- What is the Commission and when do they meet?
The Commission consists of 25 members appointed by the Governor. The voting members of the Commission elect one of the members to serve as chairperson of the Commission. Members serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties as members of the Commission.
Robert Kolt is the president and CEO of Kolt Communications, Inc., a privately owned communications corporation with offices located in Okemos, Michigan. In 1991, Kolt Communications began providing a variety of communication counseling services to both public and private sector clients statewide including: public relations, advertising and media consulting. Robert Kolt also serves as a full-time instructor in the Advertising and Public Relations Department in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University and was honored with the title Professor of Practice in 2016. Kolt has been active as a media strategist for several statewide ballot issues, and worked as a media consultant and key political advisor to former Governor James J. Blanchard and former Secretary of State Richard H. Austin. Prior to founding Kolt Communications, Kolt worked as an executive for the Office of Communication in the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). Kolt also worked for several years as a news anchor and correspondent for WZZM-TV 13 ABC in Grand Rapids, as well as WWTV/WWUP-TV 9/10 CBS in northern Michigan. He has been a MCSC member since 2012.
Diana Rodriguez-Algra previously served as the Executive Director of the Volunteer Centers of Michigan. Prior to this she was the Service-Learning Coordinator for the Michigan Community Service Commission. In this role she was responsible for advancing the use of service-learning among policy and educational organizations. Her other positions have included serving as the Volunteer Services Liaison for the Family Independence Agency within the director office. Diana served for four years as the first Director of AmeriCorps State/ National programs at the Corporation for National and Community Service. In this position she oversaw the selection and distribution of over $526 million dollars in federal support for National Service Programs. Right before she left Michigan for Washington, she served as the first director of Michigan Community Service Commission established by Governor Engler in 1991. Ms. Rodriguez-Algra has been an MCSC member since 2010.
In March 2015 Heidi Magyar was appointed to a newly created position at General Motors as Director of Community Outreach. In this role, Magyar leads a team that includes GM’s ever-growing teamGM Cares employee volunteer program, GM Student Corps and other community volunteer activities.
Prior to this, Magyar was Chief of Staff supporting GM’s Executive Vice President of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain.
Previously, Magyar served as communications manager for the president of GM North America and other product and technology leaders. In this role, she created and implemented public speaking and media relations strategies for GM’s senior executives.Before joining the GM executive communications staff, Magyar led communications at GM’s Lansing, Saginaw and Bay City manufacturing facilities, including managing plant-community partnerships.
She currently serves on the board for the Detroit Parks and Recreation Foundation and was formerly a board member of the Capital Area United Way, and Girl Scouts of Michigan – Heart of Michigan Council. She has been a member of MCSC since 2015.
Maria Wilson Holmes is the Director of Community Investment, External Affairs for Comcast’s Heartland Region. She has been employed in the cable industry for more than 30 years, primarily focused on three areas: programming, government affairs, and community investment. Maria began her career as an executive producer in local origination productions and is an award winning video producer. In her current role, Maria is responsible to oversee community investment initiatives including employee engagement programs. Maria serves on several boards and committees including the Plymouth United Way, Women in Cable Telecommunications, and Washtenaw Literacy Advisory Board. She has been professionally recognized with various awards and numerous video/production awards. Her leadership has resulted in several company awards and recognitions as well. Maria attended Eastern Michigan University with a major in Telecommunications and minor in Marketing. Maria has been a member of the Commission since 2015.
Student, University of Virginia School of Law
Katharine Janes is a first-year student at the University of Virginia School of Law. She graduated in 2018 from the University of Notre Dame, where she majored in Political Science and graduated summa cum laude. During her time at Notre Dame, Katharine served as a vice president of the Community Alliance to Serve Hispanics, where she tutored English to non-native speakers; research assistant with the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study; member of the Reilly Student Committee with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions; and co-president of her a cappella group, Halftime. She interned with the South Bend Public Defender, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Senate, and a nongovernmental organization in Ecuador. While in high school at Sacred Heart Academy in Mount Pleasant, Michigan (where she graduated as valedictorian), Katharine was president of the Youth Advisory Committee at the Mount Pleasant Area Community Foundation, board member of the LEAGUE Michigan Commission at the Michigan Nonprofit Association, co-chair of the Michigan Community Foundations' Youth Project Committee at the Council of Michigan Foundations, and co-founder of a school-wide anti-bullying organization called Students for Students. She has recorded over 2,500 hours of community service over the past eight years. Katharine has been an MCSC member since 2013.
