LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder announced last Friday the appointment of Patty Birkholz, of Saugatuck, to the Great Lakes Protection Fund Board of Directors.
Established in 1989, the Great Lakes Protection Fund is a private, nonprofit corporation and permanent environmental endowment that supports collaborative actions to improve the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem. The fund’s board of directors meets quarterly and governs fund operations.
“Patty is a well-known and highly regarded advocate for Michigan and its lakes,” said Snyder. “I am confident she will do great work to promote and enhance the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem.”
Birkholz most recently served as director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes. Previously, she served five terms in the Michigan Legislature, including three in the House and two in the Senate. She was the first woman in state history elected president pro-tempore. Birkholz’s legislative work focused on protecting the Great Lakes and Michigan’s groundwater; she championed the adoption of the historic Great Lakes Water Compact and spearheaded passage of the nation’s first scientifically-based water withdrawal legislation. Birkholz holds a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology from Western Michigan University, where she also completed graduate work in speech pathology and public administration. She replaces Rich Baird.
Birkholz will serve a two-year term that expires Oct. 11, 2014, and her appointment is not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.
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