Tanya is a lifelong resident of Muskegon County and lives in Whitehall, in her childhood home. She attended Muskegon Community College and Grand Valley State College, graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree. After teaching first grade for several years, she started a concerned citizen group to focus on cleaning up pollution in her hometown, and in 1991, was hired as Michigan director of the Lake Michigan Federation. She opened an office in downtown Muskegon with a focus on water quality and lakeshore issues, including helping to launch local advisory groups for White Lake and Muskegon Lake, both Great Lakes toxic hotspots, that would work for decades with the state and federal government on environmental restoration. White Lake was removed from the hotspot list in 2015 and Muskegon Lake is due in several years. As a self-employed consultant, Tanya assisted numerous local, state, and Great Lakes environmental organizations with research, writing, grant proposals, and education and outreach efforts.
Tanya was a Whitehall City Council member for three terms, 12 years, and served for 10 years on the city’s planning commission and led the city’s 150 th anniversary celebration. She also founded a nature walks program and local green network. Tanya was a freelance columnist for several area newspapers, an editor for technical manuals and books, and a contributor to the Muskegon Channel. In 2018, she was a candidate for state representative.
Tanya enjoys small town life and likes reading, writing, creating art, riding her electric bike, Evie, and kayaking. She spends time with friends, her dad, adult children, and three grandsons. Her dogs, Bella and Barney, take her on two walks every day. She was delighted to be hired in February 2020 to assist WMEAC in expanding its lakeshore focus, and will work on environmental education, water protection, and climate action.