Staff and Board

Newton's Road Northwest Staff

  • Robert O'Hara Executive Director

    Bob O’Hara has been a nonprofit executive for most of his adult life.  With a great interest in the power of nonprofits and education to benefit the entire community, Bob finds Newton’s Road to be a natural fit for his talents and his interest in STEM topics.  Bob and his wife Sara live on the Old Mission Peninsula, where Sara grew up, and are renovating her childhood home.  O’Hara has run eight marathons – including the Boston Marathon, twice.  He is also an avid reader of history and mysteries.  His geek dream is to compete on Jeopardy!  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and English from the University of Sioux Falls, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Michigan.

  • Barb Termaat Programs Director

    Barb Termaat is the Programs Director of the nonprofit Newton’s Road Northwest, served on the board of the nationally recognized 20Fathoms tech incubator, and contributes articles on STEM-related topics nationally. Barb has a Master's in Math & Science Education from Harvard University and a B.S. in Oceanography from University of Michigan College of Engineering. She is a former STEM master teacher in Germany and California, and led teams at tech companies before and after teaching. Most recently Barb led curriculum strategy and development for Cisco Networking Academy, a global technology education program. Barb and her family returned to Michigan in 2009 and reside in Elk Rapids.

  • Emily Williams Community Outreach and Operations Manager

    Emily Williams is the Community Outreach Manager for Newton’s Road. She holds a BA from Northwood University and a MA from Davenport University. During her years at school, Emily experienced an outreach opportunity in Nicaragua and volunteered at programs such as Girls on the Run and Habitat for Humanity. Working in the healthcare industry over the past few years has developed her relationship building skills and strengthened her communication and organization skills. Emily comes from a long line of teachers in her family so she is excited to follow along a similar path by helping to empower youth through STEM opportunities. She is thrilled to build relationships with the community by driving STEM learning, sparking AHA! moments, and creating pathways to success.

  • Deanna Luton AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer

    Deanna Luton is an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America). She is enrolled in an Integrative Studies program at Grand Valley State University, based in Traverse City. Her emphasis is on Activism & Community Engagement. She has a background in journalism and creative writing as well as childcare and college administration. A lifelong environmentalist, she is passionate about the science behind the natural world. Her poetry is often inspired by scientific processes or elements in nature. As the daughter of a welder and home healthcare aid, STEM careers are close to her heart. She brings copywriting and community-building skills to the team!

Newton's Road Northwest Board of Directors 

  • Bill Myers Board Chair

    Chief Executive Officer at Promethient. Promethient's Thermavance technology enables conductive cooling and heating of transportation seating, furniture, medical devices and garments. In addition to providing personalized cooling and heating, Thermavance technology may be used in outdoor and indoor applications and its low power consumption enables extended range for electric vehicles. Bill holds a BS from Michigan Technological University and a MS from Oakland University, both in Mechanical Engineering. He has a wealth of professional experience across multiple technical industries. As the founder of Newton’s Road, and an advocate for STEM education in our region for over a decade, Bill’s vision and dedication to our mission has been critical to the success of our organization. He serves as the current Board Chair.

  • Greg Johnson Board Vice Chair

    Gregory H. Johnson (Col, USAF, Ret.) is a former air force officer and pilot, aerospace engineer, fighter/test pilot, and NASA astronaut. Greg is currently a Test Pilot and Business Development Leader at Lockheed Martin and the Board Vice Chair for Newton’s Road, after serving previously as our Executive Director. He serves on multiple boards in the nonprofit and space sectors, and is a champion and advisor for innovation and STEM education.

    While in the Air Force, Johnson flew multiple aircraft including combat operations. With NASA, Johnson served as the pilot and primary robotic arm operator aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour on the STS-123 and STS-134 missions.  After leaving NASA in 2013, Johnson served as Executive Director for the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the nonprofit that manages the ISS National Laboratory (ISSNL) and supports engaging STEM education experiences on the ISS.  Greg has a B.S. in engineering and an MBA.

  • Mike Groleau Board Member

    Principal and Chief Analytics Officer at RJG. RJG is a recognized international leader in injection molding training, technology, and resources. Their global customers include companies in the automotive, medical, and general plastics processing segments. Mike holds a BS from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a MS from University of Michigan, both in Materials Science. He has well over 2 decades of professional experience at RJG in many capacities. Mike brings deep knowledge and understanding of industry needs for STEM education, and focuses much of his philanthropy and volunteer time in support of meeting these needs in our community.  Mike is a long-time supporter of Newton’s Road and we deeply appreciate his continued dedication to this and many other important causes in our region.

