Skip to main content

Gov. Rick Snyder makes appointments to the Rural Development Fund Board

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointments of Laura Braun, of Ovid, Margaret Minerick, of Sagola, Fred Taccolini, of Marquette, and John Walters, of Vanderbilt, to the Rural Development Fund Board.

The five-member board is housed within the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and is charged with establishing the project proposal criteria for the Rural Development Fund. Projects selected by the department, based on the criteria set by the Board, are intended to improve and strengthen rural communities. No more than two members may be from the same political party.

“I appreciate the experience theses members bring to this board and look forward to their contributions to strengthen Michigan’s rural communities,” Snyder said.

Braun has been manager and owner Golden Maple Farms, LLC, a cash crop and beef production operation in Ovid since 1986. She is also the owner and operator of The Shepardsville Corner Store. Braun serves on the board of directors for GreenStone Farm Credit Services, as well as the board of education for Ovid Elsie Area Schools. She earned a bachelor’s in business administration from Eastern Kentucky University. She will represent Republicans and the Lower Peninsula.

Taccolini is a certified public accountant with 27 years of medical device experience.  Previously he was the chief compliance officer for RTI Surgical Technology, Inc. and vice president of corporate services. Taccolini earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from St. John University and a master’s in business administration from Ball State University. He will represent independents and the Upper Peninsula.

Walters is a territory sales manager for Roseburg Forest Products. He serves as state chairman for Michigan Trout Unlimited and was previously the president of Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Walters earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Northern Michigan University. He will represent independents and the Lower Peninsula.

Minerick is president and partner for Sagola Hardwoods, Inc. She also worked as the secretary, treasurer, and partner for Minerick Logging, Inc. Minerick currently serves on the Dickenson County Hospital Board and the Michigan Forest Products Board.  She has received the Athena Award, Woman Community Leader Award, and the Michigan Association of Timbermen Award. She will represent Republicans and the Upper Peninsula.

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