Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to Boards and Commissions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

July 14, 2021 

Contact: press@michigan.gov  

  

Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to Boards and Commissions 

  

LANSING, Mich. - Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the following appointments to the Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control, Unemployment Insurance Appeals Commission, and the Workers' Disability Compensation Appeals Commission.  

 

Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control 

 

Vanessa Guerra, of Saginaw, currently serves as the Saginaw County Clerk. She previously served as the State Representative for the 95th House District and as a trustee with Bridgeport Charter Township. Ms. Guerra holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Studies and Latino Studies from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. She is a member of the Michigan Association of County Clerks, YWCA Great Lakes Bay Region Board, and Saginaw TempleArts Board. Ms. Guerra is appointed for a term commencing July 22, 2021 and expiring July 21, 2029. She succeeds Dennis Durco whose term expires July 21, 2021. 

 

Carl M. Williams, of Saginaw, is the first vice president of the NAACP Saginaw Chapter. He previously served as the manager of public relations for the Michigan Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative, as the State Representative for the 95th House District, and as a member of the Saginaw City Council and Mayor Pro-Tem. Prior to his election to public office, Mr. Williams was employed by Delphi Steering Systems as an Employee Assistance Program coordinator and manufacturing supervisor. Mr. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Central Michigan University. He is a current member of the Black Leadership Advisory Council. Mr. Williams is appointed for a term commencing July 22, 2021 and expiring July 21, 2029. He succeeds John Kunitzer whose term expires July 21, 2021. 

 

Article VIII ยง 6 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963 establishes that Michigan's institutions of higher education, that are established by law as having authority to grant baccalaureate degrees, shall each be governed by a Board of Control which shall be a body corporate. The Board has general supervision of the institution and the control and direction of all expenditures from the institution's funds. The Board also, as often as necessary, elects a president of the institution under its supervision. Each Board of Control consists of eight members appointed by the Governor for eight-year terms.  

  

These appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate. 

 

 

Unemployment Insurance Appeals Commission 

 

Lester A. Owczarski, of West Bloomfield, currently serves as a commissioner with the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Commission. Prior to his appointment in 2019, Mr. Owczarski served as a commissioner with the former Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Detroit. Mr. Owczarski is reappointed for a term commencing August 1, 2021 and expiring July 31, 2025. 

 

Julie A. Petrik, of Huntington Woods, is a current commissioner and chair of the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Commission. Prior to her appointment in 2019, Ms. Petrik was an attorney with the Lyngklip and Associates Consumer Law Center. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from the College of St. Benedict and a Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State University Law School. Ms. Petrik is reappointed for a term commencing August 1, 2021 and expiring July 31, 2025. The Governor has designated Ms. Petrik to serve as the Chair of the Commission.  

 

The Unemployment Insurance Appeals Commission serves Michigan's employees, employers, and insurers by addressing and impartially resolving appeals of decisions and orders involving workers' compensation and unemployment insurance benefits. The Commission created in Executive Order No. 2019-13 has full authority to handle, process, and decide appeals filed under Michigan Employment Security Act Section 33(2).  

  

These appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.    

 

Workers' Disability Compensation Appeals Commission 

 

Duncan A. McMillan, of East Grand Rapids, is a current commissioner with the Workers' Disability Compensation Appeals Commission. Prior to his appointment in 2019, Mr. McMillan served as a commissioner with the former Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School. Mr. McMillan is reappointed for a term commencing August 1, 2021 and expiring July 31, 2025. 

 

The Workers' Disability Compensation Appeals Commission was created by Executive Order No. 2019-13 and replaces the abolished Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission. The Commission services Michigan's employees and employers by addressing and resolving their workers' compensation appeals expeditiously, impartially, and in a judicious manner.  

 

This appointment is subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.   

 

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