• Serving Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse and Kalkaska Counties
March 17, 2022 Bigsupnorth

Big Brothers Big Sisters (Bigs) has developed a very strategic and intentional matrix to recruit needed talent to their Board of Directors and is thrilled to welcome two new Directors, Joe Quandt, partner at Kuhn Rogers, and Biz Ruskowski, Principal at Eastern Elementary School.

“I’ve benefited from the mentorship of many who I respect and admire and whose sound advice altered the course of my career,” said Biz Ruskowski. “I believe in Bigs’ mission and that all children have a desire to grow and learn. As a community, it is our role to help coach their journey and I am grateful to be able to support Bigs in this new role.”

With the addition of Joe and Biz, Bigs has a roster of 10 members on its Board, all who play an intricate role in ensuring the agency’s success and vision now and into the future, with a goal to serve an additional 50 children in 2022.

“We are honored to have such a dedicated Board of Directors advocating for children. Their commitment and dedication to our community’s children is more impactful each and every year, and I feel honored to work with these individuals,” said Cecilia Chesney, Chief Executive Officer. “The knowledge, expertise, and dedication they bring to the table is outstanding. I look to them often for advice and feedback, and their networks continue to strengthen and grow our program in so many areas.”

Returning Board Members include Officers: Doug Kosch, President and owner of The Boathouse Restaurant; Kerry Kalbfleisch, Vice President and Director of Human Resources at Cherryland Electric Cooperative; Rob Mittelstaedt, Treasurer and partner at Shore Ventures, LLC; Tony Kuberski, Secretary and General Manager at Gourdie-Fraser; and Directors: Kevin Beaudoin, partner at Elemint Wealth Management; Mitchell Blue, Principal and Commercial Insurance Agent at Peterson McGregor; Maxwell Janis, President of Maxwell Medals and Awards; and Whitney Amann, Anchor at 9&10 News.

Biz Ruskowski is a Traverse City native and is currently the Principal at Eastern Elementary school. Biz spent her undergraduate years at Michigan State University studying Urban Planning and Socio-Economics the pursued a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction at Eastern Michigan University and is presently an Education Degree Specialist Candidate at Grand Valley State University. She has been in the education field for over 28 years, enjoys many outdoor activities, traveling with her husband Jerry to visit their two grown children and is a fierce advocate for Bigs.

Joe Quandt is a partner at the Traverse City law firm Kuhn Rogers, concentrating his practice primarily on business law, real estate development and environmental law. While attending law school, Joe interned at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which allowed him to gain a deep understanding of environmental compliance issues. Even before graduating, Joe was involved with regulatory enforcement actions through the state Attorney General’s office. He is the co-author of “The Michigan Environmental Law Desk Book”, has a significant publication history in industry publications and treatises and takes great pride in helping his clients find creative solutions to difficult legal matters. Joe enjoys spending time with his wife Christine, his two children, fishing, watching hockey and has been a great support to Bigs over the years offering his wisdom, advice and expertise.

Kris Hoxie
Marketing & Development Specialist