Jake Parcell, PhD
Executive Director

Jake comes to Scenic Michigan by way of Wayne County, where he also serves as the Deputy Director of the Wayne County Land Bank. Formerly, Jake was a Community Analyst in the City of East Lansing and a Planner in the City of Flint. Jake is a proud graduate of Michigan State University, where he received his Master’s and Doctorate in Urban and Regional Planning. 


Peter Letzmann
Board President

Peter has been legal advocate for good government for over 50 years.  He served as the municipal attorney for 17 years in Troy, Michigan and now serves as consultant assisting local governments to work legally, better, and together. He joined the board of Scenic Michigan to help protect and foster the ecology, beauty and economy of the Great Lakes and Michigan.

Jim Lagowski
Board Vice President

Jim is a mechanical engineer who spent most of his professional life working in the energy industry, before transitioning to a career in planning, marketing, and then new business attraction for the State of Michigan. More than 20 years as a Township planning commissioner and City Council member led him to Scenic Michigan. 

Jim Siegel
Board Treasurer

Jim is the 4th generation owner of Siegel Jewelers in Grand Rapids.   When Jim is not at work he is either outside doing every activity imaginable (biking and skiing are particular favorites) or volunteering for a long list of organizations.  

Pamela Frucci
Board Secretary

As one of the founders of Scenic Michigan and a lifelong foe of commercial billboards, Pam, resident of Grosse Ile in southern Michigan continues to fight for the day when Michigan is truly scenic as she has observed while traveling to four billboard-free states; Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, and Vermont. Pam also serves on the board of the Michigan Garden Club and is the recent author of a children's book published with one of her granddaughters. 

Gerald Fisher
Board Member

In 2019, Jerry retired from WMU-Cooley Law School where he taught Property, Secured Transactions, Constitutional Law, Zoning and Land Use Law, and State and Local Government Law. Prior to teaching, he  was a senior partner and manager of the Municipal Practice Group and served as general counsel for cities, villages and townships in southeast Michigan and as special counsel for governmental entities throughout Michigan. 

Mel Matchett
Board Member

Mel dedicated his career to advancing good land use policies. He recently retired from the MSU Extension as Regional Director after 25 years of service. Before that he worked as a vocational agricultural teacher for 10 years. Today he continues to advocate for good policies on the Scenic Michigan board. He lives in Elk Rapids, with his wife Judy, where he is an active volunteer with Meals on Wheels,  Rotary International, and First Presbyterian Church of Elk Rapids.   He also provides volunteer labor for the Matchett Family Sheep Farm in Charlevoix and loves spending time with his 11 grandchildren.

Ross Gavin
Board Member

Ross Gavin joined the Michigan Environmental Council as the Urban Land Use and Infrastructure Policy Director in May 2022 after serving as a deputy treasurer for legislative and legal affairs in the Oakland County Treasurer's Office. There, he worked with elected officials, nonprofits, businesses, faith-based organizations and taxpayers to assess financial situations and help prevent property tax foreclosures. He also analyzed, reviewed and drafted state and county legislation on Oakland treasury issues. Ross is still closely connected to the Berkley area. He serves as a councilmember of the City of Berkley, as a board member of the Oakland Conservation District, as a volunteer for the North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy and as a member of the Rogers Elementary PTA. He rounds out his experiences with bachelor's degrees in political science and history and concentrations in environmental studies and public policy from Albion College. He then went on to receive his master's in political science and his juris doctorate from Wayne State University.

Anne Vaara
Board Member

Anne Vaara is the Chief Deputy for the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner. She is the former executive director of the Clinton River Watershed Council. She has been the recipient of many awards including the 2014 Michigan Green Hall of Fame Award and the 2015 finalist for Crain's non-profit of the year. Anne has an extensive background in environmental land use planning, natural resource assessment and preservation, stormwater and watershed management and environmental ordinance development. She received her bachelor's degree in horticulture and a master's degree in environmental science and wetland ecology from Michigan State University and studied Regional  Planning at Eastern Michigan University. She is the former Chair of the Royal Oak Planning Commission and former co-Chair of the Great Lakes Stormwater Collaborative.

Larry Kiesling
Board Member

Larry served as the Planning Director for the City of Troy for 32 years, retiring in 2001, where he worked to keep Troy billboard-free. He has been happily married to his wife Betty for 54 years. 

A. David Baumhart
Board Member
Mark Harwood
Board Member