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Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission members appointed

Monday, Jan. 23, 2012

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointment of three new members and the reappointment of three current members to the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission.

The commission works to enhance the full and equal participation of Asian Pacific Americans in building a greater Michigan.

"After taking my first overseas trade mission as governor, it reaffirmed how crucial it is that we continue building strong relationships with other nations to lay the groundwork for understanding and future investment in Michigan," Snyder said.  "These individuals will help the commission strengthen our state's relationships with other cultures and nations to ensure a stronger and better Michigan for all citizens." 

Mamatha Chamarthi, of Saline, is vice president and chief information officer for CMS Energy Corporation and Consumers Energy Co. She earned a master's degree in English from Osmania University in India, an MBA from SV University in India, a master's degree in computer science and software engineering from Oakland University, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. Chamarthi replaces Rona Mae Lum.

Hannah Feikema, of Kentwood, is an adjunct faculty member with Davenport University, where she teaches computer courses. She is the executive director of the West Michigan African Association and the West Michigan Korean American Association. Feikema earned a bachelor's degree in computer information systems from Ferris State University and a master's degree in computer information systems from Grand Valley State University. She replaces Ananda Parsad.

Clyde Wu, of Grosse Pointe, is retired and previously served as an associate clinical professor of medicine at Wayne State University for 37 years. He is a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Executive Committee and a trustee emeritus of Columbia University. He earned a bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins University and a medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Wu fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Bing Goei.

William Dechavez, of Rochester Hills, has been an educator with the Detroit Public Schools for 20 years. He is the executive director of the Filipino Political Association of Michigan and vice president of the Council of Asian Pacific Americans of Michigan. Dechavez is the state chairperson of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations and is a member of the Filipino American Community Council Board of Directors. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines and a master's degree in education from Marygrove College.

Gouzhen Lu, of Canton, is a professor in the department of mathematics at Wayne State University. He previously served as an associate professor at Wright State University, and was a guest professor and visiting chair professor at Beijing Normal University. Lu served as a past president and chairman of the Chinese Association of Greater Detroit. He earned a bachelor's degree from Zhejiang University in China and a doctorate from Rutgers University.

Marilyn Schlief, of Haslett, is an adjunct instructor of English as a Second Language at Michigan State University and Lansing Community College. She previously worked as a special education teacher with the Palo Alto Unified School District and as a global education consultant with Garden City Public Schools. Schlief earned both a bachelor's degree and master's degree in education from Wayne State University.

Appointees will serve four-year terms expiring Nov. 30, 2015, and are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.