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Snyder makes appointments to Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced 10 appointments to the Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity.

The 12-member commission is charged with reducing the causes, conditions, and effects of poverty and promotingsocial and economic opportunities that foster self-sufficiency for low-income people.

“I appreciate this talented and diverse group of appointees and I look forward to their work,” Snyder said.

One-year terms expiring June 21, 2015:
Sheu-Jane Gallagher, of Detroit, is an intake champion for TechTown, where she serves as an entrepreneur’s front door to TechTown by connecting them to resources that will help grow their business. Gallagher holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, a master’s degree in biomedical engineering, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, all from Rutgers University. She will represent the private sector.

Jacob Maas, of Grand Rapids, is executive director of the Area Community Services Employment and Training Council. He has served as a contract administrator and a grants and contracts manager for the council since 2010. Maas holds a bachelor’s degree from Hope College. He will represent community action agencies.

Jessica Taylor, of Detroit, is executive director of Chance for Life Organization where she is the overall facilitator for the development and implementation of behavioral modification programs within the Michigan Department of Corrections. Taylor holds both a bachelor’s and master’s of business administration from Cornerstone University. She will represent those with lower income.

Two-year terms expiring June 21, 2016:
Dennis Echelbarger, of Byron Center, is the founder and chairman of the board of Echelbarger, Himebaugh, Tamm & Co, P.C. in Grand Rapids. He spent 11 years with another CPA firm and four years as the CFO of several manufacturing and wholesaling companies. He taught at Davenport College and for the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants. He currently sits on the board of trustees at Aquinas College and is the past chair on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Association of CPAs. Echelbarger earned a bachelor’s degree from Aquinas College. He will represent the private sector.

Sonjalita Hulbert, of Kalamazoo, is the supervisor of community development for AETNA/Coventry Cares of Michigan where she is responsible for developing, facilitating and implementing outreach activities. Hulbert holds an associate degree from Kalamazoo Valley Community College and her bachelor’s degree in family life education from Spring Arbor University. She will represent community action agencies.

Judge Gregg Iddings, of Britton, is a judge with the Lenawee County Probate Court, where he has served since 2009. Prior to that, he was a partner with Iddings & Iddings PLLC in Adrian and was a partner with Cooper, Bender & Iddings, P.C., also in Adrian. Iddings earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and his law degree from the University of Toledo. He will represent elected public officials.

Kimberly Ruiz, of Monroe, is the Bridges out of Poverty coordinator for the Monroe County Opportunity Program. She previously worked for Paula’s House, a support system for women with substance abuse problems. Ruiz studied at Eastern Michigan University and is currently pursuing a degree in social work form Monroe Community College. She will represent those with lower income.

Three-year terms expiring June 21, 2017:
Fran Amos, of Waterford, is the marketing director for Solutions to Recovery. She served three terms in the Michigan House of Representatives, representing the 43rd District in Oakland County. She was a member of the Appropriations Committee and its subcommittees for Labor and Economic Growth; Higher Education; K-12; History, Arts and Libraries; and Transportation. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Oakland University. She will represent the private sector.

Anne Armstrong Cusack, of Grand Rapids, is a Grand Rapids Public Library commissioner, a position she was elected to in 2006. She is the co-owner of Laugher That Matters, a marketing firm. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University and a master’s in public health and master’s in health services administration from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She will represent elected public officials and serve as chair.

Jill Edwards-Sutton, of Mt. Pleasant, is executive director of the Mid-Michigan Community Action Agency in Mt. Pleasant. She has worked for MMCAA since 1989 and served as executive director since 2009. She earned her bachelor’s degree in human environmental studies – child development and her master’s degree in community agency counseling, both from Central Michigan University. She will continue to represent community action agencies.

After initial terms, members will serve three-year terms. Appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.