Anthony and Edmark Join Community Foundation Board of Trustees

Anthony and Edmark Join Community Foundation Board of Trustees

The Foundation is pleased to welcome Gail Anthony and Shannon Edmark to its Board of Trustees.

Gail Anthony joins the board as an honorary trustee. Anthony served as CEO of the Community Foundation for eight years, retiring in December 2020. She has served the Marquette County community for more than four decades through her work in finance, higher education, hospitality and philanthropy in a variety
of positions.
Gail’s tenure in the Community Foundation included growing its assets, expanding its grant programs, and developing a professional staff to further its mission and impact. Anthony said, “It is truly an honor to join the CFMC Board as an honorary member! I’m glad to help promote the incredible work of the Foundation in our community!”

Shannon Edmark, a longtime resident of Ishpeming, will also serve as a trustee. Edmark helpedstart the WIC program at the Marquette County Health Department, where she worked for eight years before making the decision to be a stay-at-home mom to raise her three sons. “During that time, I realized the importance and satisfaction of giving back to the community that has given my family so much,” Edmark said. Her contributions to the community included volunteering at her sons’ schools, the Westwood High School Booster Club and at Christ The King Lutheran Church. Edmark added, “I love working with the youth and community on the west end of Marquette County. I first served on
the Greater Ishpeming Area Community Fund Board in February of 2001, and I have been the Ishpeming Fund’s YAC (Youth Advisory Council) advisor since October of 2002. I look forward to working with the Community Foundation of Marquette County Board and staff and supporting them as we address the needs of our community and help the community invest in the future of Marquette County.”
Zosia Eppensteiner, Community Foundation CEO said, “We are thrilled to have Gail and Shannon join the Board of Trustees. They are both great advocates for their communities, especially youth in philanthropy.  Both Shannon and Gail also bring a strong commitment to community service along with a deep understanding of the Community Foundation’s work.”

Anthony and Edmark Join Community Foundation Board of Trustees

Eslinger and Gonstead join Board of Trustees

The Community Foundation of Marquette County is honored to announce that Robert Eslinger and Marcia Gonstead have joined its Board of Trustees for three-year terms.

Eslinger recently retired from Northern Michigan University where he served as the Dean of the College of Technology and Occupational Sciences, Associate Vice President for Workforce and Economic Development, and co-founded the idea incubator Invent@NMU. He has been active in the Marquette County and Upper Peninsula workforce and economic development issues for more than two decades.

“I am passionate about our community and the Upper Peninsula, and I know firsthand how non-profit organizations together with public and private institutions contribute to community development,” Eslinger said. “We’re in this together.”


Gonstead has been an active volunteer in the Upper Peninsula for more than 20 years, and has served on the boards of the Noquemanon Trail Network and the Yellow Dog Watershed, and on the marketing committee of the Big Bay Stewardship Council. She and her husband Sven launched the Big Bay summer concert series in 2018 in Powell Township. She also devotes her time to the Big Bay Fall Fest, the Big Bay Pathway, the Honey Bear Classic, and other causes and organizations.

“After years of serving on boards and volunteering one realizes the vast web of resources needed by each and every organization.” Gonstead said. “I am honored to have a seat on the Foundation Board of Trustees that brings those resources together because ‘together’ is the way we can make the most impact.”

Community Foundation of Marquette County Announces New Trustees

Community Foundation of Marquette County Announces New Trustees

Mark Canale and Maura Davenport were recently appointed to serve three-year terms on the Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation of Marquette County. The board serves on a volunteer basis as the legal entity of the Foundation. Both Canale and Davenport previously served on the Board of Trustees and are past board chairs.

Mark Canale was born and raised in Marquette. He is a 1975 graduate of Marquette Senior High School, attended Northern Michigan University and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science. He has been serving on the Embers Credit Union board of directors since 1995 where he was past board chair for over 12 years.  He has been actively involved with numerous other organizations including serving on the State of Michigan Board of Examiners in Mortuary Science, United Way of Marquette County board of directors, Lake Superior Life Care and Hospice board of directors, member and past president of the Marquette West Rotary Club, and a member of the Knights of Columbus.

