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SILC Names New Director

Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council
Names New Executive Director

Interim Executive Director Rodney Craig has been named to the Executive Director role at the Statewide Independent Living Council. The SILC unanimously voted for Mr. Craig’s appointment at its February 13, 2015, quarterly business meeting.

Mr. Craig has worked for SILC for seven years, originally joining the team as System Support Administrator for the Michigan statewide independent living program database. In 2011, he was named the Deputy Director. Upon the retirement of former SILC Director, Valarie Barnum-Yarger, Rodney filled the interim director role while the governor-appointed SILC members developed strategies based on changes to federal legislation, prompting a re-organization of the SILC.

Sara Grivetti, SILC Chair, stated, “Rodney possesses a leadership style that the SILC needs to fulfill their federally-mandated duties. He is a strategic thinker, puts others’ needs first and is well-respected throughout the Independent Living network in Michigan.”

SILC Vice Chair, Lisa Cook-Gordon, agreed. “The Statewide Independent Living Council has an important responsibility to develop a state plan that outlines goals and objectives to improve the lives of people with disabilities in Michigan. We are blessed to have Rodney supporting us to achieve our goals.”

A former U.S. Army Military Police Corp member, Mr. Craig earned Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from the University of Michigan-Flint, along with an Associate’s Degree from St. Clair Community College. Prior to starting at the Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council, Mr. Craig was an AmeriCorps Vista with the Blue Water Center for Independent Living. He is also a 2011 graduate of the MARO Leadership Academy, where he honed his skills regarding non-profit organizational leadership in the field of disabilities.

At the February 13th council meeting, the SILC also approved a job description change for the Director of Operations position. That position is held by Tracy Brown. Tracy has been with SILC for nearly 8 years. Also approved were job descriptions for two newly created positions; Systems Advocacy Director and Communications Coordinator.

“The re-organization of the staffing at SILC presents an excellent opportunity to collaborate on public policy issues with Michigan’s Network of Centers for Independent Living,” Ms. Grivetti said. “We will be optimizing resources, with the goal being more effective in our joint strategies.”

The Michigan SILC believes that disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right to live independently, enjoy self-determination, make choices, contribute to society, pursue meaningful careers, and enjoy full inclusion and integration in the economic, political, social, cultural, and educational mainstream of our society.

The SILC is federally-mandated to create a state plan that outlines goals to help improve the lives of people with disabilities to full participate in society, achieve economic self-sufficiency, enjoy equal opportunity and live independently in the community. Council members are appointed by Governor Rick Snyder.

For more information or to review the current state plan for independent living visit the SILC website at www.misilc.org.