Director and Team

For over 25 years, Mary Fried, owner and director of Camp Agawak has brought heart, passion and hands-on leadership to an extraordinary and diverse camp environment.  Mary has been “camp mom” and role model to thousands of campers and staff since 1989.  She holds a masters degree in Educational Psychology and has dedicated her life to working with children.  Her experience as an elementary and middle-school counselor makes her a resourceful and compassionate director.  Mary’s breath of talent, combined with her enthusiasm for working with children creates a camp culture that is as extraordinary as it is fun.  She is an active member of the American Camping Association, the Midwest Camping Association, the Wisconsin School Counselor Association, and the American Counseling Association.  Mary lives on the camp property year round with her three children, Jaclyn, Jacob and Joshua. 

Camp Agawak was joined by Suzi Pierce in 2008, who became our Activities Director and member of our Administrative Staff.   Suzi works with other members of the administrative team on developing and implementing daily programming, special events and outside competitions.  Suzi is responsible for the activity areas being staffed appropriately, having the proper equipment and running safely.  She brings a wealth of experience with her to Camp Agawak.  Her love for camp started as a young camper at Wisconsin Porter Gymnastics Camp.  She grew through the ranks during her 16 years as a camper, counselor, head coach and member of the senior staff.  Her love of gymnastics continued on during her career as the Director of 2 different gymnastics clubs in Idaho.  Suzi is the mother of two boys, Ben and Max.   Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Suzi has lived in Idaho since 1993.  Suzi was introduced to the Camp Agawak family by Mike Pierce (MP) and they wed in 2010 on the Shores of Blue Lake.

Emily Gurner has been at Agawak since 2000 where she started as a camper. She has been a counselor and is now part of the administrative team. She is from Deerfield, IL and attended Indiana University where she received a degree in Elementary Education.  She currently works in special education at Shepard Middle School in Deerfield.  Emily is an integral part of the administrative team and absolutely loves it. If you call during the summer, you’ll probably hear “Camp Agawak, this is Emily.”  She is looking forward to her 16th summer and is excited to meet all the new campers and staff. Emily can't think of a better place to spend the summer than her favorite place in the world, Agawak!

Mike Pierce started at Agawak in 1993.  Mike, who is known both in and out of camp circles as MP, is the director of our water ski program. As a member of our administrative team, MP also assists our staff with programming, staff training, and tripping program.  In MP's, 30 plus years in camping, he has been a camper, counselor, swim instructor, water-front director, tripping program leader, photographer, and ski instructor.  Our campers and staff lean on his experience and expertise.  MP holds a Master's Degree in Fine Art, and spent over a decade as a Professor of Art at UW-Milwaukee, The Milwaukee School of Art and Design (MIAD), and Concordia University- Wisconsin.  MP is married to Suzi Pierce, our Activities Director.  They have two boys, Ben and Max.  They reside during the off-season in Boise, ID.

Chris Garcia joined the Agawak crew in 2008 and is a Minocqua native.  After gaining an undergraduate Finance degree from Carroll College in Waukesha, she went on to receive a Masters degree in Administration from University of Whitewater.  Chris thoroughly enjoys the office life of number crunching, report running and day to day operations that go on "behind the scenes".  She works year round at Agawak, but also coaches the local swim club seven months out of the year and the boys high school team.  From time to time, Chris lends a hand to the waterfront giving swim lessons or lifeguarding.  As a mother of four, she also gives out hugs when needed or an extra ear to listen.  Chris lives in Hazelhurst with her husband and children; Nick, Hanna, Jack and Georgia.

Brandon Komarek started at Camp Agawak in 1998.  He has walked the grounds and been in and out of all the buildings almost as much as Mary, our director.  Brandon is Head of Maintenance, and the person who makes the camp sparkle.  He maintains all of our equipment, buildings, boats, and vehicles.  Brandon is not only handy but imaginative.  He takes the ideas and dreams from Mary and other staff and turns them into reality - Just ask about the "Foam Party".  His parents, grandparents and MANY other relatives have homes on Blue Lake.  He is originally from Arlington Heights, IL, but now resides with his wife, Gayle, in Minocqua.