Leadership Articles

About Us – Articles about the Friends’ leadership.

New challenges require new voices: Friends of the Apostle Islands welcomes new board members

New challenges require new voices: Friends of the Apostle Islands welcomes new board members

Friends of the Apostle Islands, the official nonprofit philanthropic partner of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, recently announced the selection of two new members to join its board of directors. “Friends is proud to announce the addition of both Neil Howk and Jess Nuutinen to our board,” Executive Director Jeff Rennicke recently said.Both new members bring with them deep connections to the Apostle Islands. Jess Nuutinen, currently a Vice President & Chief Operating Officer at Ashland’s Memorial Medical Center, has the islands woven deeply into her family history.“I have a family...

Friends organizations gather in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Friends organizations gather in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The autumn splendor and wispy fog of Great Smoky Mountains National Park may seem like a world away from the Apostle Islands, yet those Tennessee mountains were the backdrop for the recent fall 2022 Friends Alliance conference sponsored by the National Park Foundation.Nestled among the valleys of the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, Tennessee served as the site for the annual gathering that brought together over 200 people representing 84 organizations – from Alaska Geographic and the Alliance for Florida’s National Park to the Zion Forever Project – and an array of personnel from the National...

Stronger Together: The Lake Superior Summit

Stronger Together: The Lake Superior Summit

As remote and out of the way as some of our national parks can feel at times, the old adage still holds true: we are stronger together. In that spirit, a wide-ranging group of park superintendents and park partners staff came together for the Lake Superior Summit hosted by the National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation, the Red Cliff Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa, and the National Park Service. The gathering included representatives from Isle Royale National Park, Voyageurs National Park, Pipestone National Monument, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Grand Portage...

Change Begins Here: Friends Represented at the Leadership Institute

Change Begins Here: Friends Represented at the Leadership Institute

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world,” Margaret Mead once famously said. “Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” From April 24th to the 27th, our Executive Director Jeff Rennicke joined a small group of thoughtful, concerned leaders from Friends groups across the country at the first in-person gathering of the 2022-23 Leadership Institute in Portland, Oregon. Representatives from Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain, Virgin Islands, Acadia, Shenendoah, and Cabrillo National Moment were also in attendance.   A program of the National...

Erica Peterson’s legacy will live on!

Erica Peterson’s legacy will live on!

Beach walks, bog smells, night skies, and flower gardens Erica Peterson’s legacy will live on in many forms as she steps down after nearly eight years of guiding the Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Enjoy a ranger talk at the all-accessible amphitheater at Stockton Island. Inhale the sweet scent of the flower beds at the Michigan Island Lighthouse. Stroll through history along the Sand Island boardwalk. These classic Apostle Islands experiences and many more have one thing, or rather one person, in common: Erica Peterson. Recently, Friends of the Apostle Islands announced...

Leading the way: Friends Executive Director accepted into the National Park Foundation Leadership Institute Class of 2023

Leading the way: Friends Executive Director accepted into the National Park Foundation Leadership Institute Class of 2023

The National Park Foundation announced its selection of Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Executive Director Jeff Rennicke to join its Leadership Institute Class of 2023.  The Leadership Institute is, according to the National Park Foundation, "an intensive 15-month program designed to identify and support cohorts of leaders within national park partner organizations. More than a training program, the Institute is a professional and personal development experience that provides participants with a unique opportunity to understand and develop their leadership style, build...

A Year to Remember: A letter from the Executive Directors and the Friends 2021 Annual Report

A Year to Remember: A letter from the Executive Directors and the Friends 2021 Annual Report

Dear Friend of the Apostle Islands: Fifty years have gone by since the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore was officially designated, protected for all of us. With candle luminaries shining like stars on the beach, we lit up the night on September 26th (our Founder’s Day at the Park) to celebrate and commemorate this important milestone. Anniversaries are a time to reflect and to look ahead. As we put a ribbon on our 50th anniversary year, we’ve celebrated history through our “Where in the Park is Neil?” and “Lakeshore Logbook” series, our “History Mystery” figures, and our “Sense of...

Watch now: Friends receives 2021 Lake Superior Magazine Achievement Award Tuesday in Bayfield

Watch now: Friends receives 2021 Lake Superior Magazine Achievement Award Tuesday in Bayfield

What a beautiful day to celebrate the work of the Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The Lake Superior Achievement Award has honored artists, authors, photographers, government agencies, museums, tribal governments, and now Friends of the Apostle Islands. Konnie LeMay, publisher of Lake Superior Magazine, presented the award on a perfect November afternoon in Bayfield, on Tuesday, November 9th, with the islands and the lake in the background.Earlier coverage (News Release) The Friends of the Apostles Islands National Lakeshore based in Bayfield, Wisconsin, has achieved many...

Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore announces new board of directors co-chair

Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore announces new board of directors co-chair

Bayfield, Wis. – Anniversaries are a time to honor the past and prepare for the future. As the Friends of the Apostle Island National Lakeshore wraps up the park’s 50th anniversary year, the organization is pleased to announce the appointment of a new co-chair of its board of directors, Kelley Linehan. Linehan is now working alongside Erica Peterson, who has been chair since 2014, and will take over the chair position in February 2022. Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is the officially recognized philanthropic partner of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Linehan is no...

Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore honored with 2021 Achievement Award

Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore honored with 2021 Achievement Award

For “contributing significantly to the well-being of Lake Superior and its peoples,” Lake Superior Magazine awarded its 2021 Achievement Award to Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Magazine Editor Konnie LeMay writes in the November 2021 issue, “The Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore provides a can-do role model for others, and even more, it has connected a national treasure to its local community in a way that energizes commitments and communication.” The award comes as the Friends wraps up the 50th Anniversary celebration for the National Lakeshore, at a time...