Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to Boards and Commissions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   

September 4, 2020 

Contact: press@michigan.gov   

  

Governor Whitmer Makes Appointments to Boards and Commissions  

 

LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced the following appointments to the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Autism Council, and the Michigan Craft Beverage Council. 

 

Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs 

 

Darryl L. Brown, of St. Ignace, is the chairman of the Mackinac Bands of Chippewa and Ottawa Indians. He is a life-long artist and has served as the director of the Rendezvous at the Straits PowwowMr. Brown is reappointed for a term commencing September 4, 2020 and expiring September 1, 2023. 

 

Nheena Weyer Ittner, of Marquette, is the director of the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Arts Education from the University of Michigan and is a founding board member of the Friends of Public Art Committee and the Marquette Arts Theatre Initiative. Ms. Ittner is reappointed for a term commencing September 4, 2020 and expiring September 1, 2023. 

 

Anessa Kramer, of Bloomfield Hills, is a partner and board member at Honigman, LLP. She is a member of the board of directors of The Jewish Fund, The Roeper School, and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. Ms. Kramer holds a Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University and a Juris Doctor degree from The George Washington University Law School. Ms. Kramer is appointed for a term commencing September 4, 2020 and expiring September 1, 2023. She succeeds Joshua Davis whose term expired September 1, 2020.  

 

Jessica Care Moore, of Detroit, is the CEO of the poetry publishing house, Moore Black Press and executive producer of Black WOMEN Rock! She is a writer, poet, playwright, performance artist, and mentor to students as dream director and poet in residence for Detroit Public Schools. Miss Moore is appointed for a term commencing September 4, 2020 and expiring September 1, 2023. She succeeds Lillian Demas whose term expired September 1, 2020.  

 

Ara Topouzian, of Bloomfield Hills, is the executive director of the Michigan Venture Capital Association. He is a musician, a board member for the Great Lakes Performing Arts Associates, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Wayne State UniversityMr. Topouzian is reappointed for a term commencing September 4, 2020 and expiring September 1, 2023. 

 

The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs serves to encourage, develop, and facilitate an enriched environment of creative and cultural activity in Michigan. The Council envisions a Michigan where every citizen celebrates the state’s cultural treasures and arts and cultural experiences are accessible to all its citizens. 

 

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

 

Autism Council 

 

Colleen M. Allen, Ph.D., of Detroit, is the president and CEO of the Autism Alliance of Michigan. She holds a Ph.D. in Speech Language Pathology from Wayne State University. Dr. Allen is reappointed to represent a non-profit organization serving those with ASD for a term commencing October 1, 2020 and expiring September 30, 2024. 

 

Martin S. Baum, of Detroit, is an attorney and president of Martin S. Baum, PC. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School. Mr. Baum is appointed to represent individuals who have ASD or have a family member with ASD, and he will serve for a term commencing October 1, 2020 and expiring September 30, 2024. He succeeds Stacie Rulison whose term expires September 30, 2020.  

 

Jacob Daar, Ph.D., of Marquette, is an assistant professor and the program director for the Behavior Education, Assessment, and Research Center at Northern Michigan University and co-director of Emergent Behavior Consulting. He holds a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science from Southern Illinois University. Dr. Daar is appointed to represent state universities for a term commencing October 1, 2020 and expiring September 30, 2024. He succeeds Krista Clancy whose term expires September 30, 2020. 

 

Neelkamal Soares, M.D., of Portage, is a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at Bronson Methodist Hospital and a professor in the Department of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine at the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. He holds a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Bombay of India. Dr. Soares is appointed to represent a physician representing health care providers servicing individuals with ASD, and he will serve for a term commencing October 1, 2020 and expiring September 30, 2024. He succeeds Stefani Hines whose term expires September 30, 2020. 

 

The Autism Council is charged with overseeing Michigan's Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) State Plan. The Council will implement, monitor, and update the Michigan ASD State Plan which will provide for comprehensive, lifespan supports to individuals with ASD and their families through access to information and resources, coordination of services, and implementation of evidence-based practices. 

 

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

 

Michigan Craft Beverage Council 

 

Larry J. Bell, of Kalamazoo, is the founder and president of Bell’s Brewery and a member of the Master Brewers Association. Mr. Bell is reappointed to represent large brewers for a term commencing October 1, 2020 and expiring September 30, 2023. 

 

Michael Chetcuti, of Northport, is a partner with Farm + Ferment, Bigalora Wood Fired Cucina, Arbor Brewing Co, Baia Estate Winery, and the Michigan Hop Alliance. He is the principal owner of American Expedition Vehicles and Streetcar USA. Mr. Chetcuti is appointed to represent restaurants that hold a class C license and serve Michigan wines, beer, or spirits, and he will serve for a term commencing October 1, 2020 and expiring September 30, 2023. He succeeds Jim Holton whose term expires September 30, 2020. 

 

Scott Graham, of Gaylord, is the executive director of Michigan Brewers Guild, Inc. Mr. Graham is reappointed to represent micro brewers or brewpub license holders for a term commencing October 1, 2020 and expiring September 30, 2023. 

 

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. 

 

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

 

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