Snyder appoints BOT replacements

Tim Eggert

With less than 75 days left in office, Gov. Rick Snyder on Friday appointed a current aid and a senior lobbyist to the NMU Board of Trustees (BOT) as replacements for a pair of seats due to expire in December.

Travis Weber, chief legal counsel for the Executive Office of Gov. Snyder, will replace Trustee Richard Popp. Stephen Young, co-owner of the multi-client Lansing lobbying firm Governmental Consultant Services Inc. (GCSI), will replace Trustee Scott Holman.

“We are pleased to welcome Mr. Weber and Mr. Young to our university family, and look forward to introducing them to our many recent accomplishments and treasured traditions,” NMU President Fritz Erickson said in a university press release. “We hope they are excited to contribute their expertise in helping Northern take on even more strategic transformational endeavors.”

Young attended NMU from 1975 to 1976 as a political science major. He earned bachelor degrees in political science and economics from Michigan State University and graduated from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute of Organizational Management.

“I’ve been familiar with Northern for a long time and I’m very excited for this opportunity to return to campus and help the university in any way I can,” Young said in a university press release. “My career has required me to know finances and work with people with diverse interests to solve complex problems. I’m hoping to apply those skills in a way that benefits Northern as well.”

Young worked as the lead tax lobbyist for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce for seven years. He joined GCSI in 1991 and became a co-owner in 2001. Based on filings with the Michigan Secretary of State, GCSI reported spending $871,315 from Jan. 2017 to July 2017.

Weber currently sits on the board of advisors for the Michigan chapter of the Federalist Society, on the the board of commissioners for the State Bar of Michigan and serves as a committee member for the State Bar of Michigan District E Character and Fitness Committee.


“I’m thrilled to be appointed and look forward to continuing Northern’s already-great programs while seeing how we might expand its reach into the Detroit area,” Weber said in a university press release. “As general counsel to the governor, we’ve faced a variety of issues in administering a complicated system like state government, which is a $50-billion-a-year organization with 50,000 employees. That experience might lend itself well to my new role on Northern’s board.”

He also served as deputy legal counsel and a senior policy advisor for the Michigan House of Representatives Republican Policy Office and earned a bachelor degree in political science from Michigan State University and a law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law.

Unlike the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University—whose boards are elected through a statewide vote—NMU’s BOT members are appointed by the governor. Specifically, Article 1 of the BOT’s Bylaws establishes that each member of the eight-voting-member board can hold office for terms of eight years and no more than two member terms can expire in the same year.

Snyder appointed Popp to the BOT in 2011 to replace Douglas Roberts, and appointed former trustee and chairman Holman to the BOT in 2014 to serve the remainder of an unexpired term left by Stephen Gulis, Jr., who resigned. Alumni of NMU, both Popp’s and Holman’s terms will expire on Dec. 31.

Weber and Young will serve eight-year terms expiring Dec. 31, 2026. The positions are unpaid and the appointees are subject to Senate advice and consent.

“We’re delighted that individuals of their stature are joining our board and look forward to their contributions advancing Northern’s vision based on their wealth of experience,” BOT Chairman Robert Mahaney said in a university press release.