Michigan Municipal League’s Herasanna Richards Named to Growing Michigan Together Council Workgroup

Posted on August 7, 2023 by Matt Bach

Herasanna Richards

The Michigan Municipal League’s Herasanna Richards has been named to a workgroup for the Growing Michigan Together Council. The workgroup selections were announced Monday in a press release from Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office.

The League is pleased to have Richards selected to this important role. Richards, legislative associate for the League, will serve on the Infrastructure and Place workgroup. People were also selected to workgroups that cover Jobs, Talent, and Economy, Pre K-12, and Higher Education. In her role, Richards will represent the League and our member communities.

The Infrastructure and Places workgroup will focus on infrastructure and place-based investment.

The topic areas of this workgroup are as follows:

Infrastructure and Places: Propose long-term, sustainable, and equitable funding solutions for Michigan’s multimodal transportation systems and aging water infrastructure to help meet the 2050 population goal identified in the report. Recommendations must:

• Consider the need for placemaking investments that will support retention and attraction goals.
• Consider the need for sustainable investment among the emergence of more fuel-efficient vehicles and an unprecedented influx of one-time federal money.
• Propose solutions on how to create attainable housing options for Michiganders in every income bracket and create investment-ready sites across the state.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release from Whitmer’s office:

Governor Whitmer Announces Selections for Workgroups to the Growing Michigan Together Council 


LANSING, Mich. — Today, the Growing Michigan Together Council, through its Chairs Ambassador John Rakolta, Jr. and WSU Governor Shirley Stancato, announced selections for the workgroups of the Growing Michigan Together Council. The Council will utilize four workgroups, each with a specific focus area: 1) Infrastructure and Place, 2) Jobs, Talent, and Economy, 3) Pre K-12 Education, 4) Higher Education. Members of the workgroups were chosen based on a variety of criteria, including past and present professional experiences, volunteerism, and philanthropic involvement.  


“The diverse workgroup members of the Growing Michigan Together Council will be instrumental in our effort to grow our economy and population while protecting our natural resources,” said Governor Whitmer. “These members represent a range of professions, communities, and perspectives—all of which are essential to developing a comprehensive strategy for growth. I look forward to hearing from the council and its workgroups later this year. Let’s get to work!” 


The workgroup members were selected among hundreds of extremely qualified candidates to broadly represent diversity among Michiganders and aims to encourage a bipartisan voice to make important recommendations for the future of the state.  


In addition to the workgroups, this fall, the Growing Michigan Together team will launch an ambitious public engagement plan with events across the state. The tour will include regional forums designed to discuss local challenges and growth opportunities in communities across the state. Additionally, many events will focus on collecting additional input from young people—at work, on campus, and online. Events in community spaces, workplaces, and on digital platforms like Instagram and Twitch will seek to include a broad range of perspectives. The tour will also meet college students where they are—on campus—convening both traditional students and adult learners with stops at universities, colleges, and community colleges.  Engagements include move-ins, on-campus listening events, homecomings, high schools, and other youth-focused events across the state. 


Infrastructure & Place

Rachel Gray, Executive Director, Hello West Michigan 

Ron Brenke, Executive Director, American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan 

Herasanna Richards, Legislative Associate for State & Federal Affairs, Michigan Municipal League 

Melvin Henley, Policy Manager, Community Economic Development Association of Michigan 

Emily Thompson, Director of Economic and Community Development, Techtown Detroit/WSU 

Candice Miller, Macomb County Public Works Commissioner 

S. Evan Weiner, President & CEO, Edw. C. Levy Co. 

John Proos, CEO, JP4 Government Solutions 

Michael Alaimo, Director of Environmental & Energy Affairs, Michigan Chamber of Commerce 

Larry Filson, Assistant Vice President for Design & Sustainability, Walbridge 

Lottie Ferguson, Vice President of Development & Donor Services, Community Foundation of Greater Flint 

Ron Hall, President & CEO, Bridgewater Interiors, LLC 

James Hammill, Retired Wildlife Biologist, Michigan Department of Natural Resources  

Kerry Duggan, CEO, SustainabiliD 

Rian English Barnhill, Vice President of Government and Community Affairs, Olympia Development of Michigan 

Aidan Sova, Product Solutions Consultant, Google 

Workgroups will begin work immediately with the goal of submitting their reports to the Growing Michigan Together Council by mid-October.

View the full press release here: Governor Whitmer Announces Selections for Workgroups to the Growing Michigan Together Council.

1675 Green Road,
Ann Arbor MI 48105
Capitol Office
208 N. Capitol Ave.,
1st Floor Lansing, MI 48933
©2022 Michigan Municipal League LLC. All rights reserved