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Michigan Governor Makes Initial Appointments to UAS Task Force

Governor Rick Snyder announced the initial appointments to the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Task Force. Housed within the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the 27-member task force will develop statewide policy recommendations on the operation, use, and regulation of unmanned aircraft systems in this state. Individuals were nominated by their respective associations/departments for consideration by the Governor. The task force will submit a report to the Governor and standing committees in the House and Senate within three months after its first meeting.

“These individuals have a wide variety of experience that will be helpful in creating a new statewide policy for unmanned aircraft systems. I thank them for serving on this task force and I look forward to reviewing their recommendations,” Snyder said.

Mike Trout, Director of the Office of Aeronautics for MDOT will the chair task force. “We are excited about the opportunity to participate in this effort to guide safe integration of UAS into the Michigan Aviation System and appreciate Governor Snyder’s confidence in the Michigan Department of Transportation to chair such an important task force,” said Trout. “The wide range of expertise from members of the task force will contribute to the successful completion of the task force’s mission and I look forward to working with each member.”

Members with terms expiring July 31, 2018:

Scott Baldwin of Fort Gratiot Township is a sergeant for the patrol division at the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office. He holds an associate’s degree in criminal justice from St. Clair Community College and holds a certifiable police officer certificate from the Macomb Basic Police academy. Baldwin will represent county sheriffs.

Jon Cool of Grand Rapids is the president of the Michigan Railroads Association. He previously served as a legislative liaison for the Michigan Department of Transportation. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University. Cool will represent a member of a statewide freight railroad association.

Katie Jones of Northville is regional counsel for the North Central Region of Michigan for Allstate Insurance Company. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, and a law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law. Jones will represent a member of a statewide property and casualty insurance association.

Susan Roberts of Grand Rapids is the interim general manager and founder of GE Beyond, General Electric Aviation. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University, a master’s of business administration from the University of Phoenix, and a doctorate in business administration from Capella University. Roberts will represent a member who is an unmanned aircraft systems technical commercial representative.

Robert (Bob) Sweeney of St. Ignace is the CEO of the Mackinac Bridge Authority. Sweeney holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Michigan State University and will represent the Mackinac Bridge Authority.

Michael Olson of Battle Creek is the public safety director for Emmett Charter Township. He previously served as public safety director for the City of Marshall, director of training operations for Homeland Security Corporation, and served with the Michigan State Police. He holds a bachelor’s degree in public service administration from Sienna Heights University.  Olson will represent a law enforcement official from a municipality.

Members with terms expiring July 31, 2019:

Daniel Coffey of New Buffalo is a principal broker of both RE/MAX Harbor Country Real Estate in Michigan and Shore Realty in Indiana. He will represent a member of a statewide association that represents real estate brokers licensed in this state.

Charles Drayton of St. Paul, MN, is senior legal counsel for Enbridge. He previously served as an associate attorney at Fraser, Trebilcock, Davis, & Dunlap, P.C., and as a squad leader of the 2nd platoon for the United State Marine Corps Infantry Reserves. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, and a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Drayton will represent persons that operate key facilities.

Eric Ebenstein of Annandale, VA, is the head of North American Public Policy for DJI, a drone manufacturer, and previously served as the state government affairs executive for POET, LLC. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University and a law degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Ebenstein will represent a member who is an unmanned aircraft systems manufacturing industry representative.

John Flanagan of Midland is the director of aviation for The Dow Chemical Company, and previously served as the company’s chief pilot. He attended the Darden School of Business, is a certified aviation manager through the National Business Aviation Association, holds a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the United State Air Force Academy, and a master’s degree in aviation science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Flanagan will represent a member of a statewide manufacturing trade association.

John Hill of Traverse City is a regional manager/supervisor for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. He holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Michigan State University. Hill will represent a member from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Christopher Johnson of Northville is president of Johnson, Rosati, Schultz & Joppich, P.C. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Michigan State University College of Law. Johnson will represent a member from the Michigan Municipal League.

