HWPI Volunteer Spotlight


HWPI Volunteer Spotlight: Peter and Patti Feeney
January, 2019

Peter and Patti Feeney

HWPI is very pleased to introduce two amazing volunteers, Peter and Patti Feeney. This couple has made immeasurable contributions to HWPI and the B2B over the last few years. Their interest in building local trails began while biking in Colorado. They were impressed by the fabulous trails and paths around the country and wanted to bring them to Washtenaw County. While out on a western trail, Patti suggested, ‘Somebody should build trails like this in Michigan.’ That somebody soon included both Peter and Patti when they joined the effort led by Jeff Hardcastle, Tim Eder and a team of others who began exploring how to bring trails to Chelsea.

While they are quick to downplay their efforts, both have made a huge impact. Peter has played a critical role in fundraising, serves on HWPI’s Board of Directors and has been instrumental in engaging other leaders in our work. Patti recently became immersed the development of an Interpretative Master Plan (IMP) for the B2B. She has lent her creative perspective to develop interpretive opportunities and design features across the B2B. All of these activities, combined with sponsorship of the trail, has advanced the trail project.

According to Peter:

“This is already a fantastic area to live and raise a family. The B2B will raise the areas visibility and really help attract young families to a community with great schools, arts and recreation. Two of the largest state recreation areas are right on our doorstep. They have been our playground for years and we can now access them by the B2B. What a great place to live!”

Community support is in the Feeneys’ DNA. In addition to volunteering with HWPI, they provide leadership to several community organizations and manage a local insurance provider, Chelsea Rhone. Thank you, Peter and Patti, for bringing your time and talent to HWPI. You are truly helping bring active, healthy lifestyles to our community!


HWPI Volunteer Spotlight: Tim Eder
December, 2018

Tim Eder

HWPI is pleased to introduce another remarkable volunteer, Tim Eder. Tim’s community leadership is longstanding. He recently played a primary role in the effort to “deny the mine” in Lyndon Township, through the Friends of Chelsea and Lyndon Township group. After helping successfully stop the development of the gravel mine, Tim and The Friends group chose to use their energy and enthusiasm for other constructive community efforts. The group saw the beautiful B2B segment in Dexter and were inspired to take on bringing recreational trails to Chelsea as their next mission.

The HWPI board then formed in late 2014, with Tim as a founding member. He currently serves as the Vice Chair. His contributions to the organization and the B2B success have been many, including providing leadership on the Executive Committee of the Board and assisting with fundraising. His wealth of nonprofit experience is an asset to HWPI, as we grow as an organization and partner with governmental agencies.

Tim has spent most of his professional career focused on the preservation and conservation of the Great Lakes. He currently works at the Mott Foundation, managing a grantmaking portfolio that addresses freshwater challenges. When not working or volunteering, Tim enjoys spending free time with family and friends at his favorite places on the lakes: A Lake Michigan beach in Sturgeon Bay during the summer; and the storm-tossed coast of Lake Superior, north of Marquette, during the winter.

Tim is married and has two children. He is quick to acknowledge the support of his family, and identifies his children a key reason for his commitment to the environment and the quality of life in our region. When asked why he devotes his time to HWPI, Tim responded, “I believe in service and being a part of the HWPI Board is one way that I can help shape our community. Completing the B2B will be transformative and I am thrilled to be a part of that effort.” Thank you Tim, for your years of service to HWPI and the B2B! Your involvement has truly made an impact.


HWPI Volunteer Spotlight: Melissa Sundermann
November, 2018

Melissa Sundermann with Lew Kidder

HWPI would like to introduce another amazing volunteer, Melissa Sundermann. As longtime a friend and training partner of Karen McKeachie and Lew Kidder, Melissa jumped into action upon Karen’s passing in 2016. When Lew announced that Karen’s Legacy project would be creating safe non-motorized trails, she was immediately on board with doing anything and everything to tell Karen’s story and help build Karen’s Trail.

Melissa is very active with HWPI, serving as a Board Member, a committee member for our Donor Appreciation Reception, and volunteers at several events throughout the year. On any given day, you can find her wearing a Karen’s Trail bracelet or hairband, and telling Karen’s story.

When Melissa is not working in her medical practice or volunteering for HWPI, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family – running, biking, skiing, hiking and camping in yurts! When not participating in sports, you can find her watching her kids play soccer and dive off 10m platforms. Melissa considers herself a true blue Wolverine, despite having medical degree from MSU.

When asked why she volunteers with HWPI, Melissa said, “Each day I think of Karen and miss her in my life. Her death hit home regarding the need for safe pathways for bikers, runners and walkers. I know Karen would be so proud of this trail and the community that has come together around her legacy project.” Thank you Melissa for your extreme dedication to building the B2B. You contribution is truly making a difference in our community!


To see past honorees, please visit the HWPI Volunteer Spotlight History page.