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Gov. Rick Snyder makes appointments, reappointments to Commission on Services to the Aging

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointments of Kathleen LaTosch, of Ferndale, and Dona Wishart, of Gaylord, and the reappointments of Sibyl Ellis, of Mt. Pleasant, Donna Murray-Brown, of Detroit, and Renee Reid-Smith, of Niles, to the Commission on Services to the Aging.

The commission is a 15-member body appointed by the governor to offer oversight on the administration of state programs and priorities affecting aging Michiganders. A majority of the members must be at least 60 years of age and no more than eight may be from the same political party.

“This is a talented group of appointees and I am confident they will continue to ensure that aging adults have the opportunity to live healthy and independent lives,” Snyder said.

LaTosch is the principal consultant for LaTosch Consulting, a diversity and inclusion consulting group. She previously served as chief administrative officer for Affirmations and currently serves on the LGBT Older Adult Coalition, Citizens for a Fair Ferndale, and the Ferndale Education Foundation. LaTosch earned a bachelor’s degree in English and anthropology from Albion College and a master’s in social work in mental health and chemical dependency from Eastern Michigan University. She represents Democrats and replaces Patricia Rencher.

Wishart is the executive director of the Otsego County Commission on Aging and previously worked for the Gaylord Area Convention and Tourism Bureau and the Community Services Network. Wishart earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Michigan State University. She represents Republicans and replaces Donald Newport. Wishart is also appointed to serve as chair of the Commission for a term expiring at the pleasure of the governor.

Ellis retired as the president and CEO of Someplace Special, Inc. She has served the community in numerous capacities, including mayor, city commissioner, board of trustees of the Michigan Municipal League, board of trustees of the United Way of Michigan, and president of the Isabella County United Way. She also served on the Judicial Tenure Commission. Ellis earned a degree business from Michigan State University. She continues to represent Republicans. 

Murray-Brown is the president and CEO of the Michigan Nonprofit Association. She served as the senior director for the Michigan Nonprofit Association and the vice president and community reinvestment act director for Charter One Bank. She serves on the boards of the Michigan Association of United Ways, Detroit Public Television and the Skyline Club. Murray-Brown earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Central State University. She continues to represent Independents. 

Reid-Smith is the community development liaison for Berrien County Cancer Service, Inc., and previously served as healthcare director for Michigan Works! in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties. She serves as the chair of the advisory council of Region IV Area Agency on Aging, ex-officio board member of the Berrien County Cancer Service Board, and on the Southwestern Michigan Community College School of Nursing & Health Board. Reid-Smith earned an associate’s degree in health sciences from Lake Michigan College. She continues to represent Republicans.

Members serve three-year terms expiring July 28, 2018. The appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.