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Gov. Rick Snyder makes appointment, reappointments to the Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity

Thursday, June 7, 2018

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointment of Harry (Luke) Shaefer of Ann Arbor and the reappointments of Jessica Taylor of Detroit, Robert Scolnik of Norton Shores and Matthew Purcell of Burton 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 promoting social and economic opportunities that foster self-sufficiency for low-income people.

“This commission is important to our state because it aims to not only end poverty, but also to give Michiganders the tools and opportunities to become more self-reliant,” Snyder said. “I thank these individuals for their dedication to improving the quality of life for Michigan residents.”

Shaefer is the director of poverty solutions at the University of Michigan. He also serves as an associate professor of social work and associate professor of public policy at the University of Michigan. Shaefer holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a master’s degree and Doctor of Philosophy in social service administration from the University of Chicago. He will represent the private sector and replace Marcella Wilson.

Taylor is the executive director of Chance for Life Organization in Detroit, where she is the facilitator for the development and implementation of behavioral modification programs within the Michigan Department of Corrections. She served as the mediation coordinator and volunteer recruiter for the Catholic Youth Organization and as the assistant to the director of training for the Wayne State University Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. Taylor holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in international business from Cornerstone University. She will continue to represent low-income persons.

Scolnik is a Muskegon County commissioner. He served in the U.S. Army where he achieved the rank of captain and served as the senior advisor of the Army Reserve in Western Michigan. He has served as chairman of the Muskegon Area Chamber of Commerce, president of the Muskegon Rotary Club and has served on the Michigan Pine and Dunes Girl Scout Council board. He was also a founding board member of the new Boys and Girls Club of Muskegon Lakeshore. Scolnik holds a bachelor’s degree from Hobart College and will continue to represent elected public officials.

Purcell is the executive director for Genesee County Community Action Resource Department. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from the University of Michigan and will continue to represent community action agencies.

Members will serve three-year terms expiring June 21, 2021. Appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.