McCall Hamilton Advocacy and Public Affairs

Updates About Executive Office Announcements

COVID Racial Disparities Task Force Releases Final Report

Update: Feb 20-Mar 3, 2023

The Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, which was established in April 2020 and created per Executive Order 2020-55, released its final report.

The report, which details efforts by the task force to respond to the disproportionate pandemic surges within disadvantaged communities, outlines investments and approaches made to improve health equity during the pandemic. It also discusses additional recommendations that the state can adopt moving forward to continue to improve health equity in Michigan.

Notable data in the report revealed that Michigan exceeded the national net drop in death rates of Black Americans. Black Michiganders fell from 15 deaths per 10,000 to 6.1 deaths in 2022. National averages revealed Black Americans saw 8.9 deaths per 10,000.

The full report can be found here.

Ford Announces New Investment, More Jobs Coming to Michigan

Update: Feb 6-17, 2023

On February 13, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, alongside Ford’s Executive Chair Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley, announced Ford’s $3.5 billion investment into the state to build an electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility. This help contribute to Ford’s goal to produce two million electric vehicles annually by 2026.

Located in Marshall, the 2.5 million square foot plant is expected to create 2,500 jobs in the region. These jobs are estimated to create more than $29.7 billion in new personal income over the span of twenty years with the help of expected spin-off investment and redevelopment opportunities.

The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) approved $210 million for the Critical Industry Program, $772 million for the MSF Designated Renaissance Zone, and $36 million for the Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance.

Whitmer Announces Leadership Changes in State Departments

Update: Nov 14-Dec 9, 2022

On December 2, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced new leadership in state departments and agencies for the next four years. Entering her second term as governor, she commented that new opportunities and challenges are ahead, and the appointments and promotions will build on the work of the last four years.

Dan Eichinger will serve as acting director of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). Eichinger is currently the director at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), where he has served since 2019. He replaces Liesl Clark.

Michelle Lange will serve as director of the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB). Lange has held leadership positions within DTMB, including chief deputy officer, director of executive direction and operations, chief of staff to the director, and the legislative department liaison. She has worked under Governor Whitmer as well as former governor Rick Snyder.

Senator Adam Hollier (D-Detroit) was chosen as the new director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA). He is currently serving his second term in the Michigan Senate and will term out at the end of the year. Hollier served as a volunteer firefighter before enlisting in the U.S. Army and graduating with distinction from officer candidate school, where he earned the commission of 2nd Lieutenant.

Brian Hanna was selected as executive director of the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA). He will move from acting executive director to executive director. Hanna spent five years with the CRA as field operations, inspections, and investigations manager and served under former director Andrew Brisbo.

Brade Wieferich will assume the role of acting director of the Department of Transportation (MDOT). He is currently the chief operations officer of MDOT, overseeing their seven regions, the Bureau of Development, the Bureau of Field Services, and the Bureau of Bridges and Structures. He replaces Director Paul Ajegba, who is planning to retire from MDOT at the end of the year.

Kathy Angerer was selected as acting director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), where she is currently the deputy director. She replaces Director Gary McDowell, who is planning to retire at the end of the year.

Shannon Lott will serve as acting director of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Lott has worked for over 25 years at the DNR and most recently held the role of natural resources deputy.

In addition to new leadership across state departments, Governor Whitmer announced staff changes in the executive office. Senior Advisor Shaquila Myers will be chief of staff to Speaker-elect Joe Tate (D-Detroit). Deputy Chief of Staff Melanie Brown will serve as executive ombudsman and senior partnerships advisor at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). Chief Legal Counsel Nick Bagley will return to his position as a law professor at the University of Michigan. Maria Martinez will act as chief legal counsel while maintaining her duties as chief compliance officer.