Carlos Sanchez, director of the new Latino Business and Economic Development Center at Ferris State University, has been appointed to the Hispanic/Latino Commission by Gov. Rick Snyder.
The 15-member commission, housed within the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, develops a unified policy and plan of action to serve the needs of the state’s Hispanic and Latino residents.
“I am honored, pleased and excited,” said Sanchez, whose appointment comes on the heels of his new position leading the Ferris initiative. “I plan to make the university proud and will represent the Latino community in West Michigan to the best of my ability. I’m looking forward to serving.”
As director of the university’s Latino Business and Economic Development Center, housed at Ferris’ Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Sanchez is working to develop opportunities that contribute to economic development in the West Michigan Latino community.
Before joining Ferris in November, Sanchez was executive director of the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Grand Rapids. In that role, Sanchez advocated for Latino entrepreneurs, business owners and students, developed partnerships with Hispanic and non-Hispanic business organizations, and oversaw membership development and fundraising efforts.
He previously served as a diversity specialist with Spectrum Health and as diversity programs coordinator for the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.
Sanchez replaces Arturo Reyes on the Hispanic/Latino Commission. Also appointed were Noel Garcia of DeWitt and Melissa Fernandez of Ferndale.
“I am confident these appointees will do great work promoting the diverse interests of Hispanics and Latinos in the Great Lakes State,” Snyder said.
Garcia, a lieutenant and the internal affairs commander with the Lansing Police Department, also is an adjunct professor at Ferris’ Lansing campus. He replaces Lawrence Garcia.
Fernandez, who owns Detroit-based Cafecon Leche, also is a supply chain consultant for Ryder Integrated Logistics. She replaces Maria Elena Rodriguez.
Snyder reappointed Gilberto Guzman, of Portage, a recruiter for JSA Plainwell who also worked for the Michigan Department of Labor.
Appointees will serve three-year terms that expire Dec. 10, 2015. Their appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.