Environmental Justice Work Group seeks to improve state guidelines, policy
Gov. Rick Snyder announced the members of the new Environmental Justice Work Group, which will work to better understand current policy and develop guidelines to better serve all Michiganders.
“Ensuring every Michigander has the same protections from environmental and health hazards is of the utmost importance. My goal for this group is to have thoughtful, productive conversations about this complex issue and I look forward to their recommendations and insight on this topic,” Snyder said.
The creation of the work group follows direct recommendations from the Flint Water Advisory Task Force and the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee’s Policy Subcommittee. Both the FWATF and the FWICC were created by Gov. Snyder to review the crisis that occurred in Flint with its water system. The new Environmental Justice group will be tasked with examining policy issues and developing guidance, training, and curriculum for state and local agencies.
Chris Kolb of Ann Arbor is the executive director of Michigan Unity. He previously served as the vice president of public affairs for the Early Childhood Investment Corporation. Kolb holds a bachelor’s degree in natural resources from the University of Michigan and a graduate degree in political science focusing on quantitative analysis and interest group politics from Emory University in Georgia. He will represent the environmental community and serve as co-chair.
Fadi Mourad of Farmington Hills is the director of environmental strategy and non-utility at DTE Energy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and chemical engineering from the University of Toledo, and a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Wayne State University. He will represent the business community and serve as co-chair.
Mariam Bazzi of Dearborn is an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office and the lead attorney at the Deed and Mortgage Fraud Task Force. She also is a member of the Michigan Middle Eastern Affairs Commission. Bazzi holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Michigan-Dearborn in political science and a law degree from Wayne State University Law School. She will represent the Middle Eastern Affairs Commission.
Sylvia Elliott of Detroit is the managing attorney and director at the Office of Legal Affairs for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. Elliot holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising and communications from Michigan State University and a law degree from the University Of Detroit-Mercy School of Law. She will represent state departments and agencies.
Kathy Evans of Muskegon serves as environmental program manager of the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission. She will represent the local government.
Charlotte Jameson of Ann Arbor is the government affairs director for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. She previously served as a policy analyst assistant for the Michigan Senate Democratic Caucus and a policy and communications assistant for the Legacy Land Conservancy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in environmental policy and planning from the University of Michigan. She will represent the environmental community.
Jegar Johansen of Marcellus runs the Wilbur Ellis Company-Three Rivers Branch and was a founder of Johansen Farms, LLC. He will represent the business community.
Fred Keller of Alto is the founder and chair of Cascade Engineering. He holds a bachelor’s degree in materials science & engineering from Cornell University, a master’s degree in business management and an honorary doctor of industry degree from Ferris State University. He will represent the business community.
Kathleen Lomako of Livonia is the deputy executive director of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. She holds a bachelor’s degree in urban planning from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in urban planning from Wayne State University. She will represent local governments.
Jerome Maynard of Marquette is an attorney and mediator for Jerome I Maynard PLC. He also is an executive committee member of Superior Watershed Partnership and Land Trust. Maynard holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Michigan Technological University and a law degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison. He will represent the environmental community.
Paul Mohai of Ann Arbor is a professor in the school of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan. He also serves as a faculty associate in the Institute for Social Research and the Program in the Environment at the University of Michigan. Mohai holds a bachelor’s degree with distinction in mathematics from the University of California, a master’s degree in statistics and environmental science from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a Ph.D. in environmental sociology and environmental/natural resource policy from Pennsylvania State University. He will represent the academic community.
Kaushik Nag of Grand Rapids is the director of employee engagement at Amway. He previously served as vice president of Wise Men Consultants and ACS Group and is a board member of the Asian Pacific American Commission. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and a graduate degree in human resources from Indian School of Training and Development. He will represent the Asian Pacific American Commission.
Maggie Pallone of DeWitt is the deputy director of external affairs for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. She previously served as policy director for the Michigan Forests Products Council. Pallone holds a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Michigan State University. She will represent state departments and agencies.
Larry Reynolds of Flint is the president and CEO of Mott Children’s Health Center. Reynolds holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wayne State University and a medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine. He will represent the medical community.
Robert Sisson of Sturgis is the president and CEO of ConservAmerica. He previously served as mayor and a city commissioner of Sturgis. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and management from Albion College and will represent the environmental community.
Andrew Such of Lansing is the director of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs for the Michigan Manufacturers Association. He is a member of MDEQ Green Chemistry Roundtable and MDEQ Air Quality Advisory Council. Such attended Flint Junior College, Lansing Community College, Michigan State University and is a graduate of the DNR Leadership Institute. He will represent the business community.
Jesse Venegas of Royal Oak is vice president of Ideal Group, a product manufacturing company. He serves as the vice-chair of the Board of Directors for the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Venegas holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Vermont and completed multiple executive training programs from Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business. He will represent the Hispanic Latino Commission.
Kyle Whyte of Lansing is the associate professor of community sustainability, Timnick Chair in the Humanities in the College of Arts and Letters and an associate professor of philosophy at Michigan State University. Whyte holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Babson College, a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Memphis and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Stony Brook University. He will represent the tribal and academic communities.
Guy Williams of Ypsilanti is the president and CEO of Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice as well as the principal for G.O. Williams & Associates LLC. He sits on the board of directors for the Great Lakes Leadership Academy and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania and will represent the environmental community.