Gov. appoints two new trustees to GVSU Board

John G. Russell
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John G. Russell
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Gov. Rick Snyder appointed a Grand Valley alumna and an energy executive to serve on the Board of Trustees of Grand Valley State University. Snyder has chosen Mary Kramer of Detroit and John G. Russell of East Lansing for eight-year terms. The announcement came today.

Kramer is the vice president and publisher of Crain’s Detroit Business, a leading business newspaper and website. She graduated from Grand Valley State University in 1979 and had years of reporting and management experience at daily newspapers before joining Crain’s in 1989 as editor. She earned a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University and holds honorary doctorates from Grand Valley, Walsh College, Alma College and Central and Eastern Michigan universities.

She was the first woman to be elected president of the historic Detroit Athletic Club and is a member of the foundation boards at Wayne State, Grand Valley and the Michigan Colleges Foundation.

Russell is president and chief executive officer of CMS Energy and its principal subsidiary, Consumers Energy. He was president and chief operating officer of Consumer Energy from 2004 to 2010. He has spent most of his career with Consumers, but left from 1985 to 1987 to manage the shipping operations for Meijer Inc.

Russell graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1980. In 1994, he completed the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School. He serves on numerous boards including, the Business leaders for Michigan, Grand Rapids-based The Right Place Inc. and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

Kramer and Russell will replace board members Kate Pew Wolters, who followed her father and brother onto Grand Valley’s board, and Noreen Myers, who is the first Grand Valley alumna to serve on the university’s board. Both women served as chair of the board during their term.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the governor’s appointments, and look forward to working with Mary Kramer and John Russell who both bring impressive experience and backgrounds to our board,” Grand Valley President Thomas J. Haas said. “At the same time, we will miss Kate Pew Wolters and Noreen Myers and thank them for their service. Their time on our board was productive, and we are grateful that they lent their expertise to positioning Grand Valley as a leading university. They are both friends and supporters of the university, and we are assured that good work will continue even though their service on the board is completed.”

Haas acknowledged and thanked Pew Wolters for her additional service on the Association of Governing Board of Universities and Colleges.

The governor’s appointments of Kramer and Russell are subject to review by the state Senate, and trustees serve unless rejected. Their terms would expire December 31, 2020.