Additional Statement by the Norte Board of Directors

September 24, 2021


Greetings Norte Community,

The Norte Board’s decision regarding the change in the employment status of Ty Schmidt was extremely difficult and was necessitated by many events over time. The Norte Board of Directors have gone to great lengths to keep this decision private for the betterment of all parties involved. The feedback from you, the Norte Community, has suggested that more transparency would make what for some was a surprising decision more understandable. This message is an effort to assist our community to better understand the Board’s decision and that it followed a long discernment process that involved Ty. The entire process was based on our commitment to fulfilling Norte’s mission.

By way of more recent background, the Board of Directors met with Ty Schmidt on Wednesday, September 15, and advised him that he was being released from his role as Executive Director. In that meeting, we also attempted to offer an alternate role supporting Norte that aligned with what we believe are Ty’s strengths. Since the meeting and over the past one and a half weeks, members of the Board have met again with Ty and offered this alternative role and to negotiate its terms and expectations to ensure it was a role Ty believed he could be successful in.

The offer includes:

  • Title TBD
  • Compensation – No change from current amount
  • Responsible for fundraising to support the continued growth of the organization
  • Responsible for promoting the mission and values of Norte in the community, region, and beyond.
  • Engagement with the participants and kids at Norte programming and events

The offer does not include him continuing traditional Executive Director responsibilities regarding personnel matters or interactions with staff on day-to-day operations.

That opportunity has not been withdrawn, however, the public communications we have all seen from Ty, indicate he deems our offer is insufficient. Our offer will remain on the table for a week or so longer. If Ty does not want to work with our Community in this alternative fashion, we wish him nothing but success in his future endeavors and we hope to find another opportunity to work with him in the future.

Meanwhile, we have turned our focus to the Norte Mission and strategic plan. The strategic and mission-driven plan has been in place and publicly released for some time. We have not deviated from it, and it drives all our decisions and actions.

Now that we have publicly explained how we attempted to have a seamless transition for Ty to another position, we shall move ahead and will engage with our community to provide all the context that we can be involving internal matters. This includes heightened communications with Liderato, coaches, volunteers, families, and anyone else in the Norte Community. We know this is a place where you believe we have not met your expectations, and we’re committed to meeting those expectations. All this movement ahead will test our incredible staff, for without them we would not be the organization you all love so dearly.

We are committed to the mission and strategic plan of Norte. Most of all, we’re committed to all stakeholders of the Norte Community and we will continue to serve you in a fashion we hope you can ultimately be proud of.


The Norte Board of Directors



Norte | Happy. Healthy. Strong.

Norte is the Grand Traverse region’s active transportation-centered, youth-focused, neighborhood-based advocacy organization. Norte’s mission is to help build stronger, better connected and more walk/bike-friendly communities by empowering the young and young at heart.

Norte is developing the next generation of happy, healthy, strong leaders through its Safe Routes To School initiative, Pro Walk/Pro Bike advocacy, youth empowerment projects, and youth mountain bike programs.