Board of Directors & Officers
Karen McCarthy, Chair, is a longtime educator and freelance writer. Her Unitarian Universalist faith calls her to work for compassion and justice. Dann’s House is named for Karen’s brother Dann McCarthy, who suffered from homelessness and alcohol use disorder, yet was still a beloved and positively contributing member of the community.
Captain Jeff O’Brien, Vice-Chair, has served on the Traverse City Police force since 1991 and has been Chief of Police since 2015. Chief O’Brien is committed to finding solutions for people in the community who are experiencing homelessness and suffering from addictions.
Brenda Bartz, Secretary, was born and raised in Traverse City. Her nursing career at Munson Medical Center spanned nearly 40 years. Brenda has volunteered at Dann’s House since 2014. She has heard the residents’ stories, felt their pain, and witnessed their accomplishments when housed in a safe environment.
Jennifer Bowling is a Doctorate-Prepared Nurse Practitioner who spent 20 years at Munson Medical Center before beginning to practice at Traverse Health Clinic, where she sees the tremendous health benefits of supportive housing and harm reduction on vulnerable people.
Jim Carruthers is the Mayor of Traverse City, having served the City on its Commission for 10 years. He has participated on numerous nonprofit boards and commissions and has worked for the Regional Land Conservancy, HIV/AIDS Wellness Networks, and Planned Parenthood. Social Justice is important to Jim and he supports people with life challenges, helping them work to overcome them.
Chip Cieslinski is the CFO of Catholic Human Charities in Traverse City, which provides “hope-filled social, emotional and spiritual support to all people.” He is dedicated to helping people to find housing and the supports they need to restore their hope and improve their lives.
Jane Hayes, LMSW, ACSW, has worked in the substance abuse and mental health profession for more than 30 years, and taught Social Work at Grand Valley State University. She has served on the Boards of Great Lakes Community Health and Traverse City Area Public Schools.
Harry Hubbell is a co-founder of Safe Harbor Grand Traverse, a community organization that provides food and housing during the winter to people in the area who are experiencing homelessness.