Gov. Rick Snyder makes appointments, reappointment to Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs

Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointments of Xavier Verna of Bear Lake, Rick Treur of Grand Rapids, Debbie Mikula of Howell, Tyler Rossmaessler of Fenton and the reappointment of Omari Rush of Ann Arbor to the Michigan Council on Arts and Cultural Affairs. Omari Rush is appointed chair of the council.

The 15-member council, housed in the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, helps create an environment of artistic, creative and cultural activity to support Michigan's quality of life and economic vitality.

“These individuals have a strong passion for maintaining and promoting the arts here in Michigan,” Snyder said. “I thank them for their willingness to serve on this council.”

Verna is executive director of Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts in Manistee. He previously served as the director of education for Sphinx Organization where he led and managed the recruitment, logistics and execution of Sphinx’s national programs including the Sphinx Competition, Sphinx Overture Program, Sphinx Performance Academy and SphinxCon (now named SphinxConnect). Verna holds a bachelor’s degree of arts as well as a K-12 teacher certification from the University of Michigan. He will replace Rick Davies.

Treur is the director of alumni and community relations for Calvin College. Prior to his employment with Calvin College, Treur was a community services director, constituent relations representative and campaign manager. Treur served on the LaughFest Committee, the Rapid’s Streetcar Committee and the Pine Rest Foundation Board. Treur holds a bachelor’s degree from Calvin College and will replace Pamela DeVos.   

Mikula is the executive director for the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, where she guides and leads a three-county arts service organization with a mission to support, strengthen and promote arts, culture and creativity. She is also an adjunct instructor at Michigan State University. Mikula holds a bachelor’s degree in theatre from Michigan State University and will replace April Clobes.    

Rossmaessler is the director of Economic Development at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. He previously served as business development manager for Michigan Economic Development Corporation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan and will replace Ritch Branstrom. 

Rush is the executive director of CultureSource: Detroit, a member association for non-profit arts and cultural organizations in Southeast Michigan. Rush holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Florida State University and a master’s degree in music from the University of Michigan. Rush will continue to serve as chair at the pleasure of the Governor.

Members will serve three-year terms expiring Sept. 1, 2021. Their appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.