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. 


Erica Briggs, PhD
Executive Director (outgoing)

Erica has served as Scenic Michigan's Executive Director since January 2018. She will continue to serve  in a limited capacity through the end of 2021 to assist with a smooth Executive Director transition.  She brings to Scenic Michigan over fifteen years of experience in nonprofit management, urban planning, transportation policy, and public administration. She recently completed her PhD in Political Science from Michigan State University where her research focused on regional transportation policy. She is passionate about building and preserving beautiful, sustainable public spaces. 

Jim Lagowski
Board 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. 

Peter Letzmann
Board Vice 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 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.  

David Betts
Board Secretary

David worked in urban design, city planning, and community development for 30+ years for the City of Raleigh, North Carolina. In 2006, following retirement, he moved back to Michigan and worked as volunteer in local governments in the Ann Arbor area before moving to East Lansing in 2010. Unable to choose between the beauty of the lower and upper peninsula, he purchased a house in Hessel in 2016 where he is a staunch advocate for enhancing the M-134 Scenic Byway. 

Gerald Fischer
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. 

Pamela Frucci
Board Member

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. 

Sarah Mills, PhD
Board Member

Sarah is a Senior Project Manager at the U-M Ford School of Public Policy Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) and at the Graham Sustainability Institute, where she manages the university’s partnership with the Michigan Office of Climate and Energy. At CLOSUP she has also managed for the National Surveys on Energy and Environment (NSEE) and the Center’s Energy and Environmental Policy Initiative.  One of her primary areas of research is how renewable energy development impacts rural communities. 

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.

Susan Topol
Board Member

Susan joined the board in 2018 and provides Scenic Michigan guidance on their marketing and outreach activities. Before retiring in 2015, she was a marketing and communications professional for over 32 years at the University of Michigan. A lifelong Michigander, Susan is proud to support Scenic Michigan’s mission to preserve and protect our beautiful state for her children, grandchildren, and generations to come. 

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.