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Gov. Rick Snyder makes appointments, reappointments to Hispanic/Latino Commission

Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointments of Martha Gonzalez-Cortes, of Kentwood, and Juan Marinez, of Okemos, and the reappointments of JoAnn Chavez, of Ann Arbor, Osvaldo Rivera, of Detroit, and Jesse Venegas, of Royal Oak, to the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan.

Housed within the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, the 15-member commission develops and maintains a unified policy and plan of action to serve the needs of Michigan's Hispanic and Latino residents.

 "I thank all of these appointees for their commitment to serve, and I am confident they will do great work promoting the diverse interests of Hispanics and Latinos in the Great Lakes State," said Snyder.

Gonzalez-Cortes is the CEO of Gonzalez-Cortes & Associates LLC. She was previously CEO of the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan and served as the state director for the Office of Migrant Affairs in 2003. Gonzalez-Cortes earned a bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College and a master’s degree in cultural anthropology from Stanford University. She replaces Julia Guevara.

 Marinez retired from Michigan State University as program director for MSU and served as a regional supervisor for MSU Extension. Marinez served as a Michigan State adviser board member for the Sustainable and New Immigrants Small Farms Program. He earned an associate degree from Elkhart Institute of Dental Technology and a bachelor’s degree in social work from Michigan State University. He replaces Carlos Alvarado.

Chavez is vice president and chief tax officer for DTE Energy. She served as director of taxation at Atlas Oil Co. and was a tax partner in KPMG LLP’s Detroit Business Unit. She serves as executive sponsor of the DTE Energy Women in Finance, the DTE Energy Women’s Leadership Forum and DTE SER. She is a finance committee member of the Detroit Cristo Rey High School and an advisory member of the Detroit Hispanic Development Corp. Chavez earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a law degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Rivera is director of community engagement for Southwest Solutions. He worked as a university liaison with the Department of Human Services and served as director of multicultural affairs, assistant professor and social work field coordinator at Madonna University. Rivera earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Wayne State University and a master’s in social work from the University of Michigan. 

Venegas is vice president and general manager for Ideal Setech LLC. He is a member of the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and a past member of the Business Advisory Board at Crockett Technical High School in Detroit. Venegas is a member of Iron Workers Local 25, the Detroit Athletic Club, and the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Vermont and completed the Advanced Minority Business Executive Program through Tuck Executive Division at Dartmouth College.

Members will serve three-year terms expiring Dec. 10, 2017. Their appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.