Oversite, direction and visioning are provided by a dedicated Board of Directors. Serving as volunteers, they provide steady guidance and wisdom in meeting the challenges of running a charity in the 21st century.
Founder & President
Mosher holds a Parks & Recreation Administration degree from Central Michigan University, is a local business owner, and has a 50+ year history of working with middle school age teens as a coach, youth leader, community education director, camp counselor, substitute teacher and mentor.
"The Right Tree name comes from the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve ate off the wrong tree -- the tree where our value comes from reputation or looks or income or accomplishments. We all need to be reminded to eat off the right tree -- the Tree of Life where our value comes from who God says we are."
He and his wife Barb are 30-year residents and of Elk Rapids, where their 3 now-grown children attended grades K-12. As the negative influence of social media continues to cripple teens, the need to creatively and proactively fight back becomes even more critical. "We have been seduced by the glitter of technology without understanding the trade-offs and our children are paying the price." His understanding of the value of phone-free face-to-face recreation and adventure-based programming coupled with altruistic community service is the cornerstone of Right Tree's efforts as they work to partner with the Elk Rapids community in growing capable, confident, compassionate teens.
Bruce & Lindsey
Treasurer & Director
Bruce Banwell has served on the Right Tree board since 2014, and currently serves as Treasurer. Most of his adult life he has mentored youth in some capacity including 10 years serving as the jr. high youth pastor at New Hope Community Church. Bruce is the owner of Bruce’s Earthworks, a landscaping/excavating company in Bellaire. He enjoys outdoor activities with his wife and two kids as well as seasonal guiding in Alaska. Bruce has a passion for seeing people, young and old, living a purpose driven life, and using the gifts God has given them to better themselves and humanity.
That passion fed his involvement with Right Tree, "For years they have been equipping young girls to thrive in today’s challenging culture. Helping them find identity, purpose and success."
Lindsay Banwell has served on the Right Tree Board since 2016. She enjoys exploring and hunting with her husband and two children nationally and internationally. Lindsay graduated from Elk Rapids High School and has a Bachelors degree in Environmental Communications from Grand Valley State University. She was employed at the Antrim conservation District for 5 years implementing and writing grants for fish and wildlife habitat before starting her own company in 2015 -- Great Lakes Water Permit Consulting, which specializes in writing environmental permits and delineating wetlands.
Lindsay has a passion for connecting youth with the creation and their Creator. For the past 17 years she has worked with teens at New Hope Community Church encouraging and equipping Jr. High youth through camping, hiking and small group outings.
"I support Right Tree because I believe investing in young girls is crucial to a functioning society. I once was a vulnerable girl who graduated from Elk Rapids and wish I had been given the opportunity as an adolescent to be a part of a program like Right Tree. Developing confidence and having healthy, supportive mentors would have spared me from a lot of challenges in my life."
Charissa has been working with Right Tree since 2013, first as a counselor then as the Right Tree Summer Adventures Director and currently serves on the Board of Directors. She currently holds a Masters in Education with duel concentrations in Literacy and Leadership from Michigan State University. During the school year, she lives in Minnesota, where she teaches High School English, coaches debate, and serves as the head of the Girls United club.
"It's been an absolute privilege growing and playing alongside young women at Right Tree through the last decade. I cannot imagine having such a dynamic, empowering, and FUN program like this as a young woman navigating the complex pressures of the world."
Gerry retired after 20 years of service within various branches of the 33rd Circuit Court in Charlevoix County. During his 2 decades of service, he developed a dozen programs to assist youth and families through difficult legal and personal challenges. One program was recognized by a statewide advocacy organization for its creativity and efficacy in mentoring delinquent youth. Gerry was also honored by the Charlevoix Kiwanis Club through its inaugural “Above and Beyond” Award for outstanding service to area youth.
In addition to his professional work, Gerry also coached Elk Rapids High School boys’ tennis for almost 10 seasons after serving for more than 15 years as a downstate and Elk Rapids youth soccer coach. Their two sons, Philip (2004) and Aaron (2009), are honors graduates of Elk Rapids High School.
Gerry and his wife Laura lived in Elk Rapids for 20 years before retiring to nearby Interlochen. They enjoy spending time with their three married children and 9 grandchildren who all live nearby.
In their retirement Gerry and Laura continue to serve their community and neighborhood through local volunteer opportunities and through their church.
“It’s impossible not to see the importance of a program which argues against the barrage of negative and destructive messages which assault teen girls from nearly every facet of modern society. Right Tree affirms their value and works to help them find the strength and courage to thrive in the face of adversity. It’s an honor to support this work by serving as a board member and helping Craig pursue his vision for this often overlooked group.”
Jeff Hawkins was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1954. He was ordained in 1980 to serve Lutheran congregations in Wisconsin and Indiana. In 2003, he founded HOPE CSA, Inc, a non-profit educational ministry for clergy continuing education and congregational consultation, an aspect of which makes use of his family’s small Indiana regenerative farm as the context for understanding and living in “holy health,” that is, health broadly conceived in its spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical, interpersonal, vocational, and creational dimensions. “Few organizations take the whole-person approach to the health and well-being of girls as does Right Tree.” says Jeff. “Having known Right Tree founder Craig for over fifty years, and having watched his heart and soul take the shape of Right Tree, I consider it a privilege to serve on its Board and take part in its important work to give real help to an overlooked population.” programming coupled with altruistic community service is the cornerstone of Right Tree's efforts as they work to partner with the Elk Rapids community in growing capable, confident, compassionate teens.
Beth Pryde is a 23 year, long-time resident of Elk Rapids. She is a Wellness Coordinator for the Grand Traverse Metro Emergency Services and the manager of the local Harbor Fitness gym. Beth is married to Scott and has raised their son Jonas and daughter Kyla in the Elk Rapids schools and community. Kyla spent 2 summers working at the Right Tree rental store, supporting programming of the Right Tree non profit. Beth has known founder Craig Mosher and his entire family for several years through church and community involvement.
“I was eager to join the board of Right Tree, knowing their mission, and the need for young middle school girls to feel confident, strong, and capable in a technology dominated world. I believe it’s a very challenging time for kids these days to be comfortable and confident being just who they are. There is way too much exposure and availability of inappropriate and harmful content through technology for middle school aged kids to process and manage. Right Tree provides an opportunity and environment for girls to work through tough situations with adult mentoring and peer support.”