UF founder and chairman
President, Financial & Investment Management Group, Ltd – Traverse City, Michigan.
Paul is married to Amy and is the father of five children-Akasha (25), Keeston (21), Patrick (8), Henry (6), and William (3). When not traveling the world, the Sutherlands reside in northern Michigan. Since 1975, Paul has worked in the investment and financial advisory business. As a Senior Portfolio Manager, he has been managing global total return investment portfolios (under the investing without borders style) for over 23 years. Paul formed Financial & Investment Management Group Ltd. (FIM Group), a Registered Investment Advisor, in 1984, capable of managing investment portfolio’s on a discretionary fee-only basis for individuals, trusts, foundations and retirement plans.
Beyond his extensive investment experience, Paul is the author of numerous books on financial planning and money management including, Zenvesting, 12 Steps to a Care-Free Retirement, and the AMA Physicians Guide to Financial Planning. Paul began his writing career in 1979 with an article on international investing which was published by Physician’s Management Magazine. Over the past 27 years Paul has had academic and consumer articles published in magazines, newsletters, and other publications on subjects such as benchmarking global portfolios, asset allocation, retirement investing, income investing, forecasting, and global investing. Paul has been published in Business Ethics, Financial Planner, Dental Management, Financial Advisor, and NAPFA News. He is a regular columnist for Spirituality & Health magazine and has been interviewed by Bloomberg News, Barrons, The Wall Street Journal, Wall Street Transcript, Investors Business Daily (IBD), Investment News, Money Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Business Week, Dow Jones, Smart Money, Fox Business, CNN Money and others. Paul received his MBA from Lake Superior State University. In addition, he is a Certified Financial Planner and has completed the College of Financial Planning’s Advanced Studies Course: Investment Strategies and Portfolio Management.
Sara Harding is currently the COO for Spirituality & Health Media LLC, Director for Yen Yoga & Fitness and communications director for FIM Group. Along with Sara's commitments among the three entities, she also is currently the chair of Venture North, the interim Treasurer for Utopia Foundation and last but probably the most fun, the curator and organizer of TEDx Traverse City since 2010. Formerly, Sara served on the Board of Directors for City Opera House, Northwestern Michigan College and as a Co-Chair of the 2016-2017 NMC Annual Campaign from 2011-2016. Sara has spent the past 20 years in different marketing and sales positions. In recent years, her focus and responsibilities have grown more operationally and strategic for the various organizations. Early on in her career, Sara worked in her family's publishing and wireless business, eventually coordinating the sale of the companies and working for Dobson Communications before embracing the entrepreneurial world again. A native of Traverse City, Sara attended the University of Michigan and graduated with a business degree from Davenport University. Still, in the midst of finishing her MBA, Sara continues to be a member of Vistage and learn from the MBA of life.
Logistics Consultant for a Global Carrier – Traverse City, Michigan
An ongoing scholar at the School of Life, Gevas was bred and born in Africa. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Zimbabwe in 1992 and taught at Prince Edward School in Zimbabwe from 1993 to 1994.
UF Board President
Director of Community Partnerships, CMU
Alison Arnold’s professional experience cuts across education, business, and philanthropy. With over 15 years in education administration, Arnold has led innovative community engagement initiatives, grants, and partnerships to fuel new programs and support learning for P-12 and higher education institutions. In her current work as Director of Community Partnerships for Central Michigan University’s College of Education & Human Services, Alison cultivates educational linkages and outreach. Additionally, Alison has managed communications, marketing, and developed strategic grants and partnerships for corporate and non-profit organizations. Throughout her personal and professional journey, Alison has continually discovered the interesting threads that weave people together – affirming and inspiring her to help strengthen and create educational tapestries for future generations.
Film Festival director
Deb Lake is the Executive Director of the Traverse City Film Festival. She also traveled to South Africa this past February to spend time with Anthea Rossouw and the community supported by Dreamcatchers, one of our partner programs. Deb's background in film, documentaries, volunteerism (she is in charge of 100’s of volunteers), systems, organization and leadership help Utopia Foundation and our partners be more effective and efficient.
Attorney and digital guru
Selected as a Rising Star by Superlawyers Magazine for the years 2013 and 2014, Michael continues to break new ground as an attorney specializing in immigration law, estate planning and electronic discovery. He is one of the countries leading authorities on electronic data breaches and legal issues revolving around these issues, as well as the electronic storage of sensitive material. Technology savvy! Michael exploring ways for Utopia Foundation to be as publicly transparent as possible while maintaining integrity. He is “geeked” about the idea of UF being an example of “radical transparency” and is working on what that could look like. Michael is married to Amy Peterson who is also a Utopia Foundation Board Member. They have three young girls, have recently moved to the Traverse City area, and live on Elk Lake.
early childhood development and health communications expert
Dr. Amy Peterson is a researcher with experience in community based participatory research, social influence, health communication, mixed methods research and medical sociology. Dr. Peterson earned a PhD in Medical Sociology and an MA in Health Communication from Wayne State University. Her dissertation, "Social Support, Parent-Child Communication and Reactions to Pediatric Cancer Medical Procedures" was awarded grants from the National Science Foundation and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation. Her work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals and she has presented findings at regional, national and international conferences. Dr. Peterson served as a health education volunteer in 2006 with the Ghana Health and Education Initiative in Humjibre, Ghana and is the Volunteer Director for a preschool camping program for children in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan diagnosed with cancer. She also serves as a volunteer counselor for a week long camping program for children ages 7-15 diagnosed with cancer. Amy is currently employed at Northwestern Michigan Community College, as Coordinator of Data Reporting and Analysis and serves as their Women's Rowing Coach. She is married to Michael Naughton who is also a Utopia Foundation Board Member. They have three young girls, have recently moved to the Traverse City area, and live on Elk Lake.