Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer Announces Honorary Co-Chairs, Website for Transition

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LANSING, Mich. – Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer today announced key members of her transition team, including a diverse group of policy, business and philanthropic leaders serving as honorary co-chairs for the transition. The website is now live and will serve as the portal for all news and announcements from the transition.

“I am proud to have this esteemed group of leaders from across Michigan helping set the foundation needed to get to work for the people of this state on day one of my administration,” said Governor-elect Whitmer. “These individuals bring the know-how and can-do experience that will be critical to expanding access to affordable healthcare, improving education and skills training, cleaning up Michigan’s drinking water and, of course fixing our roads.”

Honorary Transition Committee members are as follows:

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha MD, MPH, FAAP – An associate professor of pediatrics and human development at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine and a nationally-recognized child advocate, Dr. Mona is founder and director of the MSU and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, a model program mitigating the impact of the Flint water crisis.

Barbara McQuade – A professor at University of Michigan School of Law, Professor McQuade served as the U.S attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan from 2010-2017. Appointed by President Barack Obama, she was the first woman to serve in her position.

Dennis Archer – Mayor of Detroit from 1994-2001, Mr. Archer has also served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Detroit Regional Chamber and as President of the American Bar Association, National Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan.

Kate Pew Wolters – Chair of the Steelcase Foundation and a Grand Valley State University Trustee, Ms. Wolters is also president of the Kate and Richard Wolters Foundation and is involved with the Progressive Women’s Alliance of West Michigan, Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service and is co-chair of the Kent County Children’s Commission.

Mike Prusi – Former Michigan Senate Minority Leader, Mr. Prusi represented Michigan’s 38th District in the Michigan Senate, serving three terms in the House of Representatives prior to that. He is a native of Negaunee, working more than two decades in the iron ore mines and serving as president of USW Local 4950 in the Upper Peninsula.

Joe Schwarz, M.D. – Former U.S. Congressman for Michigan’s 7th District and a practicing physician, Dr. Schwarz is a lecturer at University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and serves on the board of directors of “Voters Not Politicians.”

Allan Gilmour – Retired Vice Chairman of Ford Motor Company, Mr. Gilmour held a number of key senior management positions at Ford as well as serving as president of Wayne State University from 2010-2013. Mr. Gilmour currently serves as president of The Gilmour-Jirgens Fund and co-chair of the HOPE Fund Committee.

Dug Song – Co-Founder of Ann Arbor-based internet security provider Duo Security, Mr. Song is a leading voice in the information security industry and has a history of building successful products and companies to solve pressing security problems.

Gary Torgow – Chairman of Chemical Financial Corporation, the holding company of the largest bank headquartered in Michigan, Mr. Torgow is also the founder of the Sterling Group. He is a member of the Executive Board of Business Leaders for Michigan and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and is a member of the Board of the Detroit Downtown Partnership.

Portia Roberson – CEO of Focus: HOPE, Ms. Roberson spent four years as Group Executive of the City of Detroit’s Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity Department leading the charge on how Michigan and Detroit-based businesses can work together to enhance local employment. Prior to this position, she served as Corporation Counsel for the Law Department as Detroit lead for the White House Domestic Policy Council for “Strong Cities, Strong Communities.”

Daniel J. Loepp – President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Mr. Loepp also serves on the board of the National Institute for Health Care Management, is the Executive Committee Chairman of the Downtown Detroit Partnership board and serves on the Mackinac Island State Park Commission.

“The election of Gretchen Whitmer is a beacon of hope for Michigan. From strengthening education and healthcare to protecting our environment and public health, I’m fired-up to work with Governor-elect Whitmer’s team to ensure that all Michigan kids succeed,” said Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha.

“Governor-elect Whitmer is already bringing a diverse and committed group of stakeholders to the table during this transition to solve the very real problems we are facing in Michigan, and I am proud to be part of that effort,” said Dr. Joe Schwarz.

In addition to the honorary chairs, Whitmer has named Mark Bernstein as Director of her Transition Office. Bernstein, who is president and managing partner of The Sam Bernstein Law Firm, PLLC and serves on the University of Michigan Board of Regents, will lead day-to-day operations of Whitmer’s transition. Also serving on the transition are Awenate Cobbina as deputy director, JoAnne Huls as COO, Mark Burton as chief strategist and Steve Liedel as general counsel.

The transition website, which went live earlier today, will serve as a clearinghouse for news from the transition, applications of those looking to apply for positions within the administration, inaugural engagement opportunities and all other activities related to both the transition and inaugural festivities.

For more information, visit

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Media Contact: Zack Pohl, 517-980-6190, [email protected]

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