Gov. Whitmer Makes Appointments to Boards and Commissions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   

April 26, 2019   

  

Gov. Whitmer Makes Appointments to Boards and Commissions  

 

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today announced the following appointments to the Michigan Veterans’ Facilities Board of Managers, Michigan Veterans’ Trust Fund Board of Trustees, Military Appeals Tribunal, Utility Consumer Participation Board, and Education Commission of the States. 

 

Michigan Veterans’ Facilities Board of Managers 

 

Deborah M. Chambers, of Grand Rapids, is a former United States Air Force training manager and a retired medical support assistant for the Veterans Administration. Ms. Chambers is appointed to succeed Carrie Anderson whose term has expired, to represent veterans for a term expiring February 28, 2022.  

Robert Johnson, of Kingsley, is an officer with the American Legion Post 35 and a senior engineering technical analyst for Consumers Energy. Mr. Johnson is reappointed to represent the American Legion for a term expiring February 28, 2022.  

 

The Michigan Veterans’ Facilities Board of Managers exercises certain regulatory and governance authority regarding admission and member affairs at Michigan's two veterans' homes. The Board of Managers represents the interest of the veterans' community in both advisory and advocacy roles. 

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

 

Michigan Veterans' Trust Fund Board of Trustees 

 

Robert L. Williams, of Benton Harbor, is a veteran of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division, a member of the Berrien County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Committee, and a member of the Military Order of the Purple Hearts. He is currently a payroll manager with J.A. Jones Construction at the Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plan. Mr. Williams is reappointed to represent Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. for a term expiring September 25, 2022.  

Barry A. Wood, of Hastings, is a former U.S. Navy and U.S. Army Intelligence Officer and a member of the American Legion. After serving, Mr. Wood was a supervisor at Hastings Mutual Insurance Company where he retired in 2014. Mr. Wood is reappointed to represent the American Legion for a term expiring February 25, 2022.  

The Michigan Veterans Trust Fund was created in 1946 from $50 million in postwar reserve funds to provide grants for the emergency needs of veterans. The Michigan Veterans Trust Fund Board of Trustees governs grant policies and adjudication, county committee appointments, and expenditure from trust earnings.  

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

 

Military Appeals Tribunal 

 

Deanna L. Bonner Simpson, of South Lyon, is the founding attorney of Veterans’ Advocates of Michigan, PLLC and a member of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Ms. Bonner Simpson is appointed to succeed Bradley L. Smith whose term has expired, to represent persons licensed to practice law in this state for a term expiring April 16, 2023. Ms. Bonner Simpson has also been designated as Chairperson for a term expiring at the pleasure of the Governor.  

 

Terrence P. Bronson, of Monroe, is a retired U.S. Navy Captain, a faculty member at the Michigan Judicial Institute, and the founder and presiding judge of the Monroe County Veteran’s Treatment Court. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Captain Bronson is appointed to succeed Robert C. Gardella whose term has expired, to represent persons licensed to practice law in this state for a term expiring April 16, 2023.  

Kyle R. Dufrane, of Rochester, is an attorney with Dykema Gossett, PLLC and a panelist on the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Mr. Dufrane is reappointed to represent persons licensed to practice law in this state for a term expiring April 16, 2023.  

The Military Appeals Tribunal has appellate jurisdiction, upon petition of an accused, to hear and review the record in all decisions of a court-martial after the review provided in the Michigan code of military justice. 

 

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

 

Utility Consumer Participation Board 

 

Elise D. Matz, of Marquette, is the Director of Spark U.P., an energy policy and news source. Ms. Matz is appointed to succeed Susan Haroutunian whose term has expired, to represent individuals submitted by the Attorney General for a term expiring January 12, 2021.  

The Utility Consumer Participation Board provides grants to qualified applicants that represent the interests of Michigan's residential energy—gas, electric, and other fuel—utility customers at residential energy proceedings before the Michigan Public Service Commission. Funding is generated through annual assessments of certain regulated utility companies. 

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

 

Education Commission of the States 

 

Punita Dani Thurman, of Novi, is the vice president of program and strategy for the Skillman Foundation. She serves as a trustee for the Novi Educational Foundation and as a member of the Leadership Team Planning Committee on the Council of Michigan Foundations P-20 Education Affinity Group. Ms. Thurman is appointed to serve at the pleasure of the Governor.  

 

The Education Commission of the States was created in 1965 to improve public education by facilitating the exchange of information, ideas, and experiences among state policymakers and education leaders. As a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization involving key leaders from all levels of the education system, the Commission creates unique opportunities to build partnerships, share information, and promote the development of policy based on the best available research and strategies. Forty-nine states, three territories, and the District of Columbia constitute the Commission's current membership. 

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

 

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