Appointments made to Michigan Hispanic/Latino Commission

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LANSING – Governor Rick Snyder Wednesday announced the appointments of Raquel Castañeda-Lòpez, of Detroit, JoAnn Chavez, of Ann Arbor, and Jesse Venegas, of Royal Oak, to the Hispanic/Latino Commission.

The 15-member commission works to develop a unified policy and plan of action to serve the needs of Michigan’s Hispanic and Latino residents.

“Raquel, JoAnn, and Jesse are great choices for this commission and I am confident they will serve our Hispanic and Latino communities with distinction,” said Snyder.

Castañeda-Lòpez is the scholars program manager for Wayne State University’s Center for Chicano Boricua Studies. Previously, she served as the center’s coordinator for the College to Career program and as a home-based teacher for Vistas Nuevas Head Start, where she provided education and social services to immigrant families. Castañeda-Lòpez holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of Montana and the University of Michigan, respectively. She fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Milinda Ysasi-Castanon.

Chavez is vice president and chief tax officer for DTE Energy. Previously, she served as director of taxation for Atlas Oil Co. in Detroit and as a tax partner for KPMG LLP’s Detroit business unit. Chavez serves as a finance committee member for Detroit Cristo Rey High School and as an advisory member for the University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Business board of directors. She received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a law degree, both from the University of Notre Dame. Chavez replaces Miguel Ramirez.

Venegas serves as the business unit manager for Ideal Setech LLC, a supply chain management solutions company. He previously worked as a production and facility manager for Ideal Steel and as a steel division project manager for Ideal Shield. Venegas is a former member of Crockett Technical High School’s business advisory board and a current member of the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Vermont and completed the Advanced Minority Business Executive program at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Venegas replaces Benjamin Inquilla.

Castañeda-Lòpez will serve the remainder of a three-year term that expires Dec. 10, 2013. Chavez and Venegas will serve three-year terms that expire Dec. 10, 2014. Their appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

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