Paul Shaheen graduated from Monteith College and has a Master of Arts in Teaching from Wayne State University. His experience includes the Michigan Department of Public Health with the State Medicaid Program, worked as lobbyist for the Michigan Hospital Association, a was Senior Social Worker in Housing and Urban Development and worked in both OEO and Model Cities in Flint, MI.
His last 27 years he served as the Executive Director of the Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health and was appointed by Governor Jennifer Granholm to the Children’s Trust Fund Board and served as its interim Executive director for a year. He served in the U.S. Peace Corp in Peru and he taught at Monteith College.
Dr. Maxine Hankins Cain
Maxine is Vice President of the Lansing Regional Sister Cities Commission, a very active volunteer with AARP, a member of the NAACP, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the National and Detroit Chapters of the Association of Black Storytellers (portraying Harriet Tubman and Fannie Lou Hammer), and is a Certified Laughter Facilitator with World Laughter, Inc. She uses these platforms to emphasize the importance of education, the power of one to make a difference and the importance of giving back to the community.
Marcie Alling is the Departmental Specialist/Team Lead for the Going PRO Talent Fund, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity-Workforce Development. She holds a BA degree in French, MA degree in International Affairs-African Studies and has lived and traveled abroad. She and her husband volunteered for 11 years as a host family for Japanese students studying at Michigan State University.
Dr. Willie Davis
A Professor at Lansing Community College and Davenport University, Dr. Davis has his Ph.D. in International and Comparative Education from Michigan State University and has taught for 50 years, 14 in the K-12 system and 40 years as an Adjunct Professor. He has spent 40 years in Public Health as a Consultant in areas of Health Education, Statistics, Chronic Disease Control, Community Organizing, Quality Control for Medicaid Screening and Minority Health. He has published in several journals and books and has traveled extensively to Africa and the Caribbean as well as to Australia, Europe, South America and Asia gathering material for the All Around the African World Museum and Resource Center of which he is the Curator/Director. He has coordinated tours to Tanzania and Jamaica and helped develop Sister and Friendship City relationships in Ghana and Tanzania respectfully. He retains active membership in many African and African American organizations and others including the Lansing Juneteenth Scholarship and Education Committee and enjoys the distinction of attending as a vendor, for every Juneteenth Celebration.
Barbara Roberts Mason
Barbara was president of LRSCC for 23 years. Her leadership has been felt and recognized on an international level. In addition to travels throughout Europe and Asia, she led delegations to Benin, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa, and Ghana. She has done comparative studies on education in several countries, evaluated military schools in Germany and served in a leadership forum in Baden-Wurtemburg, Germany. As former president of the Michigan State Board of Education, she advocated for global languages and international studies in k-12 education.
Noe Daniel Alvarado
Noe Alvarado is a lifelong resident of the greater Lansing area. A University of Michigan wrestler and graduate, Noe has worked for the Michigan Department of Corrections for almost 30 years as a corrections officer and program coordinator. In addition, Noe is the Chair/President of MIALMA a statewide advocacy organization dealing with Hispanic issues. He is always active in politics and community activities.
William L. Brewer II is President and CEO of the Global Business Resource Group Inc. a firm that offers a full range of human resource services from executive search, pre and post employee assessment, executive coaching, and customized training to organizational consulting. He holds a B.S. degree in Marketing from Central State University. Mr. Brewer is a member of the Board of Directors – CASE Credit Union since 1990 and currently serving as its Chair, Board of Commissioner – Lansing Regional Sister Cities Commission, Workforce Development Board Member Vice President – Capital Area Michigan Works.
Dr. Siddharth Chandra
Dr. Siddharth Chandra is Director of the Asian Studies Center and Professor of Economics in James Madison College at Michigan State University. The Asian Studies Center supports all aspects of Michigan State University’s engagement with Asia, from research and teaching to community outreach, engagement, and linkages with Asian partners.
