Two west Michigan business leaders have joined the board of directors of the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy (SWMLC) – Todd Sanford, CEO and owner, Sanford Financial Services, in Portage, and Brian Bosgraaf, president and designer, Cottage Home, Inc. in Holland.
“We are extremely pleased that Brian and Todd have joined our board of directors,” said C. Larry Edris, SWMLC board president. “Their varied expertise and commitment to land protection is a good fit with our organization. They will both be invaluable in helping us as we move forward with our partnerships and aggressive conservation plans in 2009 and beyond.”
Todd Sanford, whose business is a division of Raymond James, has been a certified financial planner since 1991. He was named to the Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors in the U.S. in 2007 and 2008. Among his myriad of skills, he brings leadership and fund-raising experience. Sanford currently serves on the board of directors for Junior Achievement and was president of Kalamazoo In Bloom in 2007 and 2008. Previous board experience includes the Greater Kalamazoo United Way and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. He is a former Rotarian and served as past president of the Kalamazoo Sunrise Club. Sanford’s environmental activities have included clean-up of Portage Creek and working with the native Belize population on crop sustainability.
Said Sanford, “My love for the outdoors and natural undisturbed land led me to join the board of directors of SWMLC, and I am very pleased to have been elected. I am passionate about the future viability of our planet for my children and future grandchildren.”
Brian Bosgraaf – a Certified Green Professional through the National Association of Home Builders – is involved in Green Built Michigan and the U.S. Green Building Council. Concurrently, Cottage Home has been involved in green building since its inception in 2000, and its homes and developments are designed to reflect Bosgraaf’s environmental concerns. Each home is designed and constructed to be energy efficient and sustainable. Bosgraaf received the Saugatuck/Douglas Historical Society Heritage Preservation Award for New Construction in 2008 and is a past recipient of the Pacesetter Award. Bosgraaf is well-versed in state environmental issues such as dunes and high-risk erosion, and in land issues such as zoning. Previous board experience includes Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity where he served as president, both the National and Michigan Association of Home Builders, as well as many education and Christian community organizations. Bosgraaf is a native and lifelong resident of west Michigan.
Said Bosgraaf, “I am delighted to be able to serve on the SWMLC board of directors. My passion about the lakeshore land and the environment inspires me to help preserve this fantastic natural resource that Michigan has been blessed with.”
To learn more about SWMLC, call the SWMLC office at (269) 324-1600 or visit their web site at www.SWMLC.org.
SWMLC serves the nine counties of southwest Michigan, and has protected over 7,500 acres since its inception as an all-volunteer organization in 1991. The Conservancy currently has six staff and 170 active volunteers and is supported by 1,200 household memberships.
SWMLC’s partnerships include collaborative work with other land conservancies along the eastern Lake Michigan shoreline as part of the Michigan Dune Alliance, working with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect federally endangered species, working with local governments to protect publicly accessible open space, and working with the Michigan Stewardship Network to promote stewardship activities. SWMLC is also working to protect area watersheds, including the Paw Paw River Watershed, Black River Watershed, Rocky River Watershed, and Prairieville Creek Watershed.