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Snyder makes appointments to 'Virtual City' board

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today announced eight appointments to the Michigan Municipal Services Authority (MSA). The MSA, also referred to as a "Virtual City," was created to encourage best practices, teamwork and inter-local cooperation between municipalities and school districts. Collaboration between local units of government, to get the most out of the citizens' tax dollars, has been a hallmark of the Snyder administration.

Created by inter-local agreement, the 12-member authority oversees the development of shared city services between Grand Rapids and Livonia. The agreement allows the communities to collaborate in the delivery of services such as information technology, finance and accounting, payroll processing, and health care pooling.


"The Municipal Services Authority will strengthen Michigan communities by accelerating collaboration, cooperation and joint action," Snyder said. "The Authority will define and implement best practices for inter-local cooperation, help local units of government improve or enhance services, and reduce costs."


The MSA, which was approved by both cities in July and signed by Snyder on Aug. 24, gives the MSA authority to enter into contracts for the collaboration of functions and processes, cost-sharing, and implementation of best practices. In the near term, Grand Rapids and the MSA plan to launch an innovative and secure financial management system that is more cost effective and efficient.  Once completed, other Michigan municipalities can use the system for their own financial management needs.


Potential future initiatives include centralized payroll and a health care pool for local governments. Grand Rapids is currently implementing a combined income tax processing and payment system with the cities of Flint and Lansing.


Snyder said the appointees to the Authority are "experienced professionals and outstanding choices."


"I am confident they will effectively and efficiently serve citizens of the municipalities which are part of the MSA and the state of Michigan as a whole," he said.


Appointees to the Municipal Services Authority are:


Stacie Behler, of New Era, is vice president of public affairs for Meijer Inc., where she oversees the company's state and federal policy work and community and philanthropic contributions. She joined Meijer Inc. in 2001. Previously, Behler worked as an attorney for the Grand Rapids-based firm Smith Haughey Rice and Roegge. She serves on the board of directors for various organizations, including the Michigan State Chamber of Commerce, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Women's Foundation. Behler holds a bachelor's degree in political science and English from Oakland University and a law degree from the University of Illinois.


Robert Daddow, of Rochester, is Oakland County's deputy county executive. Previously, he served as director and acting director of the county's departments of management and budget and information technology, respectively, and held various positions during a 17-year career with Ernst & Young. Daddow is a certified public accountant, and serves as co-chair of the Legislative Commission on Unfunded Mandates. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration, both from Central Michigan University. Daddow will represent local public agencies.


Peggy Jury, of Davison, is a retired partner of Plante Moran PLLC, where she led the Flint office's assurance practice, and worked with many of the firm's county and local government clients. Jury is former chairperson of the Genesee County Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants. Jury holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Western Michigan University.


Donat "Don" Leclair, of Canton, is retired as chief financial officer of Ford Motor Co., where he worked for more than 30 years. He held various positions with Ford, including corporate controller and controller of North American automotive operations. Leclair received a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's degree in business administration and finance, both from the University of Michigan.


Patricia Poppe, of Bloomfield, is vice president of customer experience and operations for Consumers Energy Corp. Previously, she held leadership positions with DTE Energy Corp. and General Motors. Poppe is vice chairperson and fundraising committee chairperson of Boys Hope Girls Hope. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in industrial engineering, both from Purdue University, and a master's degree in management from Stanford University.


Rich Sheridan, of Ann Arbor, is founder and CEO of Ann Arbor-based Menlo Innovations. Previously, he served as vice president of product development for Tumbleweed Communications and as vice president of development for Interface Systems. Sheridan is a former board member of Ann Arbor SPARK. He received a bachelor's degree in computer and communication science and a master's degree in computer information control engineering, both from the University of Michigan.


Donald Snider, of Franklin, is senior vice president of urban economic development for the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Previously, he served as president and CEO of Walden Foods LLC in Ann Arbor and Paper-Plas Converting Inc. in Detroit. Snider is a member of the PNC Bank community development bank advisory board, a member of the Chicago Federal Reserve seventh district advisory board, and a Henry Ford Health System board trustee. He holds a master's degree in public administration from Central Michigan University.


Doug Wiescinski, of Commerce Township, is a partner with Plante Moran PLLC, where he oversees the firm's technology consulting and solutions practice. He is a certified systems professional and brings more than 20 years of experience in information technology. Wiescinski is a current board member and former president of the Society of Information Managers, and he serves on advisory boards for Lawrence Technological University, Oakland University and Central Michigan University. He received a bachelor's degree in management information systems from Ferris State University.


All appointees will serve a term at the pleasure of the governor, and their appointments are not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.


Behler, Daddow and Leclair have also been appointed to the authority's executive committee. On the executive committee, Behler will serve a two-year term that expires Sept. 17, 2014, Daddow will serve a four-year term that expires Sept. 17, 2016 and Leclair will serve a one-year term that expires Sept. 17, 2013. Leclair will serve as executive committee chair.


Grand Rapids appointees to the MSA are Scott Buhrer, Grand Rapids assistant city manager for fiscal services, and Eric DeLong, deputy city manager for Grand Rapids. Livonia appointees are Brian Meakin, president of Meakin and Associates Insurance and president of the Livonia Community Foundation, and James Cambridge, attorney at Kerr, Russell and Weber, PLC and past chairman of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.