HWPI Volunteer Spotlight History
HWPI Volunteer Spotlight: Melissa Sundermann
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!
HWPI Volunteer Spotlight: Chris Wolfe
HWPI would like to introduce another incredible volunteer, Chris Wolf. Chris first became involved with HWPI when Karen McKeachie, Chris’ sister-in-law by marriage, was tragically killed on a training ride two years ago. Chris and his brother-in-law, Lew Kidder, started thinking about some way to create a worthwhile tribute to Karen that would benefit future generations. While Chris’ involvement with HWPI began as a tribute to Karen, it has turned into a real passion for him. He has been instrumental in helping HWPI develop relationships in the community and with donors. His unique talent in working behind the scenes to share and garner support for our vision to develop the B2B has been invaluable. In addition to this great contribution, Chis has helped lead the planning for our donor appreciation event and has served as the highly engaging emcee at this event for the past two years.
When not volunteering for HWPI, the retired corporate lawyer spends the winters enjoying his five-year-old granddaughter in Austin, Texas. Chris enjoys being outside, hiking, biking, swimming, and running in the warmer months and skiing in the winter. He and his wife, Linda Kidder, enjoy travel, especially travel that has physical activity required. They went on a six-week adventure travel trip in New Zealand and a two-week cycling trip in the San Juan Islands earlier this year. They have also enjoyed many bicycle adventures in Spain, France, and Italy over the years.
Chris believes that the trail will become one of the most appreciated amenities in Washtenaw County for residents and visitors. When the Border-to-Border Trail is completed, it will be because visionary people like Chris Wolfe were willing to pitch in. It really does take a village to build a trail. Thank you Chris!
HWPI Volunteer Spotlight: Kathryn Beauchamp
HWPI was very fortunate to have a fabulous volunteer intern this summer, Kathryn Beauchamp. Kathryn is currently an Environmental Studies and Sustainability major at Michigan State University, and a Chelsea native. She is an avid runner and hiker, with a passion for trails.
Over the summer, Kathryn assisted in the HWPI office with everything from social media outreach to research to general office support. She was most helpful working at community events, including the Tri Goddess Tri and the Oberun. Kathryn’s willingness to jump in and try something new, her positive attitude, and her work ethic were great assets to the HWPI team during our busiest season.
When asked what motivated her to volunteer with HWPI, Kathryn said, “I love working on a project that is so beneficial to our community. It’s really rewarding to see the great progress on the B2B. I feel fortunate to have worked with HWPI and learned from so many amazing people. I can’t wait to start using the trail!”
Thanks to Kathryn for her great contribution to HWPI!
HWPI Volunteer Spotlight: Rob Mahan
As one of the original founders of HWPI, Rob helped kick off the very first meeting of the group in November of 2014, at Aberdeen Bike and Outdoors, and he has not stopped supporting our efforts to build the trail since!
In HWPI’s early days Rob wore many different hats as a volunteer, to say the least. He served as HWPI’s Supporters Coordinator along with his wife Linda, who coordinated public events. Rob also acted as merchandise manager, website developer, social media guru, and newsletter publisher. As the scope of HWPI’s mission has grown, Rob is now focusing on providing technology support for HWPI, including website management, newsletter publishing, email and file management, and perhaps most importantly for the HWPI staff, key troubleshooter and problem solver for the organization’s IT challenges. Rob’s behind-the-scenes role is critical to HWPI’s success, and to our ability to support trail construction.
When asked about his motivation behind his volunteer efforts, Rob said, “A robust network of non-motorized trails will provide county residents of all ages with safe opportunities to be healthy, active, and connected with one another. Accessible trails have a positive impact on property values. Businesses in communities connected by trails will see enhanced revenues. Once completed, The Loop, forty-four miles of contiguous trail through Washtenaw and neighboring counties, will attract events and participants from near and far. I am excited to play a small part in providing safe trails that will be enjoyed by neighbors and visitors now, and for generations to come.”
Regarding his role a dedicated volunteer, Rob shared, “Volunteering with HWPI has afforded me the wonderful opportunity to work with and get to know many passionate and talented people. I’m looking forward to sharing the completed Border-to-Border Trail with each and every one of them, and soon!”
Thanks to Rob for his incredible dedication to HWPI for many years. He is truly changing the landscape of our community!
HWPI Volunteer Spotlight: Susie Paisley
Susie Paisley, a friend of Karen McKeachie, wants to do whatever she can to help complete the B2B and honor Karen’s legacy. Susie is an avid runner, all-around athlete, compassionate soul, and a whiz with spreadsheets and numbers. She has turned her CFO skills and a roll-up-your-sleeves attitude toward supporting HWPI and the B2B by serving on the HWPI Executive Committee as Treasurer. She is also a regular volunteer at HWPI events.
When talking with Susie about why she loves to be involved with HWPI, she shared multiple times that people involved in the project have energized her and made her so proud to be a part of the mission. THANK YOU, Susie, and all of our volunteers and supporters, who generously give their time, passion, expertise, and money so that our communities will have this amazing resource for years to come.
Stay tuned for future Volunteer Spotlights. There are many talented people involved in this project!