Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to Boards and Commissions

March 2, 2020

Contact:
BrownT56@michigan.gov

LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced the following appointments to the Michigan Cherry Committee, Michigan Corn Marketing Committee, Michigan Tree Fruit Commission, Michigan Craft Beverage Council, Governor's Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, and the Advisory Board for the Michigan Intelligence Operations Center for Homeland Security.

Michigan Cherry Committee

Paul D. Hubbell, of Williamsburg, is the owner of Orchard View Farms and president of the Grand Traverse Fruit Growers’ Council. Mr. Hubbell is appointed to represent District 1 sweet cherry growers for a term commencing March 2, 2020 and expiring February 1, 2023. He succeeds Isaiah Wunsch whose term expired February 1, 2020.

Andrew J. Riley, of Mears, is the manager of Riley Orchards, Inc. and president of West Central Michigan Horticultural Research, Inc. Mr. Riley is reappointed to represent District 2 tart cherry growers for a term commencing March 2, 2020 and expiring February 1, 2023.

David C. Smeltzer, of Bear Lake, is the owner of West Wind Orchards, LLC. and the current chairman of the Michigan Cherry Committee. Mr. Smeltzer is reappointed to represent District 1 tart cherry growers for a term commencing March 2, 2020 and expiring February 1, 2023.

The Michigan Cherry Committee was developed for the purpose of improving the economic position of the Michigan red tart and sweet cherry growers by creating greater marketing opportunities for their fruit. The Committee conducts advertising and promotion programs, assembles and disseminates market information, and supports research into new marketing methods.

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

Michigan Corn Marketing Committee

Matthew M. Holysz, of Vicksburg, is the owner of his family’s corn and soybean farm. Mr. Holysz is reappointed to represent District 2 growers for a term commencing March 6, 2020 and expiring March 5, 2023.

David M. Rupprecht, of Vassar, is the vice president of A. Zwerk & Sons Inc. Mr. Rupprecht is appointed to represent District 7 growers for a term commencing March 6, 2020 and expiring March 5, 2023. He succeeds Tom Durand whose term expires March 5, 2020.

Ned L. Wyse, of Camden, is the owner of his family’s corn and soybean farm. Mr. Wyse is reappointed to represent District 3 growers for a term commencing March 6, 2020 and expiring March 5, 2023.

The Michigan Corn Marketing Program Committee enhances the economic position of Michigan corn growers by providing for the growth and expansion of the corn industry in Michigan through foreign and domestic market development, promotion, and research that will stimulate the demand for corn.

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

Michigan Tree Fruit Commission

Fred L. Koenigshof, of Coloma, is the owner of K & K Farms where he grows apples, peaches, blackberries, and raspberries. Mr. Koenigshof is reappointed to represent District 3 growers for a term commencing March 2, 2020 and expiring March 1, 2023.

Trever G. Meachum, of Hartford, is the production manager and partner for High Acres Fruit Farm where they grow apples, strawberries, plums, and grapes. Mr. Meachum is appointed to represent District 3 growers for a term commencing March 2, 2020 and expiring March 1, 2021. He succeeds William Teichman who has resigned.

Mark A. Miezio, of Suttons Bay, is the president of Cherry Bay Orchards where they grow cherries, apples, pears, and grapes. Mr. Miezio is appointed to represent District 1 growers for a term commencing March 2, 2020 and expiring March 1, 2022. He succeeds Travis Bratschi who has resigned.

Charles A. Rasch, of Conklin, is the owner of Windy Ridge Orchard, LLC. where he grows apples and peaches. Mr. Rasch is appointed to represent District 2 growers for a term commencing March 2, 2020 and expiring March 1, 2021. He succeeds Christopher Kropf who has resigned.

Steve Thome, of Comstock Park, is a member of his family’s apple farm, Thome Orchards, LLC. Mr. Thome is reappointed to represent District 2 growers for a term commencing March 2, 2020 and expiring March 1, 2023.

Bruce Veliquette, of Kewadin, is the owner and manager of his family’s cherry farm, Cherry Ke, Inc. Mr. Veliquette is appointed to represent District 1 growers for a term commencing March 2, 2020 and expiring March 1, 2023. He succeeds Rick Slayer whose term expires March 1, 2020.

