Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to Boards and Commissions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

February 25, 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 Health Information Technology CommissionMental Health Diversion Council, and the Michigan Workforce Development Board. 

 

Health Information Technology Commission 

 

Marissa Ebersole-Wood, Ph.D., of Plymouth, is the vice president of regulatory implementation and data governance for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. She earned her Ph.D., Master of Science, and Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan. Dr. Ebersole-Wood is appointed to represent a nonprofit health care corporation operating pursuant to the nonprofit health care corporation reform act, for a term commencing February 25, 2021 and expiring August 3, 2022. She succeeds Thomas Lawrence Simmer who has resigned. 

 

The Michigan Health Information Technology (HIT) Commission's mission is to facilitate and promote the design, implementation, operation, and maintenance of an interoperable health care information infrastructure in Michigan.  

  

This appointment is not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.   

 

Mental Health Diversion Council 

 

Christopher Becker, of Ada, is the prosecutor for Kent County. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science and International Relations from Michigan State University James Madison College and a Juris Doctor degree from Valparaiso University School of Law. Mr. Becker is reappointed to represent prosecutors, for a term commencing February 25, 2021 and expiring January 30, 2025. 

 

James A. Blocker, of Delton, is the chief of police for the City of Battle Creek. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Cornerstone University, a Master of Public Administration from Western Michigan University, and he is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. Chief Blocker is appointed to represent local law enforcement for a term commencing February 25, 2021 and expiring January 30, 2025. He succeeds Jon Gale whose term expired January 30, 2021.   

 

Frank K. Fischer, of Plymouth, is the executive director of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Michigan. He is also the executive director of The Dominique Fischer Memorial Foundation and is a member of the Suicide Prevention Commission. Mr. Fischer is appointed to represent advocates or consumer representatives on adult diversion issues for a term commencing February 25, 2021 and expiring January 30, 2025. He succeeds Larry Cameron whose term expired January 30, 2021.  

 

James R. Samuels, of Mecosta, is an attorney and owner of Samuels Law Office, PLLC and a faculty member and board member with the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Ferris State University and a Juris Doctor degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Mr. Samuels is appointed to represent a licensed attorney with experience representing individuals with mental illness for a term commencing February 25, 2021 and expiring January 30, 2025. He succeeds Christopher Cooke whose term expired January 30, 2021.   

 

George Strander, Ph.D., of Albion, is the court administrator for the 30th Circuit Court of Ingham County. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law SchoolPh.D. in Philosophy from Brown University, Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Washington, and Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Government from Dartmouth College. Dr. Strander is reappointed to represent court administrators for a term commencing February 25, 2021 and expiring January 30, 2025. 

 

Algeria K. Wilson, of East Lansing, is the director of public policy for the National Association of Social Workers Michigan ChapterShe holds a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Social Work from Michigan State University. Ms. Wilson is appointed to represent advocates or consumer representatives on juvenile justice issues for a term commencing February 25, 2021 and expiring January 30, 2022. She succeeds Michele Bell who has resigned.  

 

The Mental Health Diversion Council is an advisory body to the Governor within the Department of Health and Human Services charged to advise and assist in the implementation of a diversion action plan and provide recommendations for statutory, contractual or procedural changes to improve diversion.  

 

These appointments are not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.    

 

Michigan Workforce Development Board 

 

Shana Lewis, of Lansing, is the executive director of talent acquisition and workforce programs for Trinity Health. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Management from Cornerstone University. Ms. Lewis is appointed to represent business for a term commencing February 25, 2021 and expiring May 9, 2022. She succeeds Birgit Klohs who has resigned. 

 

Jeffrey Donofrio, of Detroit, is the president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science and Secondary Education from Michigan State University and a Master of Business Administration from Georgetown University. Mr. Donofrio is appointed to represent business for a term commencing February 25, 2021 and expiring May 9, 2022. He succeeds Patti Poppe who has resigned. 

 

The Michigan Workforce Development Board is responsible for the development and continuous improvement of the workforce development system in Michigan. The Board will act as an advisory body and will assist the Governor with the development, implementation, and modification of Michigan's four-year state plan pursuant to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and advance the Governor's 60 by 30 goal of helping 60% of our workforce achieve a post-secondary degree or certification by 2030. 

 

These appointments are not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.  

 

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