The Board of Governors
Chris Utz - President
Chris joined the Seaway Chorale in 1997 and served as President in 2005, as well as an earlier stint as Production Coordinator. A first tenor, he sang in high school but stopped afterward to focus on degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics, only to rediscover the joy of singing as a (much older) adult in church choir. He has enjoyed bringing that passion to Seaway, and he was excited to return to the role of President again in 2019. Chris recently retired after 35 years at BASF in Wyandotte and is enjoying improvement in his golf game. He lives in Farmington Hills with his wife Jan and their two dogs, Molly and Pippa.
Ken Pilon - Vice President
Ken has been with Seaway Chorale since 2008 and has been on the Board since 2009. A bass, he has sung in several church choirs and on stage. His love of music began at a very young age and continues to this day. He also is an avid sports fan for all of the Detroit teams and the University of Michigan! He lives in Woodhaven with his lovely wife Karen, their two dogs Frisco and Harwell and their cat Sabrina. Their kids and their 13 grandchildren bring great joy to their lives.
Jennifer Dunn - Secretary
Jennifer has been a member of Seaway Chorale since 2018 and loves singing with the Alto section. She has been serving as Secretary on the Board as of 2022. She had an early start singing in church choirs, and later school choirs in Jr. High and the Northern Chorale senior choir at North Farmington High School. She enjoys singing with her church in Flat Rock where she teaches children’s bible classes and of which her husband, Tim, has been the Minister for many years. They have one son and daughter-in-law who reside in Garden City. Jennifer is a Quality Assurance Manager for a world-wide medical device company and has worked in quality systems for over 35 years. She looks forward to retirement, traveling and spending more time at their home on Lake Erie.
Rich Witkowski - Treasurer
“Retired School District Superintendent, originally from Chicago until I met my wife at MSU and never returned. Was in choir and orchestra throughout my elementary and high school years. Played sousaphone in the Chicago All City band in elementary and high school. Also, played Accordian from elementary through high school. Currently sing with the Community Chorus of Detroit, St Vincent Pallotti Choir and the Bridgewater Del Webb Chorus.”
Karen Best - Librarian
Karen grew up surrounded by musical influences that fostered her love of music. As the daughter of a classically-trained pianist turned church organist and a multi- instrumentalist father, she has studied organ, flute and picked up guitar and piano along the way. One of the highlights of her life was being chosen by her church conference to travel the U.S. and Canada in an ensemble of 8, singing second soprano and also soloing. She also enjoyed the 23 years that she had the privilege of leading her church choir.
She has been involved in church ministry as a soloist, organist, praise team and small group member, but one of her greatest joys has been watching her daughter and son develop into gifted singers in their own right and having the opportunity to sing with them!
A retired high school teacher, she has been a Seaway member since 2016. She and husband Mark have four grown children and reside in Brownstown.
Colleen Herman - Music Manager
Colleen Herman has performed with the Seaway Chorale for over 36
years, having started at the age of 8 in the Voices of the Young, moved on to Youth Sings and also played in the Orchestra while in college. She is now singing with the Chorale and is serving her 16th year on the Board of Governors. Previous positions have included Vice President and Publicity Manager. Colleen is also involved with assisting Mr. Lai with Voices of the Young, a group that is near and dear to her heart.
Colleen has Flute Performance degrees from Western Michigan University (BM) and Wayne State University (MM). She currently owns her own flute studio where she teaches one on one lessons to students of all ages, and she also adjudicates for MSBOA's Solo and Ensemble Festivals. Colleen resides in Brownstown with her husband, Jerry, and her two children, Emily and Christopher.
Katelyn Golecki - Marketing Manager
Katelyn has been a member of Seaway Chorale since 2022. She began singing in middle school, and sang in the Roosevelt High School Acapella Choir for 4 years, and RoVaSi for one year. She is happy to be singing again in a group with the chorale.
She joined the board as marketing manager in 2023.
Katelyn holds a Bachelors Degree in Human Resources, and a Masters Degree in business Administration.
She is currently an international supply chain regional implementation manager with the world's largest freight forwarding company.
She currently resides in Flat Rock with her best friend and 2 dogs, Frankie, and Charlie.
Rosemary Freeman-Thomas - Production
Rosemary joined Seaway Chorale, as a first soprano, in 2015. She joined the Production Committee and this year is co-chairing! She is also on the Music Selection Committee. She loves singing with Seaway Chorale. She sang in choirs from Kindergarten through 12th grades and became a vocal major at Eastern Michigan University. She has sung in weddings, funerals, church choirs, The Madrigal Chorale, the DSO for several years, and 13 years with The Plymouth Oratorio Society. Rosemary is a retired teacher who lives in Brownstown with her husband Michael. They have five children and six grandchildren.