The Michigan Tree Fruit Commission was created pursuant to the Agricultural Commodities Marketing Act for the purpose of improving the economic position and competitiveness of the Michigan tree fruit industry.

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

Michigan Craft Beverage Council

Photo of Larry Bell

Larry J. Bell, of Kalamazoo, is the founder and president of Bell’s Brewery. Mr. Bell is appointed to represent large brewers for a term commencing March 2, 2020 and expiring September 30, 2020. He succeeds Bradley Stevenson who has resigned.

The Michigan Craft Beverage Council was created to replace the Grape and Wine Industry Council. The Council will award grants for research into winemaking, hops, barley, beer and spirits; conduct market surveys and analysis; and offer other programs that encourage the agricultural elements related to Michigan’s craft beverage industries. The Council’s activities are funded exclusively by non-retail, non-wholesale liquor license fees.

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

Governor's Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect

Paula A. Aylward, of Marshall, is the president and owner of Allegiant Legal, PC. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University Law School. Ms. Aylward is appointed to represent child advocates, including both attorneys for children and, where such programs are in operation, court appointed special advocates, for a term commencing March 2, 2020 and expiring December 31, 2021. She succeeds Frederick Gruber.

Marian Dwaihy Briske, of Harper Woods, is an assistant prosecuting attorney for the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Detroit Law School. Ms. Briske is appointed to represent judges and attorneys involved in both civil and criminal court proceedings related to child abuse and neglect, for a term commencing March 2, 2020 and expiring December 31, 2020. She succeeds Christopher Wirth.

Joseph E. Merritt, Jr., of Mason, is a public safety officer and detective with the Blackman-Leoni Department of Public Safety. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Olivet College and attended the Mid-Michigan Police Academy at Lansing Community College. Mr. Merritt is appointed to fill a new seat on the Task Force representing the law enforcement community for a term commencing March 2, 2020 and expiring December 31, 2022.

Bethany A. Mohr, M.D., of Pinckney, is a pediatric hospitalist, director of the Child Protection Team, and a clinical associate professor for the University of Michigan Health System. She earned her Doctor of Medicine from New York Medical College. Dr. Mohr is appointed to represent health professionals for a term commencing March 2, 2020 and expiring December 31, 2021. She succeeds Rachel Rancilio who has resigned.

Yasmine I. Poles, of Birmingham, is an attorney with her private law firm, Yasmine I. Poles, PLLC. and a former assistant prosecutor in the Child Protection Unit of the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from the Wayne State University Law School. Ms. Poles is appointed to represent judges and attorneys involved in both civil and criminal court proceedings related to child abuse and neglect, for a term commencing March 2, 2020 and expiring December 31, 2020. She succeeds Julie Nakfoor-Pratt.

The Governor's Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect was established within the Department of Health and Human Services and designed as a multidisciplinary task force for the purposes of the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. The Task Force consists of members who are professionals with knowledge and experience relating to the criminal justice system and issues of child physical abuse, child neglect, child sexual abuse and exploitation, and child maltreatment related fatalities.

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

Advisory Board for the Michigan Intelligence Operations Center for Homeland Security

Richard A. Fenton, of Ann Arbor, is the vice president of corporate security and the chief security officer for Ilitch Holdings and chairman of the National Center for Spectator Sport Safety & Security (NCS4) National Advisory Board. Mr. Fenton is reappointed to represent residents of this state who are not connected to law enforcement or employed by local, state or federal governments for a term commencing April 12, 2020 and expiring April 11, 2024.

William T. Riley, III, of Dearborn Heights, is the chief of police for the City of Inkster Police Department and a veteran of the United States Navy and Naval Reserve. Chief Riley is reappointed to represent local police departments in this state or the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police for a term commencing April 12, 2020 and expiring April 11, 2024.

The State of Michigan's Intelligence Operations Center shall collect, evaluate, collate, and analyze information and intelligence and then, as appropriate, disseminate this information and intelligence to the proper public safety agencies so that any threat of terrorism or criminal activity will be successfully identified and addressed.

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

Back to News >

This is the official website of the Michigan Craft Beverage Council. The Council has the mission to provide for research into Michigan agricultural products, such as fruits, hops and barley that are used in the production of Michigan wine, cider, beer, spirits and mixed spirit drinks.