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Granholm-Cherry Announce More Key Senior Staff Appointments

LANSING - Governor-Elect Jennifer M. Granholm and Lt. Governor-Elect John D. Cherry today announced more key senior staff appointments for the executive office operation in Lansing and regional offices in Detroit and Washington, D.C.

Tim Hughes, 52, a longtime Capitol veteran, was named Legislative Director for the Granholm-Cherry Administration. Hughes has served the legislative director for the Michigan State AFL-CIO since 1987.


"Tim Hughes brings experience in both issue advocacy and in legislative relations," Granholm said. "This great marriage of skills will help our administration work closely with the Legislature to find common ground and work together on the challenges facing Michigan's families."


Granholm named Robert A. Davis of Detroit to direct her Southeast Michigan Office. He currently serves as deputy director of Community and Faith Based Initiatives for Wayne County. He previously served three years under former Mayor Dennis Archer and worked 11 years for Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.


"Robert Davis wears his dedication to Detroit and the greater community of Southeast Michigan on his sleeve," Granholm said. "He is a results-driven leader, a consensus builder, and innovative thinker - in other words, the perfect choice for my Southeast Michigan office as we work to bridge city and suburb on a multitude of issues."


John Burchett, 40, a Michigan native and Washington, D.C. resident, was named Director of the Washington D.C. Office. Burchett has served as deputy director of the Granholm-Cherry transition. He has worked as a business consultant to governments across the country.


"John has extensive experience throughout state and federal government," Granholm said. "As we push to pursue more federal funding and flexibility in federal programs, John is the perfect choice to head up my Washington, D.C. office."


Granholm also tapped Maxine Berman, 56, of West Bloomfield, to be Director of Special Projects. A former state representative, Berman most recently served as policy and politics director for the Granholm for Governor campaign.


"Maxine's legislative background, common sense approach and institutional memory of issues all combine to make her ideal for handling complex initiatives for the administration," Granholm said. "I will be leaning on Maxine's advice and experience as we move the state forward by reshaping and restructuring state government."


Susan Corbin, 40, of Okemos was named Appointments Director. Corbin worked on the Democratic Coordinated Campaign this fall as the surrogate scheduler. She previously was employed as community outreach coordinator for the Michigan Department of Education.


"Susan Corbin has a great governmental relations background and organization skills, which make her a top pick for Appointments Director," Granholm said. "Her state government experience has been far-ranging, making her familiar with several departments, commissions, and boards."


Ray Wert III, 23, of Bloomfield Hills was named Director of Operations and Information Technology. Wert served as logistics manager for the Granholm-Cherry transition office and the Democratic Coordinated Campaign.


"Ray Wert was one of the go-to people for my campaign and for the transition," Granholm said. "He handles all the details that make our lives easier and that make this transition smooth."


Granholm and Cherry will announce more Cabinet level appointments next week.