Mr. Cocconi is a long-time resident of suburban Chicago. A Native of New England, he holds a BS in Marketing from the University of Connecticut and an MBA from Northern Illinois University. Professionally, he retired from a technology and sales career spanning software and professional services. He has spoken nationwide on business technology, and was an Adjunct Professor of Business at Aurora University.
Mr. Cocconi has had a long history of volunteer and charitable service in civic and religious organizations, including chairing an annual event raising healthcare funds for people on the margins of society. He has been a member of Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association since 2003 and has been a volunteer light keeper annually since.
Mark Hallenbeck has deep roots in western Michigan. His grandfather built a lake cottage in western Michigan in the 1940’s, and every summer his family ventured from the Detroit area to vacation at the cottage. He vividly recalls walking up the Ludington north breakwater to the then-shuttered lighthouse, wondering what mysteries might lurk inside. He couldn’t possibly have imagined that decades later he would volunteer inside that historic lighthouse. But it was Big Sable Point Lighthouse that led Mark and his wife, Nancy, to join SPLKA and begin ten years of lighthouse volunteering. Mark has always been drawn to sand and water, and when he and Nancy discovered the magnificent black-and-white structure on the lakeshore, they couldn’t believe their good fortune. Mark and Nancy count their weeks of lighthouse volunteering – and sharing their passion for the lighthouses with wide-eyed visitors - among the most memorable adventures of their lives, and Mark is excited to pay it forward by serving on the SPLKA Board.
Ted Robinson is the great grandson of Captain William Robinson, the first keeper of the White River Light Station. Ted currently is the president of the Friends of White River Board of Directors. Ted and his wife Patty have retired to the Montague area after Ted’s business consulting work moved him around the country finally settling down in ST. Louis MO. Even though Ted grew up in the metro Detroit area he developed a love for lighthouses as he has fond memories of summering with his grandparents in Manistee. Ted grandfather had followed the family tradition and for many years was the keeper of the Manistee lighthouse. Ted is also active in the Whitehall/Montague Rotary club and enjoys helping his daughters out with home maintenance projects from time to time.
Sara has been a member of SPLKA for over ten years. Sara Anne brings a wealth of experience to the SPLKA Board. She has been an archivist, a librarian, a professor and lawyer in her career. She has served as board member, committee members, committee chair and project leader for the Rotary Club of Indianapolis, board member and officer for the Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis, and also held positions on several committees on the Indiana State Bar Association. Ludington has a special place in her heart as she remembers coming here on summer vacations while spending time at her grandparent’s cottage in Baldwin. Recently her trips to Ludington have included visiting the lighthouses, eating Ice Cream at House of Flavors and attending SPLKA’s annual meetings. She feels this is a great opportunity for her to use her gifts as she is transitioning from her position as professor into retirement. Sara Anne resides in Indianapolis, IN
Larry Stulz is from the Cincinnati area and has been a SPLKA volunteer for six years. Larry has worked as a volunteer at three of our four lighthouses. He retired from the US Air Force in 2012 after 37 years. He considers himself a "professional" volunteer working with many organizations. Larry found out about SPLKA's volunteer keeper program while volunteering at the Dayton Air Force Museum with former board member Bob Baltzer, who also volunteers at the Air Force Museum.
Robert Vensas has been a member of SPLKA for over 20 years and has volunteered as a keeper since 2002. Rob and his wife, Sharon, reside in Grand Rapids, Michigan and have been married for almost 50 years. Mr. Vensas received his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. He worked for 43 years at URS, an architectural and engineering firm, and retired as Vice President, Manager of Michigan Operations, in 2015. Rob is a Registered Professional Engineer and is also a Fellow Member of the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers. Since retiring, Rob and Sharon have been volunteers at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Interests include traveling, fly fishing, HO trains, and his granddaughter Mae. Rob considers it an honor to help preserve a part of Michigan’s history for future generations by being a member of SPLKA and serving on the Board.
Susan is a lifelong lover of lighthouses. She welcomes the opportunity to work with others who share that love and desire to preserve the lights and the historical importance to both Michigan and the Great Lakes region. Susan has been a member of SPLKA for three years and has served as a volunteer in our keeper program at the Little Sable Point Lighthouse. She is a retired teacher/ school administrator, living in the Lansing, MI area, who brings her skills acquired while working with a wide, diverse group of students, teachers, staff and administrators to this position. She will be bringing her experience in curriculum development, leadership and supervisory experience to the board. Susan has been active in her home church in Holt, MI and with the American Cancer Society.