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My Town: West Michigan community leaders to help state tackle poverty | Arts & Culture

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My Town: West Michigan community leaders to help state tackle poverty
My Town: West Michigan community leaders to help state tackle poverty

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— Governor Snyder is naming ten more people to a panel in charge of tackling poverty in Michigan.

The Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity is a 12-member commission focused on promoting social and economic opportunities for low-income people.  Those appointed to a one year-term on the commission include Hope College graduate Jacob Maas.  The Grand Rapids native is executive director of the Area Community Services Employment and Training Council. He will represent community action agencies.

Two West Michigan natives will serve two-year terms—Dennis Echelbarger of Byron Center and Sonjalita Hulbert of Kalamazoo. Echelbarger is the founder and chairman of the board of Echelbarger, Himebaugh, Tamm & Co, P.C. in Forest Hills. He taught at Davenport University and for the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants. He currently sits on the board of trustees for his alma mater, Aquinas College. He will represent the private sector.

Hulbert is the supervisor of community development for AETNA/Coventry Cares of Michigan.  She earned an associate degree from Kalamazoo Valley Community College and bachelor’s degree in family life education from Spring Arbor University. She will represent community action agencies. 

Grand Rapids Public Library Commissioner Anne Armstrong Cusack will serve a three-year term on the Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity.  Cusack is the co-owner of Laugher That Matters, a marketing firm. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University and two master’s degrees in public health and health services administration from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She will represent elected public officials and serve as chair.

After serving their first terms, members will serve three-year terms. All appointments must still be approved by the Senate.  

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