Bridges Copper Country is an economic development tool for individuals, institutions and communities. Bridges is designed to help people in Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon counties develop hope, resources and a future story.
The principles of this program are thought provoking and applicable to the struggles faced by many Copper Country residents. Portage Health Foundation sees it as a great answer to helping individuals and the entire community come out of generational provery.
Michael Steber, who grew up in Ontonagon County, became the full-time Program Coordinator for Bridges Copper Country in July of 2022. Steber facilitates discussions during Getting Ahead, leads community workshops about Bridges Copper Country and can be found weekly around the community helping people to find their future story.
Mary Jo Munch, who was born and raised in Houghton County, has been with the Portage Health Foundation for several years, and was immediately drawn to the Bridges Copper Country programming. As soon as the program launched, she jumped on board to help with logistics and serve as a co-facilitator. She has twice attended national Bridges Out of Poverty conferences and loves seeing the community improve.
Ontonagon native Kevin Store was blown away when he first heard what aha Process! was doing with its poverty programing. He knew the Copper Country residents needed this, and worked to make it a reality in 2022. He’s trained to host classes and is a champion for the programing in all he does in his daily role as Executive Director of Portage Health Foundation.
Richelle Dube - AmercInn Calumet
Pastor Aaron Gehrke – St. Peter and Paul Church
Erin Happala - Gardenview
Tim Keteri – Adams Township School District
Rob La Fave – Village of L’Anse
Michael Messner – Calumet Electronics
Curt Pennala – Keweenaw County Sheriff
Jeff Ratcliffe – Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance
Joshua Saaranen – Houghton County Sheriff
Sam Stonelake – Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance
Heather Store – Calumet Electronics
Koni Turunen – Upper Great Lakes Family HealthCenter
If you are interested in volunteering as a steering committee member, please contact us!
Portage Health Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization serving Michigan’s Copper Country, which includes Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties. The mission of Portage Health Foundation is to positively influence a healthier community through enhanced philanthropy and collaboration. PHF is the host organization of Bridges Copper Country.
aha! Process is an award-winning training and publishing company providing workshops, publications, and consulting services to help improve lives and build sustainable success in communities, schools, and higher education. They do this by creating an understanding of the dynamics that cause and maintain poverty from the individual to systems level.
Poverty, middle class, and wealth are about an abundance or lack of resources. Our work helps individuals, businesses, students, and communities build resources for a more successful sustainable future.
Bridges Copper Country is a Portage Health Foundation initiative.
Call/Text: 1 (906) 281-9204