Rock of Ages Lighthouse Preservation Society

Meet Our Board and Staff

Board members and staff dedicate their efforts to help the Rock of Ages Light House Preservation Society realize its core mission. Their commitment of time and talent enables the organization to realize its mission to restore the Lighthouse as a monument to the skilled craftsmen who built it, and for all those who were stationed there.

David Gerth

David Gerth – Board Chair

David founded the Rock of Ages Lighthouse Preservation Society in 2008 and has been director and volunteer with the organization ever since.  David lives near Duluth, MN and loves everything about Isle Royale and Rock of Ages Lighthouse, especially the beauty, solitude, and rich history of the area. David is a building facility manager for the Duluth Public School District where he has worked for the last 15 years.  He directs the restoration of Rock of Ages Lighthouse and manages the organization.

Nathan Gerth

Nathan Gerth – Board Vice-Chair

Nathan has been a board member since 2008. He lives in Reno, Nevada and from a young age grew to love Lake Superior and the North Shore of Minnesota. He is a digital archivist for the University of Nevada Reno and has worked in the archival discipline since 2012. Nathan maintains the website and conducts historical research for the organization.

Charles Gerth

Charles Gerth – Board Treasurer

Chuck is one of the founding board members.  He has enjoyed volunteering a week at the lighthouse every summer since 2014.  Still calling the North Shore home, he currently lives in the St. Louis Missouri area and makes the trip to MN to enjoy the outdoors.  Chuck graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Industrial Technology.  Since 2004 he has been working as a foundry Process Specialist at Amsted Rail, specializing in the process control for the manufacture of large steel railroad components.  He enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and learning or experiencing the history of people and places.  He is a member of the American Foundry Society and currently serves on a committee to improve the Greensand Process for the industry.

Deb Winchell

Deb Winchell- Secretary

Deb grew up camping and swimming and on frigid Skaneateles Lake in upstate NY. As an adult, she moved her family to Minnesota in the early ‘90s and has kayaked many Superior locations since getting hooked on the sport in 1998. Her first Voyageur II trip past Rock of Ages left a lasting impression! She’s backpacked and kayaked Isle Royale and loved listening to the howl of wolf packs.

She retired from Cornell University where she was a student leadership facilitator and communications manager. Deb lives in Carlton, MN, and is grandmother to Inger and Wesley and is a freelance writer who has written her first children’s book—about Rock of Ages.

Jessica Gerth

Jessica Gerth – Board Member

Jessica is a founding board member.  She graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders and Sciences and a B.A. in Psychology.  She completed her Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology (SLP) in 2006 from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.  She currently works as a licensed SLP for Belleville Area Special Services Coop at Franklin Elementary School.  Jessica specializes in working with students with Autism to improve their communication and quality of life by using technology and practical lessons. She looks forward to the day when she gets a chance to spend time at Rock of Ages.  She enjoys traveling, reading, working on crafts and spending time with family.

Carne Andrews

Carne Andrews – Board Member

Carne is a first year volunteer and board member in 2017. From the moment she heard of the Rock of Ages Lighthouse restoration, she knew she wanted to be actively involved. Her love and appreciation of the Isle Royale National Park environment spans several decades. Her favorite activities include hiking, camping, paddling and birding in, around and on Lake Superior. She is a retired Nurse Practitioner living in Boulder Junction, WI. Being involved in ROALPS has provided an opportunity to be more involved with National Park Service, the greater Isle Royale community and to share the unique beauty and history of this Lake Superior gem with others.

Richard Kaufman

Richard Kaufman – Board Member

Richard is a new member to the board of directors. Along with his wife, Rachael, he joined the board in 2017, after their first work-trip to the Rock of Ages lighthouse. Richard has visited Isle Royale 17 times. His other volunteer activities include helping with trail maintenance for the Superior Hiking Trail, serving on the City of Superior Tree Board, and volunteering at the local VFW. His passions include anything outdoors: alpine skiing, biking, hiking, and camping. Along with his wife, they also enjoy traveling and drinking good beer and eating great food. His full-time profession is a Project Manager for the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth, MN.

Rachel Holden-Kaufman

Rachael Holden-Kaufman – Board Member

Rachael has been a board member and volunteer with Rock of Ages since 2017. Though new to the board, she has a long history with Isle Royale National Park and has been visiting “the island,” as it was called at her house, since she was a child. She lives in the Twin Ports with her husband and their pets and enjoys reading, hiking, drinking good beer, and traveling. Rachael has a background in education and communication and is looking forward to the opportunity the Rock of Ages Lighthouse Preservation Society provide for sharing her love of all things Isle Royale with a larger audience.

Mary Hennessy

Mary Hennessy- Board Member

Mary is a 2018 member of the Board of ROALPS and worked for the first time as a volunteer “at the light”, the summer of 2018.  Having backpacked 7 times over 30 years at Isle Royale she has been working on a book to pass on to her 4 children and 9 grandchildren about those experiences.  She is a lifelong Duluth Minnesota resident spending summers at the cabin with similar facilities to Isle Royale. She has worked as an xray tech, mainly in Electrophysiology.  After getting certification in CISCO Networking and Web Development at LSC, she worked as an IT Professional at the University of Minnesota Duluth, developing databases and web sites, and working with the safety training program development.  Her current work is as a coordinator for WorkWell Prevention and Care. She also did some consulting work for the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council and Meteek Construction Company. Her interests are skiing, golf, photography, and writing, SUP boarding and creating garden spaces.  She once taught a bible study series called “Bad Girls of the Bible”, followed by “Really Bad Girls of the Bible”. She had 5 photography shows, but wants it to remain a hobby. Favorites are Breeze Inn burgers, micro brews and EVERYthing chocolate!

Heather Gerth

Heather Gerth – Assistant Director

Heather has volunteered with Rock of Ages Lighthouse Preservation Society since 2016 serving as both a trip leader and board member. In 2018 she became part-time Assistant Director working behind the scenes year-round to keep the organization running smoothly. She lives with her husband, David, and Black Lab, Bella, near Duluth, MN and enjoys hiking, birding, camping, and anything outdoors. She is an ecologist, interpreter, environmental educator and has a strong background in non-profits. Heather manages the membership database, writes and manages grants, performs bookkeeping, and coordinates volunteer work trips.