Members with terms expiring July 31, 2020:

Craig Amey of Shelby Township is the assistant director of the surveying department for Anderson, Eckstein and Westwick, Inc. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University and a master’s degree from Pennsylvania State University. Amey will represent a member of a statewide surveying association.

Richard (Rich) Kathrens of Saint Johns is a bridge safety inspection engineer and NBIS program manager for the Michigan Department of Transportation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Michigan Technological University. Kathrens will represent a member from the division of the Michigan Department of Transportation that performs bridge inspections and road work.

Kevin Klein of Traverse City is the airport director of the Northwestern Regional Airport Commission of the Cherry Capitol Airport. He holds a bachelor’s degree in aviation technology and operations management from Western Michigan University. Klein will represent airports in this state.

Greg MacMaster of Kewadin is co-owner and CEO of Eagle Eye Drone Service. He is a FAA certified private pilot, certified distant education instructor, a sUAS instructor with Certified Training Institutes, and a FAA instructor through the Wings Program. He previously served as a Michigan State Representative from 2011-2014 and attended Northwestern Michigan College. MacMaster will represent a member who is licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration to operate an unmanned aircraft that weighs less than 55 pounds.

Thomas Scott of Okemos is senior vice president of communications and marketing, and vice president of public affairs and communications for the Michigan Retailers Association. He previously served as the director of communications under Governor Blanchard. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. Scott will represent a member of a statewide retail association.

Michael Trout of Clarklake is the director of the Michigan Aeronautic Commission and the Office of Aeronautics for the Michigan Department of Transportation. He holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in public administration from the University of Michigan. Trout will represent a member from the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Members with terms expiring July 31, 2021:

Corbett Adkins of McBain is the director of photojournalism and a field producer for Heritage Broadcasting. He attended Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts and Baker College Aviation Program. Adkins will represent a member of a statewide broadcaster’s association.

Andrew Bordine of Jackson is the executive director of grid infrastructure for Consumer’s Energy. He previously served as director of distribution design and standards, and smart grid enablement lead engineer. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Kettering University and a master of business administration from Baker College.  Bordine will represent a member who is knowledgeable with the operation of public utilities who represents public utilities in the Lower Peninsula.

Bradley Chambers of Mackinac Island is the treasurer for Mackinac Island Carriage Tours, Inc. He is owner of Bradley T. Chambers, Inc. and is the owner of Chambers Technologies, LLC., which develops and licenses medical device intellectual property. He serves as the city supervisor, a member of the Mackinac Island Children’s Riding Academy, and is a member of the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau. Chambers holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. He will represent the City of Mackinac Island.

Julia Dale of Lansing is the director of the Corporations Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. She holds a bachelor’s degree from James Madison College at Michigan State University and a law degree from Wayne State University Law School. Dale will represent a member from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Thomas Harrell of Gladstone is the CEO of Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association. He attended Seneca College in Willowdale, Ontario, and has completed various leadership training programs. Harrell will represent a member who is knowledgeable about the operation of public utilities and represents public utilities in the Upper Peninsula.

Kevin Jacobs of Roscommon is an aviation manager for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He holds an associate’s degree from Spartan College of Aeronautics and a bachelor’s degree in technology from Andrews University. Jacobs will represent a member from the Department of Natural Resources.

Kevin Lindsey of Jackson is a deputy prison warden at the Charles Egeler Reception and Guidance Center for the Department of Corrections. He also serves as the department chair and adjunct professor for the department of criminal justice at Baker College. He holds a master’s degree from Spring Arbor University and a doctor of psychology from the Grand Canyon University. Lindsey will represent a member from the Department of Corrections.

Matthew Rogers of Rockford is a member of the Michigan State Police. He manages the UAS program, the tactical flight officer positions, and is a Sergeant within the Aviation Unit. He attended the Michigan State Police Training Academy and Western Michigan University. Sergeant Rogers will represent a member from the Department of State Police.

After the initial appointments have been made, members will serve four-year terms.

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