Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to Boards and Commissions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

May 26, 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 Michigan Aeronautics CommissionMichigan Wheat Promotion CommitteeMichigan Appellate Defender CommissionCommission on Middle Eastern American Affairs, and the Michigan Workforce Development Board. 

 

Michigan Aeronautics Commission 

 

Benjamin R. Carter, of Farmington Hills, is the executive vice president and chief operating officer for Trinity Health. Mr. Carter is a pilot and certified flight instructor. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. Mr. Carter is appointed for a term commencing May 26, 2021 and expiring May 27, 2024. He succeeds Roger Salo whose term expired May 27, 2020.  

 

Rick J. Fiddler, of Ada, is the owner of Rick Fiddler Aviation Consulting, LLC. Mr. Fiddler recently retired from Amway Aviation where he served as the vice president of aviation. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Law from Ferris State University. Mr. Fiddler is reappointed for a term commencing May 28, 2021 and expiring May 27, 2024. 

 

Russell Kavalhuna, of Dearborn, is the president of Henry Ford College. Mr. Kavalhuna is a former commercial airline pilot and previously served as the executive director of the Western Michigan University College of Aviation. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Science from Western Michigan University and a Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Mr. Kavalhuna is reappointed for a term commencing May 26, 2021 and expiring May 27, 2025. 

 

The Michigan Aeronautics Commission is responsible for the general supervision of all aeronautics within the state. The Commission is empowered by state law to make rules and regulations governing all airports, flight schools, and other aeronautical activities.    

 

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

 

Michigan Wheat Promotion Committee 

 

James M. Doyle, of Grand Rapids, is the executive vice president of the King Milling Company. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Michigan State University. Mr. Doyle is appointed to represent District 9 growers for a term commencing June 1, 2021 and expiring May 31, 2024. He succeeds Art Loeffler whose term expires May 31, 2021. 

 

Jason R. Dunning, of Fremont, is the district sales manager for Dairyland Seed Company-Corteva AgriscienceHe holds a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness Management from Michigan State University. Mr. Dunning is reappointed to represent District 1 growers for a term commencing June 1, 2021 and expiring May 31, 2024. 

 

William L. Uphaus, of Manchester, is the owner of Uphaus FarmsHe holds an associate's degree in animal science from Michigan State University. Mr. Uphaus is appointed to represent District 4 growers for a term commencing June 1, 2021 and expiring May 31, 2024. He succeeds William Hunt whose term expires May 31, 2021. 

 

The Michigan Wheat Promotion Committee seeks to promote the production and consumption of wheat grown in Michigan and assists in the agricultural research and development of wheat products.    

 

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

 

Michigan Appellate Defender Commission 

 

Thomas L. Solka, of Marquette, is a retired judge with the 25th Circuit Court in Marquette County. He holds a bachelor's degree from Northern Michigan University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Wyoming College of Law. Judge Solka is appointed to represent a member recommended by the Michigan Judges Association for a term commencing May 26, 2021 and expiring May 24, 2025. He succeeds the late Judge William Caprathe. 

 

The Michigan Appellate Defender Commission is responsible for the development of a system of indigent appellate defense services which shall include services provided by the office of the state appellate defender and locally appointed private counsel. The Commission will be responsible for the development of minimum standards to which all indigent criminal defense appellate services shall conform and will compile and keep current a statewide roster of attorneys eligible for and willing to accept appointment by an appropriate court to serve as criminal appellate defense counsel for indigents. 

 

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

 

Commission on Middle Eastern American Affairs 

 

Dave Abdallah, of Dearborn Heights, is a realtor with Century 21 Curran & Oberski and a member of the Dearborn Heights City Council. He is also the director of the Islamic Institute of American and executive director of the Bint Jbail Cultural Center. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Mr. Abdallah is reappointed for a term commencing May 26, 2021 and expiring April 19, 2025. 

 

Jaleelah H. Ahmed, of Dearborn Heights, is the superintendent of Hamtramck Public Schools and a part-time faculty member at Wayne State University where she teaches ESL courses. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from the State University of New York, Master of Arts in Education from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education. Mrs. Ahmed is appointed for a term commencing May 26, 2021 and expiring April 19, 2025. She succeeds Abdulhakem Alsadah whose term expired April 19, 2021.  

 

Amal M. Berry, of Dearborn, is the senior manager of global diversity, equity, and inclusion for Ford Motor Company. She is a member of the American Arab Chamber of Commerce. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and History from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Ms. Berry is appointed for a term commencing May 26, 2021 and expiring April 19, 2025. She succeeds Ronald Haddad whose term expired April 19, 2021.  

 

Susan Dabaja, of Dearborn, is an attorney with Law Office of Susan A. Dabaja, P.C. and the president of the Dearborn City Council. She is also the co-chair of the Dearborn Education Foundation. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and a Juris Doctor degree from the University Detroit Mercy School of Law. Mrs. Dabja is reappointed for a term commencing May 26, 2021 and expiring April 19, 2025. 

 

Adel A. Mozip, of Dearborn, is a senior software developer for Beaumont Health. He is a trustee with the Dearborn Board of Education and Henry Ford College Board of Trusteesand chapter president and national PR director for the Association of Yemini Students and Professionals. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and a Master of Business Administration from Wayne State University. Mr. Mozip is reappointed for a term commencing May 26, 2021 and expiring April 19, 2025. 

 

The Commission on Middle Eastern American Affairs was created by Executive Order 2015-6. The Commission is housed in the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and shall act in an advisory capacity to the Governor and the Director. The 15-member council will advise the department on issues relating to the Arab and Chaldean communities in Michigan and promote awareness of their culture and history. They will also work to empower, promote, and advance the Middle Eastern American community in Michigan. 

 

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

 

Michigan Workforce Development Board 

 

Peter T. Hungerford, of Grand Rapids, is the chief operating officer of ADAC Automotive. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Supply Chain Management from Michigan State University and a Master of Business Administration from Grand Valley State University. Mr. Hungerford is reappointed to represent manufacturing business enterprises for a term commencing May 30, 2021 and expiring May 29, 2025. 

 

Ari Weinzweig, of Ann Arbor, is a co-founding partner with Zingerman's Community of Businesses. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Michigan. Mr. Weinzweig is reappointed to represent businesses for a term commencing May 30, 2021 and expiring May 29, 2025. 

 

Matthew J. Wesaw, of Lansing, is the tribal chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and president of the Pokagon Gaming Authority. He holds a bachelor's degree in Christian Leadership from the Great Lakes Christian College. Mr. Wesaw is reappointed to represent businesses for a term commencing May 30, 2021 and expiring May 29, 2025. 

 

George D. Wilkinson, of Grand Blanc, is the president of NorthGate supply chain services and a pastor at Word of Life Christian ChurchHe holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Southern University and a Master of Business Administration from Central Michigan University. Pastor Wilkinson is reappointed to represent minority-owned business enterprises for a term commencing May 30, 2021 and expiring May 29, 2025. 

 

Martha Zehnder Kaczynski, of Frankenmuth, is the vice president of the Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Corp., Bavarian Inn Lodge, and the Frankenmuth Cheese HausShe attended the Culinary Institute of America and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Business from Michigan State University. Mrs. Zehnder Kaczynski is reappointed to represent businesses for a term commencing May 30, 2021 and expiring May 29, 2025. 

 

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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