Granholm Announces Michigan's Appointments To 2005 White House Conference on Aging

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

April 28, 2005

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced five appointees who will represent Michigan at the 2005 White House Conference on Aging.

“I have every confidence that Michigan’s delegates to this extraordinary conference will represent our state – and our seniors – as our aging paradigm shifts,” Granholm said. “This conference occurs as the first wave of the baby boom generation prepares for retirement, creating an important opportunity to creatively assess aging in America and improve the lives of older Americans.”

The appointments include:

  • Sharon L. Gire, Director of Michigan’s Office on Services to the Aging
  • Jerutha Kennedy, Chairperson of the Commission on Services to the Aging, and Unit Director, Harper Gratiot Multi Service Center
  • Owen Bieber, Former President, United Auto Workers, and an appointee to the state’s Commission on Services to the Aging
  • Aldo Vagnozzi, State Representative, 37th District. Vagnozzi was recommended by House Minority Leader Dianne Byrum
  • Deborah Cherry, State Senator, 26th District. Cherry, a former employee in the Office on Services to the Aging, was recommended by Senate Minority Leader Robert Emerson

Granholm also appointed several conference alternates, including:

  • Iman Radwan Mardini, chaplain of the American Muslin Center in Wayne County. Mardini also represents the Council on Arab and Chaldean American Affairs
  • Allison Hirshel, Elder Law Support Attorney, Michigan Poverty Law Program
  • Frances Diaz-Plets, assistant manager, Medicare Outreach and Education, Wisconsin Physician Service. Diaz-Plets also serves as an appointee on Michigan’s Commission on Spanish Speaking Affairs, and chairs the Michigan Hispanic Seniors Coalition
  • Gino Polidori, State Representative, 15th District, recommended by Byrum.
  • Irma Clark-Coleman, State Senator, 3rd District, recommended by Emerson.

The White House Conference on Aging – slated to be held in October 2005 - occurs once a decade to make aging policy recommendations to the President and Congress, and to assist the public and private sectors in promoting dignity, health, independence and economic security of current and future generations of older persons.