Logout | View Live Site


Maritime Heritage Alliance

Board of Directors



Rich Brauer, President


Rich Brauer is president of Brauer Productions, Inc., an independent film and video production company he founded in 1977 after graduating with a B.A. in Motion Picture Production and Undersea Photographic Technology from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA.  

Brauer received the Michigan Filmmaker of the Year award at the 2009 Traverse City Film Festival, presented by filmmaker Michael Moore.  Past recipients have been actor Jeff Daniels, writer Kurt Luedtke, and actress Christine Lahti.

Brauer has written and directed 9 feature films and hundreds of corporate, non-profit, educational and commercial projects. He enjoys supporting independent filmmakers. 

He co-founded the Inland Seas Education Association in 1989 and the

Maritime Heritage Alliance in 1982, where he currently serves as president. He also serves on the board of directors of COGNITION, a science and learning center in Benzie County.

He has three adult children and 5 grandkids and lives on an old fruit farm on Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City, Michigan.


Brett Derr, Vice President 


Captain Bretton J. Derr was reared in the great sailing state of Wyoming! Born on the winds of the high plains he found his way to Northern Michigan via the sailing ships of the eastern sea board. As a Tall Ship Captain, his cowboy boots can be found stomping around the helm directing deckhands of the Schooner Manitou. He has been a member of the Maritime Heritage Alliance for 8 years and is starting his third years as a board member and his first year as the Vice President. 


Eric Seefeld, Treasurer 


Eric lives in Traverse City restoring wooden boats as the owner and operator of Seefeld Boatworks. He joined the board of directors in December 2019 and is a long time appreciator of maritime history and tradition. He enjoys finding adventure by sail, oar and paddle but will lace up hiking boots or XC ski boots if he must.


Tom Case, Secretary 


Tom graduated from the University of Michigan with an engineering degree. That same summer he learned to sail on his buddies wooden Snipe on Lake Huron. He bought his first boat, a wooden Y Flyer, a year later and he hasn't been without a sailboat or three since. He has sailed on all the Great Lakes except Ontario. Tom is retired now and enjoys hanging out with the MHA, crewing on Madeline and working on her rigging, helping with building the bateau and watching the donated boats accumulate before auction day.

Tom also enjoys like gardening, sailing his MC scow, volunteering at the TCFF, tooling around the back roads in one of his MGA's and visiting with family, especially his three grand kids.
Tom joined the Board hoping his experience as an engineer and project director would help keep MHA growing as it faces new challenges and opportunities in fulfilling its mission.


Heather Jankens 


Heather has been a member of MHA for 16 years and is a mate on schooner Madeline, a coordinator of Small Boat shenanigans, and purveyor of sailing chaos. When not sewing large canvas she is sailing to see the world on extreme vessels and obscure races, such as the Draken Harald Harfagre and one of the few to complete the Kraken Cup. Heather believes that our best connection to the world we live in is by playimh in, on and around the water and is always happy to expose new people to its joy and complexity. 





Board Meetings

The MHA Board of Directors meets monthly on the third Monday.

Meetings are held at:

Discovery Center Collaborative Building

13170 S West Bayshore Dr.

Traverse City, MI 49684

Please view our calendar for the most up-to-date meeting schedules of the MHA BOD and committees.



Are you interested in joining our Board of Directors?

Click here for a board application 

Maritime Heritage Alliance
13268 S West Bay Shore Dr
Traverse City, MI 49684