LANSING—Governor Snyder has appointed two new members, and four at-large members have been elected to the Michigan Humanities Council Board of Directors for a total of six new members. Gubernatorial appointees Walter Koziol (Highland) and Tina S. Van Dam (Midland) were appointed May 1 and attended their first board meeting on May 10. The Honorable Leo Bowman (Bloomfield Hills), Thomas M. Garikes (Chesaning), Gloria White Gardner (Norton Shores), and Susan Higman Larsen (Grosse Pointe Park), began their three-year terms Jan. 1 and attended their first board meeting on Feb. 24.

“The Michigan Humanities Council has been fortunate to have a strong board of highly dedicated and talented members as part of its legacy,” said Board Chair Timothy Chester. “As we welcome a very promising team of new members, we recognize that we are also losing a treasure trove of talent and expertise as five members were term-limited, and one member passed away earlier in the year.”

Eighteen of the board members are elected based on letters of interest submitted to the board by the public at large, and six board members are appointed by the governor. Board members are responsible for overseeing major grant awards, finances, strategic direction, programs, fundraising, advocacy and hiring of the MHC executive.

Tina S. Van Dam, an attorney, is retired from The Dow Chemical Company, where she served as an officer and the corporate secretary. In addition to a significant amount of community volunteer work, her post-retirement activity has included editing two published books, serving as acting director for the Governance Center and Directors’ Institute of the Conference Board in New York, and consulting with the National Association of Manufacturers in Washington, D.C., as senior counsel for corporate governance and finance. Van Dam has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Michigan State University and a law degree from the University of Michigan.

“It is a privilege for me to be asked by Governor Snyder to serve on the Michigan Humanities Council Board,” Van Dam said. “In today’s complex environment the humanities are easily overlooked but I believe that a strong cultural perspective and understanding are critical. They can provide a unifying bridge in our divided society. I look forward to working closely with the broad-based and dynamic board and staff of the Council.”

Walter Koziol is a certified public accountant and the president of WJK Ltd., which provides strategic, operational and succession planning assistance to growing and/or troubled companies. He previously served as an audit partner with BDO Seidman LLP, an international accounting and consulting firm. Koziol is also a past chair and member of the Finance and Audit Committees of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants. In addition to his role on the Michigan Humanities Council Board, Koziol is also Chair of the Southeastern Regional Advisory Board of Hospice of Michigan, and is on the Advisory Board for Sweet Dreamzzz. He is also a current board member for the Michigan Accountancy Foundation and Detroit Athletic Club. Koziol previously served as chair of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Detroit and treasurer of the Chamber Music Society of Detroit. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Detroit.

“I look forward to being a part of this dynamic and engaged board,” Koziol said. “The mission of the Michigan Humanities Council, of connecting people and communities by fostering and supporting quality cultural programs, is in alignment with what I have been attempting to do the last 25 years. I hope that I can bring a new excitement and perspective in my role on the board.”

The Honorable Leo Bowman, a judge of the 6th Circuit Court of Oakland County, received his B.A. from Oakland University and Juris Doctorate from the University of Detroit Law School. Prior to his appointment to Oakland County Circuit Court, Judge Bowman was elected to the 50th District Court in 1988 and re-elected in 1994, 2000 and 2006. He served as Chief Judge of the 50th District Court for eight years.

“I am excited about joining the Michigan Humanities Council Board and serving the citizens of the State of Michigan,” Judge Bowman said. “I look forward to assisting the Michigan Humanities Council in its efforts to connect people and communities through cultural programs while simultaneously establishing the MHC as a unifying force throughout Michigan.”

Thomas Garikes earned his Master of Arts in Latin American Affairs from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and his B.A. in History and Political Science from Aquinas College. He currently serves as the Director of Major, Corporate, and Foundation Giving for Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing. Garikes has more than 21 years of extensive experience in fundraising, public relations and special events with a record of accomplishments in the largest law school in the nation, a large healthcare system, and privately held family company.

“It is with great pleasure that I accept my appointment to serve on the Michigan Humanities Council’s Board of Directors,” Garikes said. “I strongly feel that it is an honor and a privilege to become a member of your organization; I shall make every effort to fulfill my responsibilities that membership implies.”

Gloria White Gardner currently serves as president and CEO of G.W. Gardner and Associates Consulting. She previously held positions with the Urban League of Greater Muskegon, U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Department of Interior. Professional affiliations include the NAACP, Gerber Foundation, Westshore Symphony and Fair Housing Center.

“I am honored to serve on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Humanities Council,” White Gardner said. “The Council, through its quality programs and resources, provides a good quality of life for many in our communities. I’m delighted to be a part of the team.”

Susan Higman Larsen is the director of publications for the Detroit Institute of Arts and an adjunct faculty member of The John Hopkins University in Baltimore. She has served as editor of the National Gallery of Art and Dumbarton Oaks, both in Washington, D.C. Larsen earned her master’s in Art History from the University of Pittsburgh and bachelor’s of Art History from Georgetown University. She holds numerous professional affiliations, including with the American Association of Museums, Museums and Galleries History Group, and Association of Art Editors.

“The humanities touch all of us, in many aspects of our lives,” Larsen said. “I’m honored to be a part of the MHC, which supports an astonishing array of people and programs to engage us with our world and each other.”

For available images, please see photo links below:
The Honorable Leo Bowman
Walter Koziol
Tina S. Van Dam

About the Michigan Humanities Council
The Michigan Humanities Council is a private, nonprofit organization created to foster a better understanding of each other and our state through local cultural, historical and literary experiences for all. The Council was founded in 1974 and is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and individual donors. For more information on future programs, upcoming grant opportunities or how you can support these efforts, please visit or call (517) 372-7770.

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