Skip to main content

Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to Michigan Women's Commission, Announces New Executive Director


September 25, 2019 


Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to Michigan Women’s Commission, Announces New Executive Director


LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced the following appointments to the Michigan Women’s Commission and the selection of Cheryl Bergman to serve as the Commission’s Executive Director. 


Cheryl Bergman, of East Lansing, is currently the owner of Bergman, Inc., fundraising consulting firm, and senior advisor for Whitmer for Governor. Her clients have included Governor Jennifer Granholm, Senator Debbie Stabenow, The White House Project, Communities in Schools of Michigan, Michigan’s Children, and Children’s Trust Fund. Prior to starting her own consulting business, Ms. Bergman served as the agency relations director for the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center, and as the program administrator for the Michigan Political Leadership Program at Michigan State University.  


Ms. Bergman serves as an advisory board member and chair of the external relations subcommittee for the Potter Park Zoo in Ingham County. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Michigan State University.  


“When women in Michigan thrive, all Michiganders thrive. We must continue to work towards Michigan becoming a model state for equality,” Whitmer said. “The Michigan Women’s Commission addresses critical problems that women face every day while enabling women to develop skills and recognize their accomplishments and contributions towards our state. I’m confident that Cheryl has the experience and vision to lead this commission.”  


"I'm honored and thrilled to promote and celebrate the women of Michigan," Bergman said. "I'm dedicated to engaging in discussions with women all across our state about how they're able to fully participate in Governor Whitmer's vision for Michigan's economy and way of life." 


JoAnn Chavez, of Ann Arbor, is the senior vice president, deputy general counsel, and the chief tax officer for DTE Energy, and a former international tax partner with KPMG, LLP. Ms. Chavez is the Michigan Hispanic Fund President, and a member of the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board and the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute Board. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School. Ms. Chavez is appointed to succeed Jan Peabody, whose term expired July 15, 2019, for a term expiring July 15, 2022. 


Charity R. Dean, of Detroit, is the director of civil rights for the city of Detroit and the former director of the city’s Bridging Neighborhoods Program. Mrs. Dean is an advisory council member for the Detroit Women’s Leadership Network, a board member for Youth Works Detroit, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Mrs. Dean is appointed to succeed Joanne Dawley, whose term expired July 15, 2019, for a term expiring July 15, 2022. 


Whitney B. Gravelle, of Brimley, is the tribal attorney for the Bay Mills Indian Community and the former chief judge of the Bay Mills Tribal Court. Ms. Gravelle is a registered member of the Bay Mills Indian Community and mentors indigenous youth through the Boys & Girls Club Tribal Youth Program. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from the Michigan State University College of Law. Ms. Gravelle is appointed to succeed Nicole DeMarco, whose term expired July 15, 2019, for a term expiring July 15, 2022. 


Muna Jondy, of Flushing, is an attorney and owner of her private practice, The Law Office of Muna Jondy, and a cooperating attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Greater Flint. Ms. Jondy is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and serves as the media liaison for the Flint Islamic Center. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Manitoba Law School and Master of Laws in Public Law from the Michigan State University College of Law. Ms. Jondy is appointed to succeed Kathleen Vogelsang, whose term expired July 15, 2019, for a term expiring July 15, 2022. 


Geneva Williams, Ph.D., of Detroit, is the chief executive officer of Dr. Geneva Speaks, LLC., where she provides leadership and personal development coaching and nonprofit consulting. Dr. Williams was the first female executive vice president for the United Way of Southeastern Michigan, and a co-founder and former president of Black Family Development, Inc. She earned her Doctor of Education with a concentration in Educational Leadership and Public Policy from Wayne State University. Dr. Williams is appointed to succeed Mary Templeton, whose term expired July 15, 2019, for a term expiring July 15, 2022. 


The Michigan Women's Commission was created by statute in 1968. The Commission’s duties include reviewing the status of women in Michigan, directing attention to critical problems confronting women, recommending ways of overcoming discrimination, enabling women to develop skills, conducting surveys, and recognizing women's accomplishments and contributions to Michigan. 


Appointments to the Michigan Women’s Commission are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.