Renaissance Venture Capital FundJessica is the Chief Administrative Officer for Renaissance Venture Capital Fund. She handles office operations, marketing and finance and business development support to reinforce Renaissance’s mission of helping to drive forward both innovation and growth of emerging companies in the region. Jessica previously worked for the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) as an analyst for the IT Talent Systems Department where she managed the Michigan Virtual Career Fair events, social media accounts for Pure Michigan Talent Connect and supported the marketing and outreach for the Pure Michigan Talent Connect system. Prior to working with WDA, Jessica worked for the MEDC’s Talent Enhancement Division on the Escalated Services Team where she assisted Michigan employers with finding talent for hard to fill positions and driving talent to utilize Pure Michigan Talent Connect. Jessica is a member of the Women’s Leadership Council of Jackson County and has been a Big Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Jackson County for 5 years. She joined MCSC in December 2017.
Saint Mary’s Foundation
For the last 21 years, Michelle has worked in the nonprofit world, primarily in health care, and has strong experience in fundraising, strategic planning, donor stewardship, board leadership and development and community relations. Currently, she serves as President for the Saint Mary’s Foundation, the philanthropic arm for Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. Michelle currently serves as a Board Member for Michigan Women’s Foundation as well as the National Kappa Delta Foundation Board. She recently stepped down after serving eight years as an elected member for the East Grand Rapids Public Schools Board of Education. Michelle has been recognized as one of the "50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan," as a Champion Award recipient for Leadership Skills by the Center for Community Leadership, and with the Benjamin Franklin Award for Outstanding Fundraising Professional from the Association of Fundraising Professionals West Michigan chapter. She has served on the MCSC since 2015.
Greenstone Farm Credit
Peter Lemmer is senior vice president and chief legal counsel for Greenstone Farm Credit Services. He has more than 25 years of experience as an attorney, including more than 20 years in the position of chief legal counsel. He is an active member of the Michigan Bar Association and American Corporate Counsel Association. He was recently presented with the prestigious Phelps-Martin Award for Community Service for his volunteer work with local youth and refugee groups. He has been a MCSC member since 2013.
Executive Office of Governor Rick Snyder
In July 2016, Scott Hiipakka was appointed as the newly created Program Management Director-Executive Office of the Governor. His responsibilities include oversight and integration of key state strategic initiatives, including synchronization of programs and deliverables that support the Governor’s priorities. He also monitors both executive office and statewide programs while using measurement methods to maximize achievement and continuous improvement.
Prior to his role in state government, Hiipakka worked in the private sector as the Vice President for a consulting firm that specialized in emergency preparedness, safety and security. He also has experience in the medical and pharmaceutical industries.
Hiipakka also serves as a Brigade Commander in the Michigan Army National Guard where he holds the rank of Colonel. In this capacity he is responsible for teaching, mentoring, and building functional teams ranging in size from 30 to over 2,600 people. His prior assignment included serving as the Senior Strategic Planner and Advisor, State of Michigan-Flint Water Crisis. Other assignments include multiple command and staff positions with deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Operation Noble Eagle (Washington, DC). His active duty military experience includes service in the US Army Ranger Regiment and other key leadership and advisor roles. Hiipakka has over 20 years of military service.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Leadership Oakland and was the former Board Chair and board member for Winning Futures. Hiipakka is the recipient of the 2016 Leadership Oakland Leader of Leaders Award, the 2014 Winning Futures Legacy Award, and the 2013 Winning Futures Rare Everyday Hero Award. Hiipakka holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in homeland security f ...
Lansing Public Schools
Jerry served as the President of the Lansing Schools Education Association (LSEA), representing the teachers of Lansing, an affiliate of the Michigan Education Association (MEA) for nine years before retiring from this post. Jerry went on to serve teachers in the State of MI as a labor advocate through the LSEA and MEA. Jerry has been living and working in the Lansing area, partnering with business and labor for the past 28 years providing services to students, parents and staff throughout the Lansing community. Most recently Jerry has taken a position back with the Lansing School District providing services to their Human Resource and Facility departments before retiring again. Jerry continues to serve in a number of capacities, professionally and socially, and currently is a life time member of the LSEA and MEA. Additionally, Jerry is proud to serve as Vice Chair on the Capital Area United Way Board. Mr. Swartz has been a MCSC Commissioner since 2010.
Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit
Lorna G. Utley has been President & CEO of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit since October 2007. She has responsibility for leading an organization of 300 employees in meeting Goodwill’s mission of putting people with employment challenges to work. Prior to joining Goodwill, Utley was the President, GM Foundation and Director, Diversity Initiatives and Philanthropy after many years as a GM Human Resources professional. Ms. Utley earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University in business, and a Master of Science in Industrial Relations also from Purdue University’s Krannert Business School. Ms. Utley currently is the Treasurer for Synergy Partners, LLC, the founding President of the Grosse Pointe Foundation for Public Education, a member of Wayne State University’s Business School Board of Visitors, board member of Michigan Nonprofit, member of the Detroit Athletic Club’s Athletic Committee, past-Chair of Inforum, and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Detroit. In June 2012, she began a three-year term on the Goodwill Industries International Board. Utley has been an MCSC Commissioner since 2015.
The Barre Code Metro Detroit
Aubrey Moon of Washington, Mich. is Senior Manager at The Barre Code Metro Detroit where she oversees client relations, sales, retention and marketing for three of the franchise’s locations. In addition to her management role, Aubrey also holds the title of Master Trainer and works with current and soon-to-be instructors to uphold certification standards. She is also a contributor for Detroit Moms Blog, an online parenting resource. Prior to The Barre Code, Aubrey worked in advertising where she managed accounts for Buick and GMC, and Nissan. Aubrey graduated from Michigan State University in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising and specialization in Public Relations.
Michigan Department of Education
Sheila Alles was appointed Interim State Superintendent for the Michigan Department of Education by the State Board of Education in 2018. Prior to the appointment, Sheila had been the Chief Deputy Superintendent for the Michigan Department of Education. One of her biggest priorities is to continue the implementation of Michigan’s Strategic Plan to become a Top 10 education state in 10 years.
She brings a wealth of educational and leadership experiences to the position. The first half of her career was spent in the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools where she taught students in kindergarten through eighth grade except first grade. She also had administrative experience as a curriculum coordinator and curriculum director. The second half of her career was spent in the Livonia Public Schools where her administrative positions included elementary principal, director of elementary instruction, director of academic services, and chief academic officer.
Her passion for teaching and learning is reflected in the positions she has held with professional organizations, such as a member of the Michigan Association for School Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Board, member of the Michigan AdvancED Council, past chairperson of Metropolitan Bureau of School Studies—Council of Academic Leadership, member of Wayne County Curriculum Planning Team, and member of the Madonna University Teacher Education Committee. Sheila also has experience as an adjunct professor of literacy at the undergraduate and graduate collegiate level.
Mervenne & Company
Anne is the CEO of Mervenne & Company, a public affairs consulting company. She also is a board member for the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Michigan Board of Directors and owner and operator of Voyage to Morocco, a travel firm for Moroccan vacations. She recently served as the co-director of the Michigan Political Leadership Program and served under former Gov. John Engler in various roles within the Executive Office of the Governor. Anne holds a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from James Madison College at Michigan State University.
Student, University of Michigan
Kelsey Snyder is currently a senior at the University of Michigan pursuing her bachelor degree in Political Science. She started her experience at the University by joining the Michigan Community Scholars Program, focusing on local service efforts. During her time at Michigan she has been an active member of the Panhellenic Community. She served on the executive board as Director of Alumnae Relations for her sorority, Sigma Kappa. She serves as the co-director of membership and internal affairs for the Panhellenic Peer Educator Program, Sexual Violence Empowerment and Education Division. She previously interned in Washington D.C. with the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Kelsey has volunteered with the Tom Wall Foundation for 8 years, focusing on providing opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. She is the director for Victor’s Day at the University of Michigan which brings in over 600 students and adults with disabilities in the greater Detroit area to meet Michigan athletes. She recently served as a peer model in a social skills group for students and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders at Subfield Center in Ann Arbor. She joined MCSC in December 2017.
