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Snyder appoints members to Natural Resources Trust Fund and Great Lakes Commission

Wednesday, March 2, 2011FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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LANSING, MI- Governor Rick Snyder today announced appointments to the Natural Resources Trust Fund Board and the Great Lakes Commission. 

Samuel Cummings and Rodney Stokes are appointed.Natural Resources Trust Fund Board

"I'm confident these individuals will work hard to preserve, protect and enhance Michigan's unique resources," said Snyder.

  • Cummings, of Grand Rapids, is principal and managing partner of CWD Real Estate Investment. He is a board member of the Economic Club of Grand Rapids and a member of the National Association of Realtors. Cummings previously served on the board of trustees for the Grand Rapids Community Foundation and the Grand Rapids Art Museum. He holds a bachelor's degree in business and English from Calvin College.
  • Stokes, of Lansing, is director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MIDNR). He has more than 30 years of experience with the MIDNR. Stokes previously served as the director of the Parks and Recreation Division for five years. Stokes has a bachelor's degree in recreation administration from Tennessee State University and a master's degree in parks and recreation resources from Michigan State University.

Cummings replaces Dennis Muchmore and will serve a four-year term, expiring on Oct. 1, 2014. Stokes replaces Rebecca Humphries and will serve at the pleasure of the governor. Cummings' appointment is subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

Patricia Birkholz and Helen Taylor will serve on the commission at the pleasure of the governor. Great Lakes Commission

  • Birkholz, of Saugatuck Township, is the director of the Office of the Great Lakes. She served three terms in the Michigan House and two terms in the Senate where she was the first woman in state history elected Senate president pro-tempore. Birkholz sponsored legislation creating the Parks Passport program to ensure state parks remain safe and available for future generations. Birkholz earned a bachelor's degree in speech pathology and completed graduate work in speech pathology and public administration at Western Michigan University. 
  • Taylor, of Lansing, is the Michigan state director of the Nature Conservancy. She has more than 25 years of experience working on Great Lakes protection, policy, and conservation issues, including nine years in the environmental policy field with a concentration in Great Lakes, pollution prevention, waste and public involvement. She earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Northwestern University. 

Birkholz will replace Ken DeBeaussaert and Taylor will replace former Lt. Gov. John Cherry. Taylor is subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.