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Gov. Rick Snyder makes appointments to the World War I Centennial Commission

Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the initial appointments to the World War I Centennial Commission that was created to develop, execute, and promote programs to commemorate the centennial of World War I in Michigan.

The commission is housed within the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and is tasked with submitting a report of recommendations on ways to commemorate the World War I centennial to the director of the department, the Governor, and the Legislature.

“I am confident this group of individuals will work together to compile a list of recommendations that will properly commemorate the centennial of World War I in Michigan,” Snyder said.

Joseph Calvaruso of Galesburg is the executive director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in management and economics from Albion College and a master’s degree in finance from Western Michigan University.

Christopher Causley of Eastpointe is a logistics specialist for the United States Army Tank Automotive Command and is a founding member and president of the Michigan Military Technical and Historical Society Museum in Eastpointe, Michigan. He holds an associate’s degree in automotive technology from Macomb Community College and a bachelor’s degree in military history from the American Military University.

John (Jack) Dempsey of Plymouth is a member of Dickinson Wright PLLC and a member of the Michigan Historical Commission. He holds a bachelor’s degree in social and political science from Michigan State University and a law degree from George Washington University.

Edwin Fogarty of Hillsdale is an adjunct mathematics instructor at Jackson College and the great-nephew of a World War I veteran. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and psychology from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in mathematics and statistics from Wayne State University.

David Hales of Farmington Hills is a social studies consultant for Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency where he supports K-12 teachers and schools in social studies curriculum, instruction, or assessment. He previously served on the War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission. Hales holds a bachelor’s degree in social studies and language arts and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Michigan State University.

Ken Hibl of Clare has served as the Clare city manager for nearly 20 years and previously served 31 years of active service in the United States Army. He holds a bachelor’s degree in professional aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and the U.S. Army Installation Management Course.

Shelly Kasprzycki of Jackson is the executive director of the Michigan Humanities Council, where she works with the board of directors to connect people, grants, programs, and communities to create quality cultural programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in health administration from Eastern Michigan University and a master’s degree in public health education from Central Michigan University.

Dennis (Denny) Olson of Quinnesec served as Breitung Charter Township Supervisor for 14 years and is chair of the Dickinson County Township Association. He is a board member of the Michigan Township Association, the Great Lakes Timber Professional Association, and the Michigan Association of Timberman. He is the owner and operator of Olson Sand and Gravel, owns and operates a log truck, and is a U.S. Army veteran who served in the Vietnam War.

Dennis Skupinski of Ann Arbor is a banker with Huntington Bank. He has been leading the effort to commemorate the centennial of World War I in Michigan by producing Michigan’s World War I Centennial News Report since June of 2012. Skupinski holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Michigan State University.

James Spurr of Portage is a senior partner at Miller, Crnfield, Paddock and Stone, PLC. He has 36 years of experience practicing law and previously served on the Michigan War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission. He is the president of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society and serves on the board of trustees of the Michigan Maritime Museum. Spurr holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Wayne State University Law School.

Mark Sutton of Eaton Rapids is the public relations director of the American Legion Department of Michigan and the president of the Michigan American Legion Foundation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Walsh College.

Members will serve terms expiring Dec. 31, 2018.

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