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Appointments made to Michigan Waterways Commission

Monday, October 1, 2012

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed Denny Grinold, of Lansing, Dennis Nickels, of Grand Haven, and Ward Walstrom, of Harbor Springs, to the Michigan Waterways Commission. He has also appointed R.J. Peterson, of Saugatuck, to serve as a special consultant to the commission.

Housed within the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the seven-member commission is responsible for the acquisition, construction and maintenance of recreational harbors, channels, docking and launching facilities, and administration of commercial docks in the Straits of Mackinac.


"These individuals bring outstanding experiences to the commission, and I am thankful for their willingness to serve the Great Lakes State," said Snyder.


Grinold has been cruising and fishing on Lake Michigan for more than 40 years. He is chairman of the U.S. Committee of Advisors to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. He also is former vice president and president of the Michigan Charter Boat Association, currently serving as its state affairs officer. Grinold brings years of experience partnering with the Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He replaces Curtis Hertel.

Nickels is retired after more than 20 years of service with Deloitte Consulting LLP's state of Michigan Government Affairs and West Michigan practices. Previously, he served as a consultant for and as president of NDS Drug Stores. Nickels is a licensed captain and ship's master with the U.S. Coast Guard. He serves as the Grand Haven Harbor port captain for the Great Lakes Cruising Club, and is a member of The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited and The Great Lakes Foundation. Nickels holds a bachelor's degree in pharmacy from Ferris State University and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame. He replaces Michael Bryanton.

Walstrom is CEO of Walstrom Marine, a family-owned and operated Michigan business with facilities in Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor and Cheboygan. Previously, he served as the company's vice president. In 2005, he led Walstrom Marine in becoming one of the first Michigan Clean Marinas, and he currently serves on the Green Marina Outreach and Education Project's technical review team to help develop standards for all Great Lakes Clean Marinas. Walstrom earned a bachelor's degree in business from Michigan State University. He will represent people who own or operate a harbor or marina, living north of Townline 16 in the Lower Peninsula. Walstrom replaces Janet Mansfield.

Peterson is president of the Kalamazoo Ferry Co., Tower Marine in Douglas and Saugatuck Yacht Services.  He and his family have been involved with boat-building enterprises and marinas for more than 60 years. Peterson attended Purdue University and is a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

Grinold, Nickels and Walstrom will serve three-year terms that expire Sept. 18, 2015, and their appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate. Peterson will serve for a term at the pleasure of the governor.