Board members of the Thunder Bay Folk Society in Alpena, Michigan.
A Nurse Midwife by profession, Bonnie is a founding member of the society. She sings in a local band and loves the music festival experience. “My first festival was Wheatland in 1979. Ever since, my summer vacations have been planned around great festivals like Bliss and Hiawatha. My vision is to bring a first class festival experience to Northeast Michigan and introduce people from around the state to Alpena’s natural beauty, friendliness, and opportunities.”
I was elected on the Board in 2018 and in 2019 I was elected as Vice-President. My love for music and volunteering is what drew me to be involved with the Folk Society. Growing up music was playing in the house 24/7, which helped feed my love for music.
In 2015 I graduated from Northwood University with a Dual Bachelor’s in Accounting and Business Management. Yes, like mother, like daughter. I work as a Accounting Assistant at a local business. I have a 1000lb fur baby named Teak, who is a Paint Quarter Horse.
I look forward to seeing what unfolds during my time on the board.
My name is Peggy Schmidt and I was elected to be the treasurer for the Thunder Bay Folk Society in January, 2018.
I graduated in 2011 with a Dual Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Accounting. I have been working at the CPA firm of Straley, Lamp & Kraenzlein, PC for seven years.
I have been married for 30 years to Dennis Schmidt and we have three grown children, Erika, Garret, and Andrea, whom is also a board member.
Tina has been hosting workshops at our festival for the past three years. She started with a "Hawaiian Ukulele" workshop 2016, gave a "Voice Workshop" in 2017, and this past year did a “I Sing, You Sing” workshop for kids. She’s a music teacher, a musician, and fun to work with. She decided to get more involved and has jumped right in with her sleeves rolled up, ready to work. As Secretary, she’s in the thick of the society’s activities, day-to-day, year-around, and especially at festival time.
A retired utility forester and certified arborist, Lee is well known on the local music scene as an accomplished singer/songwriter. His interest in folk music goes way back. “I started a folk group in high school. We called ourselves the Back Porch Singers. We played hootenannies." Lee is a founding member and tireless worker for the society. His enthusiasm is contagious; "I’ve been associated with these wonderful people at TBFS since the beginning. My goal is to assist in any way I can to help make this organization grow and be part of the best music festival on the US 23 Historical Corridor.”
Joan Prentice is the owner of Health Connections at the corner of Chisholm and 1st St. in Alpena. She is a naturopathic doctor and Reiki master. She has been an active supporter of the society for over 2 years, coordinated food donations and fed over 100 musicians the best food they'd had in months at the 2015 and 2016 festival.
As a 78 year young man I have lived a full life. Producer/Director in local television, on air personality for kids show, produced fireworks shows across the country, managed an insurance office then 15 years in Law Enforcement. Through it all I have enjoyed music, Country/Gospel being my favorite. I bought a guitar in 1955 which I still have and play. Most recently I have enjoyed being part of Picking For People, a group founded by, now deceased, pastor Jack Williams. “Roadkill” Jack became my best friend and mentor. I’m married, have 5 children, and live in Alpena.
Elected to the board at our 2019 Annual Meeting, Don had been helping out at the festival and with other society activities like fundraising and special events for years. The last few years he’s been involved in performer hospitality. Don is one of the last people to leave the tractor grounds on Sunday afternoon when everything is finally all cleaned up and put away for the season. It’s usually dusk when all the work is done.
Jim Bartz, (Bonnie’s husband), has been helping with the festival in a major way since it’s beginning in 2013. He devotes countless hours to putting together all of our print material, designing and laying out the festival program, designing and making the signage at the festival, coming up with our ads, often our T-shirt design and works just about around the clock on festival weekend.
He has been fingerpicking the guitar since he was a pup and is a member of the local group, Wild Rose. He’s also a very talented songwriter. He is indispensable to the Society, and we are so glad to have him “come on board”.