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Gov. Whitmer announces cabinet, agency leadership to begin second term   

Today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced selections to lead state departments and state agencies into the next four years, including a new director at the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA). 

“When we took office four years ago, we set out to make Michigan a home for opportunity for everyone. None of us could’ve anticipated the challenges thrown our way, but our team stood Michigan strong and never gave up doing what was right for Michiganders. For that, I’m grateful to the entire cabinet for their service during our first term," Gov. Whitmer said. “With a new term, comes new opportunities and challenges. Today’s appointments and promotions will only build on the work that we’ve done over the last four years. We know it won’t be easy, but it will be gratifying when we build a state that enables every Michigander to succeed."   

The governor has selected Adam Hollier as the new director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. Director Zaneta Adams is stepping down at the end of the year to pursue opportunities outside of state government.

He is currently serving his second term in the Michigan Senate. Representing the 2nd Senate district, Hollier serves Wayne County including Detroit, the Grosse Pointes, Hamtramck, Harper Woods and Highland Park. Hollier served as a volunteer firefighter before enlisting in the U.S. Army and graduating with distinction from officer candidate school, where he earned the commission of 2nd Lieutenant. He currently serves as a captain paratrooper and team leader in the 412th Civil Affairs Battalion Airborne. Hollier was named to Michigan Chronicle’s 40 under 40 in 2013 and Crain’s 20 in their 20s in 2015. Hollier earned a bachelor’s in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University where he played safety on the varsity football team and was a decathlete. He received a master’s in urban planning from the University of Michigan.   

“As someone who has taken the call to serve my country in the armed services, I feel blessed to answer this call to serve my state and my fellow service members at the same time,” Hollier said. “I am excited to make Michigan the most inviting and supportive state for service members and their families.  We want to make sure every person is able to receive the benefits they have earned.”   

Under Director Zaneta Adams’ guidance, the MVAA has vastly expanded its outreach and service to Michigan veterans. The department has delivered a record-setting $10.9 million in state-appropriated grants in this year for veteran support, and another $1.8 million in grants from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a public-private partnership. They’ve expanded the veterans 24/7 call center (1-800-MICH-VET), which connects Michigan veterans with the benefits and resources they earned for their service. The call center increased from 13,312 in FY19 to 28,444 in FY22 – a 114% increase. The department also dramatically increased partnerships with employers and educational institutions across Michigan to improve veteran support. The MVAA addressed issues including veteran suicide and food insecurity head on, while advocating for all veterans – including women veterans, tribal veterans, minority veterans and LGBTQ+ veterans. 

“It has been my honor to serve the veterans of this state for the past three and a half years,” Director Adams said. “My goal when I took on this role was to bring more awareness of the resources available to veterans, to receive additional funding to support them and to bring more stakeholders to the table. With the support of the Whitmer administration and the Legislature, and with a great team backing me at the MVAA, I believe I have done that and more. I leave this role knowing that I have left the agency in a good place.”   

In other moves, Gov. Whitmer named Dan Eichinger as acting director of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE); Michelle Lange as director of the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB); Brian Hanna as executive director of the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA); Brad Wieferich as acting director of the Department of Transportation (MDOT); Kathy Angerer as acting director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD); and Shannon Lott as acting director of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).    

“Governor Whitmer starts her second term with the wind at her back - a decisive election victory and her party in control of the legislature," said Sandy Baruah, Detroit Regional Chamber. "As is customary, the Governor is realigning her key officers for the work ahead. The Detroit Regional Chamber wish the Governor and her team success as they conduct the people's business. The Chamber looks forward to working together whenever possible."