Hertel Asks to Continue at State Fair; DeBeaussaert to Lead the Office of the Great Lakes

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

April 4, 2003

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that a new partnership with Joe Dumars’ Fieldhouse at the State Fairgrounds has prompted John Hertel to ask to stay on as general manager of the Michigan State Fair and Exposition Center rather than lead the Office of the Great Lakes, and the Governor has honored his request.

In making the announcement that Hertel will continue his post at the State Fair, Granholm announced the appointment of Kenneth J. DeBeaussaert to be Director of the Office of the Great Lakes.

“John Hertel and Ken DeBeaussaert have been strong members of the Granholm team and were instrumental in helping us hit the ground running on January 1,” Granholm said today. “They have a passion for public service and a wealth of experience and knowledge that makes them extremely versatile members of my administration.”

DeBeaussaert, Vice President of Legislative Relations for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, was a Michigan legislator for 18 years, serving on a variety of committees responsible for environmental and water quality issues. While in the House of Representatives for ten years, he served on the Conservation, Recreation and Environment Committee and chaired the Marine Affairs and Port Development Committee that developed the initial water diversion protection legislation. During his two terms in the State Senate, he was a member of the Great Lakes Task Force that developed bi-partisan policy proposals for action based on citizen input from hearings across Michigan.

DeBeaussaert was a member of the Great Lakes Commission in the 1980s, serving as its vice-chair for a year, and also served on the Blue Ribbon Commission on Lake St. Clair in the 1990s.

A strong environmental advocate, DeBeaussaert has received the Clinton River Watershed Council’s Johanna Roskopp Award and was named Sierra Club Environmentalist of the Year in 1998. He is a graduate of Oakland University.

Granholm noted that Hertel, who has directed the rebirth of the State Fair, will stay on as general manager of the State Fair to oversee the development of the new Joe Dumars Fieldhouse at the Fairgrounds and to shepherd and nurture additional opportunities that could permanently make the State Fair financially secure.

Under a new agreement with the State of Michigan, Joe Dumars Fieldhouse will renovate the Agriculture Building on the fairgrounds and lease the facility for 11 months each year. The agreement will run for 20 years and generate more than $2.8 million over the life of the lease with all renovation costs being borne by Joe Dumars Fieldhouse.

An official announcement on the Dumars’ initiative at the fairgrounds will be made later this spring.