MVAA names Michigan Women Veterans Advisory Board members

Contact: Lynn Sutfin, MVAA, 517-284-5230
Agency: Military and Veterans Affairs

October 5, 2016

LANSING, Mich. - Six women, including five veterans, have been selected to represent the state’s more than 45,000 women veterans on the Michigan Women Veterans Advisory Board.
The board will advise the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency on matters relating to women veterans such as economic opportunity and career advancement, as well as help expand awareness of available resources and services to the state's female veteran population.
“We sought out experts in business, health care, higher education, criminal justice, technology and government to participate,” said MVAA Director James Robert Redford. “Most of Michigan’s women veterans are recently transitioned members of the Armed Forces with unique needs that this board will help us serve better.”
Board members are:

  • Heather Byington, veteran recruiter at Quicken Loans; Air Force veteran.
  • Yulanda Curtis, clinical teaching fellow at the University of Michigan Law School.
  • Dr. Tamara Hullender, director, professional readiness at the Center for Student Services, College of Education and Human Services, Central Michigan University; Army veteran.
  • Dr. Sylvia Rafels, retired Air Force colonel.
  • Sarah Robb, business analyst at DTE Energy; Army National Guard veteran.
  • Kari Smith, virtual teaming subsection manager at General Electric Aviation Systems; retired Air Force lieutenant colonel.

In addition to the six board members, three ex officio members will serve on the board including Tim Loney, MVAA’s Deputy Director of Targeted Initiatives, Renee Haley of the Michigan Women’s Commission and Robert McDivitt of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Health Administration.   
The board will hold its first meeting Oct. 11 in Lansing.