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Snyder makes appointments, reappointments to Statewide Independent Living Council

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointments of Gabriella Burman, of Huntington Woods, and Mia Smith, of Wilson, and, and the reappointments of Dominic Dennis, of Marquette, Michael Hamm, of White Cloud, and Steven Locke, of Auburn, to the Statewide Independent Living Council.

The 15-member council ensures statewide representation of citizens with disabilities.

"These appointees are dedicated, knowledgeable professionals, and I am confident they will do great work on behalf of Michigan and its citizens with disabilities," said Snyder.


Burman is a communications coordinator for Hillel Day School in Farmington Hills. Previously, she worked as communications director for Big Tent Jobs, editor for Cerebral Palsy Magazine, and news editor for Atlanta Jewish Times and New York Resident. Currently, she is vice chair of the United Cerebral Palsy of Metro Detroit and The Friendship Circle. She also serves as a parent coach for families whose children have received a cerebral palsy diagnosis, helping them to fully integrate their child into society and provide them with therapeutic, medical and educational resources. Burman holds a bachelor’s degree in writing seminars with a minor in French from Johns Hopkins University. She will represent disability advocates and replaces Debra Morrison.

Smith is a vocational rehabilitation counselor with Hannahville Visions Center, assisting disabled tribal members in seeking and maintaining employment while providing numerous services as needed. Previously, she worked as a leadership trainee with Hannahville Visions Center, assistant coordinator with Hannahville Youth Center, and school photographer with Lifetouch Studios. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in vocational education from San Diego State University and is in the process of obtaining a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling. She will represent American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Programs and replaces Carol Bergquist.


Dennis served five years as the owner of a Sears Authorized Retail Dealer in Houghton. He performed all hiring and training of new staff, maintained daily store operations, evaluated budgeting and forecasting reports, and managed inventory. He also serves as a member on the Board of Superior Alliance for Independent Living. Previously, he worked as a store manager for Thrifty/Payless Drugs in California, Nevada, and Arizona. Dennis attended the Hadley School for the Blind and Wright State University and he holds an associate’s degree in accounting from Sinclair Community College. He will continue to represent individuals with disabilities.

Hamm is a self-employed consultant in White Cloud. He is a licensed master’s social worker and has 20 years of clinical experience in juvenile court and mental health. Hamm holds a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science and a master’s of social work, both from Grand Valley State University. He will continue to represent individuals with disabilities.

Locke is associate director for the Disability Network of Mid-Michigan, a position he has held since 2006. Previously, he worked as deputy director, special assistant to the director, and administrative assistant, all for the City of Saginaw- Housing Commission. He also worked as a library public services coordinator and library technical processor for the Saginaw Valley State University Center. Locke holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design/psychology from Saginaw Valley State University. He will continue to represent individuals with disabilities.

Members will serve three-year terms expiring Dec. 31, 2016, and their appointments are not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.