Michigan State University
Kathleen Wilbur is the Executive Vice President for Government and External Relations at Michigan State University. Previously, she has advocated on behalf of Central Michigan University for the past 15-years through a variety of roles including the Vice President for Government & External Relations and has served as the VP for Development and served as Interim President in 2009-2010. She also served as the campus liaison to the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe – one of many strategic partners of CMU. She had responsibility for all Public Broadcasting operations, which represented a significant outreach operation for the University.
Prior to her tenure at CMU, Kathy is the only woman to serve as the Director of three different Michigan state departments (Licensing and Regulation, Commerce, Consumer and Industry Services). Kathy was a member of Governor John Engler’s cabinet for 12-years. In the 1980’s, she served as a Chief of Staff to State Senator William Sederburg in the Michigan State Senate for nearly 12-years. During that time, she was also elected state-wide to the Michigan State University Board of Trustees and served for nearly eight years. In 2007, Kathy was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame.
Deloitte Consulting, LLP
David Parent of Ann Arbor is principal for Deloitte Consulting, LLP, where he serves as a management consultant focused in the area of human capital, including talent strategies, organizational transformation, and human resources. David serves as Deloitte’s office managing director for its Consulting practice in Detroit, as well as leading the firm’s relationship with the University of Michigan. Within Deloitte, David has lead a variety of talent development, diversity, and learning programs. He also recently lead Deloitte-sponsored pro bono consulting projects for the City of Detroit, Wayne County and a project called “Flint Sprint” for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. Parent holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Illinois, a master’s in business administration and a master’s in urban and regional planning from the University of Michigan.
Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
Beverly F. Grant is the Associate Director of the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids. She is the key strategist in the centers overall daily maintenance and operations and partners with the Senior Accountability Team to implement the Center’s strategic initiatives.Beverly initially joined the Johnson Center as the Associate Director in 2013 before accepting a one-year appointment as Grand Valley State University’s Interim Assistant Vice President of Inclusion & Equity. She returned to the Johnson Center in 2016 to resume her role as associate director.
Prior to joining the Johnson Center, Beverly was the Program Officer for the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation, Deputy Director of program services for Network180, and Director of Operations, Quality Assurance and Strategic Management for Bethany Christian Services.
Beverly has given her time, talent and treasures by serving on several boards nationally and in the West Michigan community, including the Council on Accreditation as a commissioner, board member and peer reviewer, City of Grand Rapids Board of Review, The Children’s Law Center, D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s Home for Children, and the Early Learning Opportunities Network. Beverly holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work from Grambling State University and Atlanta University respectively. Beverly has been a MCSC member since 2015.
Retired, Youth development consultant
Judy Watson Olson comes from and is passionate about the Upper Peninsula. She is an active volunteer and serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of U.P. Health System – Marquette, is active in Rotary Youth Exchange through her Rotary Club, and volunteers at her Gwinn church. She retired in 2013 as president of Great Lakes Center for Youth Development, a Marquette-based nonprofit that promotes positive youth development and builds capacity in nonprofit organizations throughout the U.P. She has over 35 years of experience in youth development, community development, and program management. She has worked for MSU Extension and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. She has gained experience and expertise in philanthropy, community building, program development and strength-based youth development. While under her leadership, the Kellogg Foundation through the Kellogg Youth Initiative Partnerships invested over $18 million in the youth development environment, assisting in the development of over 10 new youth or family development organizations, and providing assistance and resources to an additional 75 nonprofit organizations, schools, and governmental units. Judy holds a B.S. and M.S. from Michigan State University, and an Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Corporation for National and Community Service
Cathy has been with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) since December 2000 when she began as State Program Specialist in the Albany, NY Field Office. In February 2005, she accepted the position of State Program Director (SPD) for the CNCS South Carolina Field Office and moved to Columbia, SC, serving in that role for the next seven years. As a native of the Great Lakes State, she accepted a May 2012 transfer to serve as SPD in the CNCS Michigan Field Office. As an employee at CNCS, she has collaborated closely with three State Commissions on National and Community Service in NY, SC and MI. Prior to her employment at CNCS, she worked for nine years at Catholic Human Services as the project director for two CNCS Senior Corps Programs in the ten county region of NWMI. Earlier work experience included case management for the Medicaid Waiver Program for the Area Agency on Aging of NWMI and coordinator of the Respite Care/Information and Referral Program with the same agency. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology from Central Michigan University and a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology from Eastern Michigan University.