“I’m very glad to be affiliated once again with the Community Foundation of Marquette County because of the significant impact they bring, bettering the lives of so many individuals and groups throughout all of Marquette County.” Canale said.

Maura Davenport is known throughout Marquette County as a tireless volunteer and advocate. She currently serves on the grants committee for the Community Foundation and is chair of the board of directors of the Superior Watershed Partnership and Land Conservancy. She previously served as a trustee of the Marquette County History Museum, now Marquette Regional History Center.  She volunteers for the Citizen’s Advisory Committee for Presque Isle, St. Vincent DePaul, Room at the Inn and St. Michael Church. Davenport has led efforts with several environmental initiatives in Marquette County, including the “red bucket” program with the Superior Watershed Partnership to help prevent cigarette butts from polluting Lake Superior. Working with Emily Whitaker of the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, Davenport also helped establish and expand the popular household battery recycling program in Marquette.

“It is an honor to be nominated to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation of Marquette County.  I look forward to working with the staff and board members to grow the endowed funds, to assist with grants and scholarships, and mostly, to meet whatever community needs that might arise.” Davenport said.

Community Foundation of Marquette County Promotes Zosia Eppensteiner to CEO

Community Foundation of Marquette County Promotes Zosia Eppensteiner to CEO

The Community Foundation of Marquette County, the $19 million community foundation helping people invest in the future of Marquette County, announces the promotion of Zosia Eppensteiner to CEO effective January 1, 2021. Eppensteiner has been with the Community Foundation for over seven years, serving as Director of Finance and Administration since 2015.

Tom Vear, Chair of the Community Foundation of Marquette County Board of Trustees, applauded the decision. “Zosia is an excellent choice for the next phase of growth as CEO. During these difficult times Zosia’s steady focus, compassion, and understanding of the needs of Marquette County make her the right captain to take the helm of the Community Foundation. The Board of Trustees look forward to working with Zosia and the great Community Foundation staff.”

Growing up in Gdansk, Poland, Eppensteiner holds a Math Education Master’s degree and a Sociology Master’s degree from the University of Gdansk. After relocating to Marquette in 2005, she worked in the banking industry for over eight years, including management positions at Wells Fargo Bank and First Merit Bank. From 2010 to 2017 she was a contingent instructor in the Mathematics and Computer Science department at Northern Michigan University. Eppensteiner is a 2019 graduate of the Lake Superior Leadership Academy and currently serves on the Marquette Food Co-op Board of Directors, where she is a member of the finance and nomination committees.

Eppensteiner will assume the role at a critical time, following the foundation’s recent establishment of the COVID-19 Community Response Fund in partnership with the United Way of Marquette County. This Fund has raised more than $160,000 and provided grants to over 50 nonprofits and charitable causes since March.  Phase two of this fund, supporting operating costs for Marquette County non-profits, is open through December 31. “The Community Foundation of Marquette County is a vital resource for non-profits in the county, particularly during uncertain times. Programs like the Community Response Fund demonstrate how over 30 years of grantmaking in Marquette County allows the Foundation to utilize our expertise and community involvement to respond quickly and effectively.” Eppensteiner said.

Eppensteiner will follow Gail Anthony, who led the foundation for eight years and announced her retirement earlier this year. The transition process has already begun to ensure a seamless onboarding and orientation process.  Anthony spoke highly of her successor: “Zosia has worked closely with me over the past seven years and her experience will be an incredible asset to this organization. Her dedication to our mission runs deep, and I look forward to the future of the Community Foundation under her leadership.”

