Board of directors

Meet our Team

Gary Rayburn

I am retired from Central Michigan University as Finance Director for the College of Extended Learning. I brought neighbors on Riverview Drive together to discuss what could be done to clean up the Pine River. Helped organize the Healthy Pine River group and helped grow the membership from 12 people to over 300 area residents. I received the Petoskey Prize for Environmental Leadership from the Michigan Environmental Council in 2020. I am a member of the Healthy Pine River because we all need to stand up and act to save our river for future generations.  

Chuck Sandro

Chuck is a retired public-school superintendent and college adjunct educator. He and Lynn have been with HPR since its incorporation in 2015. Chuck is a board member and helps write grants for HPR. We strongly believe that as citizens, we must be better stewards of our environment for those that follow. 

Barbara Chovanec

Board member

I’m a longtime St. Louis resident who grew up on a family farm in Montcalm County, graduated from Alma College and now lives on the Pine.

Kayaking and fishing are loves of mine, and I care deeply about the river. We have this free, beautiful natural resource that’s easily accessible, but we can’t fully enjoy it.

I dream of a day when we can all use the river without worrying about safety and contamination.

Brittany Sommerville


Growing up as an Alma resident, the quality of the Pine River has been important to me for years. I majored in Environmental Science at Alma College to become a part of the solution to environmental degradation, especially in preserving and improving the environmental quality in our communities. I’m hopeful that while working with Healthy Pine River, I will be able to help improve the condition of the river for ourselves, our community, and future generations.  
I assumed the role of the first Director of Healthy Pine River. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from Alma College in 2020. I have worked for the Department of Natural Resources at Wilson State Park for the past four years. Currently, I am pursuing a degree in Accounting from Mid-Michigan College to tackle the administrative and economic aspects of environmentalism.  

Sue Joyce

Justin Barnaby, Mike Oberlitner and Dave Shepherd
Directors at Large

White abstract geometric artwork from Dresden, Germany

White abstract geometric artwork from Dresden, Germany