was an accomplished singer and songwriter. Many of my family members play music and I get together with them each November at camp to play old fiddle tunes and standards from the past. I started concentrating on writing and performing music for children in 2010 (when the oldest of my two boys was born), and was hired to perform in the Children's Area at the Festival that year. I have loved bringing kid-friendly acoustic music (and teaching ukulele) to the younger generation each year since. One of my favorite aspects of Hiawatha is the fact that it is very proactive at reaching younger folks and keeping the fire burning.
Second Term through 2025
I have been involved with Hiawatha for nearly 20 years, first as a Festival attendee, volunteer in the Main Stage area, Traffic team and Gate Ticket Tent. For many years, I was the Area Coordinator for the Festival Workshop tents. Most recently, I have been a part of the Concert and Event Committee.
In my professional life, I am the Director of the NMU Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center. As museum Director, I had the opportunity to develop and showcase a celebration of the history of the Hiawatha Music Co-op named “In the Pines, a History of the Hiawatha Music Festival” that was in full display at the Beaumier U.P Heritage Center in the fall of 2015 and traveled to several sites in the UP. I have collaborated with Hiawatha and other arts and music organizations to put on the Winter Roots Festival in Marquette.
You can also find me playing several instruments in the local Celtic/Irish band, The Knockabouts, having played many gigs for Hiawatha in recent years.
I feel I have a good understanding of the institution’s traditions and history, and also how we can move forward to attract newer members and attendees.
First Term through 2025
I’ve been a member of the Hiawatha Music Committee for a number of years. I started this work under Chuck Ganzert’s leadership, and I’m now finishing up my first year on the Board of Directors. What a wonderful year it’s been as the Festival has come roaring back into being! As a Professor of English at Northern Michigan University (NMU) since 2007 (focused on the works of Shakespeare), I’ve developed a real knack for fundraising in order to provide arts and cultural outreach for my students. I’ve led hundreds of NMU students on dozens and dozens of trips to see world-class drama and museums in cities from Minneapolis to Milwaukee; from Chicago to Stratford, Ontario; and from Stratford-upon-Avon to London, England. As we look ahead to Hiawatha Festival 2023, it’s clearer than ever to me that serving our town and region through the work of the Hiawatha Music Co-op remains a daily thrill.
First Term through 2025
The Executive positions were seated at the first 2022 Board Meeting on January 5, 2022
Your 2022 Board Members are:
- President – Julie Foster-Lindquist
- Vice President – Susan Bertram
- Treasurer – Melinda Britton
- Secretary – Currently Vacant
- Jeff Krebs
- Candice Blackstone-Larson
- Ann Fisher
- Jenna Hartom
- Daniel Truckey
- David Wood
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN SERVING ON OUR BOARD?
Here is our Board Job Description:
The Hiawatha Board is an active group! Some of the recent endeavors have been to develop and implement a long term strategic plan for the Co-op, re-ignite efforts to engage with other community groups to bring traditional music to the area, offer traditional music events year round, and engage volunteers in Committee work.
Please remember that you must have been a Music Co-op member for at least six months to serve on the board. An original $5 life membership can meet this requirement.
If you would like to put your name in nomination for one of the board positions open for election at the Annual Members Meeting, please come prepared to speak for about a minute to introduce yourself and share some of the information below during the meeting.
- Approx. length of membership and/or involvement with Hiawatha
- Areas of interest
- Areas of expertise
Our Board has 10 members. Board terms are three years.
A board member can serve two consecutive terms. At the conclusion of a second term, a Board member must pause for a period of one year before running for the Board again.
The board meets once a month. For the past several years, those meetings have been the first Wednesday evening of each month, although that could change based on members’ schedules.
Board members should not miss more than three consecutive meetings without providing a reason such as work, illness, etc. Board Members are encouraged to find an area of interest to work on for the Festival and for Committee Work.
STAY IN TOUCH! call us at 906-226-8575 or email us at email@example.com