  • Don Howe Board Member

    Don is a passionate manufacturing leader with a demonstrated history of working in the mechanical or industrial engineering industry. He is skilled in Lean Manufacturing, KPI’s, Value Stream Mapping, Automotive/Aerospace Engineering, Quality and Project Management with an MBA and a MS in Operations Management from Kettering University. Don also serves as the Executive Chairman of the Grand Traverse Area Manufacturing Council, a long-time supporter of regional STEM education opportunities including Newton's Road. We are excited to have Don helping us execute our mission!

  • Cody Kangas Board Member

    Director of Industry Engagement and Interim Director of Career Services at Michigan Technological University. Cody has a BA from the University of Michigan and a MS in Education from Michigan State University. He is the lead on corporate philanthropy, cultivation and stewardship for MTU, heads the MTU Corporate Council and builds partnerships in strategic areas. He formerly led MTU’s K-12 initiatives around the country, including Mind Trekkers. Cody spearheaded the growing partnership between MTU and the Grand Traverse area in all of these capacities. Newton’s Road is thrilled to have Cody be our on-campus conduit to MTU’s continued guidance, partnership and support.

  • Jay Meldrum Board Member

    Jay is the Executive Director and Liaison to the Grand Traverse Area for at Michigan Technological University. Michigan Tech is a leading public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries around the world. Jay has a BSME degree from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) and a MSME degree from the University of Michigan. Formerly, Jay was the Director of the Keweenaw Research Center (KRC), a soft money research institute funded by contracts with the US Military and the Automotive Industry. During Jay’s 25+ years at Michigan Tech he has also been the Director of Sustainability, Faculty Advisor for the Alternative Energy Enterprise class, and Advisor and founder of the Sustainability Demonstration House project. Jay relocated to the Traverse City area to help further collaboration in five areas of mutual interest between Michigan Tech and the Grand Traverse Area: K-12 pre-college engagement, higher education with the Northwestern Michigan College 2+2 program, industry research and development, entrepreneur development, and community development.

  • Matt Olson Board Member

    Assistant Superintendent of Professional Learning and Innovation for Northwest Education Services (formerly TBAISD). Matt has served Michigan public schools for 20 years as a teacher, athletic director, assistant principal and principal, Director of Innovation, and Superintendent. A graduate from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, Matt went on to earn a Master of Arts in K-12 Educational Leadership from Michigan State University, an Education Specialist Degree in Education Administration from Oakland University, and is a graduate of the Michigan Leadership Institute Superintendents’ Academy.

  • Christine Roberts Board Member

    Senior Vice President and General Manager of Poly’s Software and Services organization.  Prior to joining Poly in February of 2020, Christine was part of the executive team at Twilio running their Super Network.  Her passion for finding every opportunity to drive customer delight has led to over 25 years of experience in Engineering, Operations, and Product Management across Motorola, Google, Netflix, Twilio and now Poly.  She is an active proponent of engaging girls and under-represented minorities in STEAM and believes that exposing kids early, consistently and experientially is the key to making sure diverse views and innovation are represented in technical organizations. She has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University and an MBA in International Business from DePaul’s Kellstadt GSB.  She and her family have recently returned home to Michigan following an 8-year stint in Silicon Valley.

  • Heidi Skodack Board Member

    Director of School Improvement, STEM & CTE at Traverse City Public Schools. TCAPS serves 40% of the K-12 youth in our TBAISD region and offers the area’s widest variety of high quality academic and extracurricular programs. Their 10,000 students across 300-square-miles of Grand Traverse, Benzie and Leelanau counties, in 11 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, 3 high schools and a variety of preschool classrooms. Before relocating to Traverse City, Heidi taught engineering, architecture and robotics for 15 years in the Farmington Public Schools. She holds a BS in Architecture from Lawrence Technological University and a MS in Career and Technical Education Administration from Ferris State University. We are thrilled to be able to more deeply leverage Heidi’s many years of STEM education leadership after previously serving on our Advisory Council.

  • Jason Slade Board Member

    Jason Slade is the Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Northwestern Michigan College, a newly-created executive role in which he will be tasked with charting the college’s future direction. Jason most recently served as director of NMC’s Technical Division, which boasts industry-driven education in eight disciplines and twelve specializations including automotive, construction trades, engineering technology, marine technology, manufacturing, surveying, welding, and unmanned aerial systems.  Connecting students with high demand careers in technology is what drives Jason, and explains why he's excited to serve on our Board. He has a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University.  Previously, Jason was a full-time faculty member in the NMC Technical Division, program coordinator and lead faculty for the Electronics and Electrical Program at Mott Community College, and an electrical engineer in the automotive industry focused on sensor technology.