As part of her CEO position, Eppensteiner will take on leadership roles with community projects, including the Community Environmental Monitoring Project (CEMP), a collaborative partnership between Superior Watershed Partnership, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and Eagle Mine to monitor environmental impacts at the mine. She will also work closely with donors and fund representatives to ensure responsible management and growth of over 160 endowed funds that connect donors to non-profits and charitable causes across Marquette County. Eppensteiner will also oversee staff and a volunteer committee that awards over $55,000 annually to area non-profits as part of the competitive grant program.

Looking to the future, Eppensteiner sees potential for growth despite the current challenges facing all non-profits. “I am deeply honored by this opportunity to serve Marquette County’s residents as the CEO of the Community Foundation, especially during these unprecedented times. My goal in leading this organization is to build on the achievements of the past 33 years. The Community Foundation of Marquette County will not only maintain its high level of standards in grantmaking but will continue to expand upon our impact through long-term, sustainable investment in the people and the future of Marquette County.”

Gail Anthony to Retire as CEO of the Community Foundation of Marquette County, New Fund Announced in Her Honor

Gail Anthony to Retire as CEO of the Community Foundation of Marquette County, New Fund Announced in Her Honor

After eight years of service as CEO of the Community Foundation of Marquette County, Gail Anthony is retiring December 31, 2020.

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve the communities of Marquette County,” said Anthony. “Getting to know and work with the individuals, businesses and nonprofits who share a passion for making our community better for everyone has been incredibly rewarding. I am proud of the work our team has accomplished during my time here, from our special initiatives to expanding our grant programs to developing a professional staff that will continue to deliver on our mission.”

During Anthony’s tenure, the Community Foundation has grown to almost $20 million in assets and has awarded over $6 million in grants and scholarships in Marquette County. These grants serve the community through 170 funds that support community improvement, health, education and scholarships, the environment, recreation, animal well-being, and arts and culture. Most recently, the Foundation, in collaboration with United Way of Marquette County, established the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund that has provided over $72,000 in immediate aid to Marquette County non-profits and charities.

The Community Foundation, under Anthony’s leadership, has led several community initiatives including the Community Environmental Monitoring Program (CEMP), with the Superior Watershed Partnership and Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, to conduct environmental monitoring related to mining operations at Eagle Mine. In collaboration with the Council on Michigan Foundations, the Foundation has led community growth and clean energy projects. The Our Common Future initiative brought communities together in Ishpeming and KI Sawyer to re-envision their futures. The Clean Energy initiative, with educational outreach and solar demonstration sites, has helped establish Marquette County as an ideal solar energy site despite a northern climate. These forward-thinking initiatives have established the Community Foundation as a trusted leader boldly addressing pressing community needs.

Anthony’s service extends beyond the Foundation with service on several local boards including Embers Credit Union and Salvation Army. Anthony has also been involved with the Zonta Club of Marquette, Marquette Beautification Committee, and the Climate Adaptation Task Force. She served on the Community Foundation board and Public Policy committee with the Council on Michigan Foundations.

Last week the Board of Trustees celebrated Anthony as part of the virtual annual meeting, where they announced the establishment of the Gail Anthony Endowment Fund. The fund is supported by the Board of Trustees, affiliate committees, local business partners, nonprofits and individual friends and family to recognize Anthony’s years of service to Marquette County and the Foundation. The fund will support unrestricted grantmaking in Marquette County in perpetuity.

Board of Trustees Chair Anne Giroux said, “On behalf of the Board of Trustees I want to thank Gail Anthony for her leadership for the past eight years. Her genuine compassion for this community and the people in it has energized our Board of Trustees, inspired our donors and engaged the community. As a result of her leadership, the Foundation has grown in so many ways and the people of Marquette County are the true beneficiaries. Gail has built a strong team that I am confident will foster continued growth. We all wish her the very best in her retirement.”

Anthony will remain in her position through the end of 2020 to support the transition to new leadership. She plans to stay in Marquette County with her family after retirement.