Whites Bridge Historical Society Executive Board Members
Chairman – Tom Byle, PE
Graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1972. He has been employed by the Kent County Road Commission for over 41 years, where he currently holds the position of Assistant Director of Engineering. Tom has managed numerous road and bridge projects for the KCRC, including the rebuild for the Ada Covered Bridge in 1980, and managed the KCRC Maintenance Division for 10 years. Mr. Byle is a registered professional engineer in the state of Michigan. Tom is looking forward to providing his engineering and technical knowledge for rebuilding Whites Bridge.
Vice Chairman – Jeffrey A. Christensen
Married to Terri.
Grew up in Belding. Resides in West Olive.
Professional Commercial Driver for 28 years.
Graduate of Belding High School & The School of Hard Knocks.
Why am I on the Board? I have a extreme passion to see Whites Bridge rebuilt. I realize the canvas will not be original, however it will be a fresh to start a whole new canvas to paint for many generations to come. I think we have a wonderful Board of Directors…. as well as thousands of supporters which I am very appreciative for. Our Board is diverse in its makeup which will help us get things done more efficiently. I appreciate the fact that when things got tough and members were in disagreement, that our bunch didn’t run away. We dug in our heels, got things organized as the legal system dictates and we are ready to roll full steam ahead in 2014. I assure you……this bridge will be rebuilt!
Treasurer – Nancy Stroosnyder
(photo coming soon)
Nancy brings financial and managerial expertise to the board. She is the owner of Fry Daddy’s Restaurant in Lowell (since 2001), where she has been involved in all aspects of restaurant operations. Nancy has also held the position of Office Manager at West Michigan Construction in Grand Rapids since 1996; responsible for accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, and contracts. She is an officer for the Alto American Legion Auxiliary, member of the Alto Downtown Development Authority, and a member of the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce.
Secretary – Joy Skutt
Moved to Belding at age of 12 and graduated class of ’84. She has worked at MSU College of Human Medicine for the last 12 years. Joy has 4 kids, raised pretty much on her own and they have all graduated from Belding, with the last one graduating in 2014. Joy has two grandchildren that she would like to be able to take out to the new bridge.
Trustee – Ann Tyson
Ann has lived in/around Belding all of her life and loves our community. She has been married to her husband Glen for 31 years & “mom” to son Dan, daughter Ruth and grandma to 3 grandchildren. Ann is the accounts payable specialist for The Hope Network in Grand Rapids. Ann’s children were the 6th generation from her family to have their initials carved in the Whites Bridge and she is eager & determined to help see a new Whites Bridge built for her grandchildren and all of the citizens who loved that bridge and to make new memories. She sincerely hopes to make an impact on this project and look forward to meeting many new friends. The board members of our Friends Rebuilding Whites Bridge group have a strong determination & goal to bring many of the citizens in the surrounding communities together with a desire and passion to see a new bridge span the Flat River once again.
Trustee – Jennifer Byle, PE
Graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 2005, and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University in 2012. She is currently employed by URS Corporation in Grand Rapids as a roadway engineer, a position held since 2005. During her time at URS, Jen has been an engineer on several Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and local agency transportation projects. Ms. Byle is a registered professional engineer in the state of Michigan. Jen is looking forward to working on this project with her father, and to be able to run through Whites Bridge again on a 12 mile long marathon training run.
Keene Twp Liasion – Corey Wojcik
Fallasburg Historical Society Liasion – Alan Rumbaugh
Graduated from Kent State University and spent his working career in sales management in the shoe and leather industries. Alan has lived in Lowell on Murray Lake since 1991 and has been active in the lake association for 15 years and served Grattan Township on the ZBA, Sewer Advisory Committee, and Planning Commission. He is on the board for the Friends of the River Valley Rails-To-Trails program. Alan has been the treasurer for the Fallasburg Historical Society for the last three years.
Founder – Paul Phenix
Raised in Belding, Michigan by his grandparents Charlotte and Grandville Phenix, Paul remembers his grandparents taking him out to the bridge and showing him where their parents and grandparents signed their names into the bridge. Paul always remembered that and when his children (3 of them) were old enough to understand, he took them out and experienced what he recalls as a “magical” connection between the children, the bridge and their elders. This is the main reason that he decided to spearhead the efforts to rebuild the bridge.
Paul graduated Belding High School in 1982, but between his Junior and Senior years he enlisted in the United States Army Reserve and attended basic training in the summer of 1981. After Paul Graduated, he enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed at Ft. Hood Texas, Camp Darby Italy and Ft. Riley Kansas. Paul then switched branches of the military in 1989 and joined the United States Air Force as a Munitions Systems Specialist and was stationed at Kelly AFB, TX. until 1998 when he took a full time position with the Michigan Air National Guard.
While deployed for Operation Noble Anvil in 1999, Paul was injured and subsequently discharged after serving for 20 years.
Paul and his wife reside in Alma, Michigan with their youngest son who is still at home and their two rescued dogs