Districts are changing and MSU Extension educators take charge

As we talked about at this year’s Fall Extension Conference and earlier this week on the director’s webinar, Michigan State University Extension will be creating a new district in northern Michigan in early 2015. Districts 3 and 4 will be split to create District 14. District 3 will consist of Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau and Manistee counties. District 14 will consist of Alpena, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, Montmorency, Otsego and Presque Isle counties, and District 4 will be made up of Alcona, Arenac, Crawford, Iosco, Oscoda, Ogemaw and Roscommon counties.

The job for the new coordinator for district 14 has been posted, and details can be found on the Michigan State University Job Portal (number 0549).

In addition, we have multiple interim district coordinators who have started their positions in the past few months to deal with shifting responsibilities within the organization.

As of Oct. 1, Richard Wooten is interim district coordinator for District 11, which includes Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. Richard most recently served as an MSU Extension educator focusing on land use planning and urban development and revitalization. He was involved with the government and public policy work group of MSU Extension and also previously served as the MSU Extension ombudsman. He brings years of experience and will serve alongside Marie Ruemenapp and newly appointed intern district coordinator Edward Scott, who will continue his role as an Extension educator while serving part-time as intern district coordinator.

In District 3, Jennifer Berkey has been named the interim coordinator. She assumed the role of managing Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau and Manistee counties on Oct. 1 to replace Patrick Cudney, who was named MSU Extension associate director of operations. Jennifer was most recently an MSU Extension educator focusing on food safety, nutrition and physical activity.

And last but not least, Julie Pioch has been named interim district coordinator for district 13, which consists of Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties. Pioch assumed the role Nov. 3 after two decades of experience with MSU Extension. She replaces Ginger Hentz, who will retire at the end of 2014. Julie was most recently an MSU Extension educator focusing on land use planning, government/public policy, and leadership and community development. In her 20-year career with MSU Extension, she has worked in multiple areas, including community and economic development, natural resources, food systems and entrepreneur development.

We are very excited about all of the individuals who have stepped up to help us coordinate our outreach efforts in these three districts, as well as the individual that will take on district 14 in the upcoming year. Congratulations!

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