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Governor makes appointments to Barrier Free Design Board

Friday, January 18, 2013

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointments of Aaron Besmer, of Caledonia, and Emily Blauw, of Ada, to the Barrier Free Design Board.

The nine-member board assists the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs with reviewing and processing requests for exceptions to the barrier free design specifications. It also makes recommendations for barrier free design rules.


"Aaron and Emily are great choices for this board," said Snyder. "I am confident they will do good work and I am thankful for their willingness to serve in these roles."   


Besmer is an environmental engineer for Meijer, where he works to ensure the company's compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act by including barrier free parking, signage, grades and sidewalk ramps. He previously served as a site development manager. Before joining Meijer, he worked as a senior civil engineer for Grand Rapids-based Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber and as project manager for Capital Consultants/Design Works AE. Besmer holds an associate degree in civil engineering technology and a bachelor's degree in civil engineering, both from Michigan Technological University. He will represent engineers and replaces Donald Link.


Blauw is a speech-language pathologist for Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital's Pediatric and Stroke Neurological Rehabilitation unit, where she also completed her clinical fellowship. She previously served as a full-time pediatric speech-language pathology intern at the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. In 2010, Blauw was crowned Miss Wheelchair Michigan and spent the year advocating for individuals with disabilities. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Hope College and a master's degree in speech-language pathology from Western Michigan University. Blauw will represent wheelchair users and replaces Daryl Domke.


Appointees will serve three-year terms that expire Oct. 31, 2015, and their appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.