Tony De Luca
Born in Southern Italy. A lifelong resident of Lansing. Attended Lansing Community College and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Development/Public Administration from Central Michigan University. Experience includes Michigan House of Representatives, trade association, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, and currently employed at Lansing Board of Water and Light.
Organizations: President, Italian American Club of Lansing; and Board Member of COMITES of Detroit (represents Italian citizens in five states).
Emphasis: Economic, cultural, and educational development with Sister City, Pianezza, Italy, and Friendship City, Cosenza, Italy.
Christopher Hodshire is a University Lecturer and researcher in the Social Sciences and a Community Consultant, with expertise in Cool City Initiatives and Diversity Dimensions. Hodshire views himself as a global citizen and is an ongoing advocate for international relations, reciprocal exchanges, diplomacy and education. Hodshire currently serves as the Chair of the Asan/Lansing Regional Sister Cities program with the country of South Korea. Hodshire has served on the LRSC board for more than 15 years. During that time, Hodshire served in dignitary roles for some of the exchanges and also hosted students’ nearly every year. Created the first-ever collaboration between (UN) United World College of Singapore and MMPS of Malaysia. Hodshire also currently serves on a number of other international organizations.
J. Chris Holman
Chris Holman is the founder and CEO of Michigan Business Network. For over 40 years Chris has used his skills as an entrepreneur to successfully start businesses, launch magazines, run companies, serve on community boards, and host various talk show programs on both radio and internet. Currently, he is the primary host of on MBN’s talk program Michigan Business Beat.
Appointed in 2006 as Michigan’s Small Business Advocate by then Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Chris has served as a liaison between the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and small business owners while working closely with the Michigan Business Ombudsman’s offices.
Chris is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University, a husband, and father to three children, grandfather of seven.
Keith Lambert is Vice President of Business Attraction at the Lansing Economic Area Partnership, with a mission including building global relationships and promoting foreign direct investment opportunities for businesses around the world to invest in the Lansing region.
Dr. Sung Lee
Sung Lee has enjoyed being the commissioner of LRSCC for more than 10 years. He believes that citizen diplomacy, education, and cultural exchange will connect the world and improve the chance of Global Peace. The exchange education with Asan, South Korea for high school students is one of the works LRSCC has done. He plans to continue working with all commissioners in helping Lansing to achieve economic development thru LRSCC.
Dr. Rubén O. Martinez
Dr. Rubén O. Martinez became emeritus professor of sociology in the fall of 2023. He had been director of the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University. He has experience as a senior administrator and as chair of departments and programs at universities where he previously worked. His research interests include neoliberalism and Latinos, diversity leadership in higher education, institutional and societal change, education and ethno-racial minorities, youth development, Latino labor and entrepreneurship, and environmental justice. Dr. Martinez is the editor of the Latinos in the United States book series with the Michigan State University Press. He has numerous publications, including three co-authored books: Chicanos in Higher Education (1993), Diversity Leadership in Higher Education (2007), and A Brief History of Cristo Rey Church in Lansing, MI (2012); one edited volume, Latinos in the Midwest (2011); and two co-edited volumes: Latino College Presidents: In Their Own Words (2013), and Occupational Health Disparities among Racial and Ethnic Minorities: Formulating Research Needs and Directions (2017).
Charles Mickens served as the Associate Dean of Innovation and Technology and Chief Information Officer at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School for 18 years prior to retiring in 2019. Before that, he was employed by the State of Michigan for over 20 years in the Departments of Licensing and Regulation, Civil Service, and the Department of Technology, Management and Budget.
Marilyn Nagano Schlief
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Dr. Nicole Namy
Dr. Nicole Namy is the Director of Special Populations at the Lansing School District. Nicole began her career teaching and coordinating federal programs focused on youth programming and family literacy in collaboration with Dearborn, Hamtramck and Detroit Public Schools. She later transitioned to work at Michigan State University, teaching and advising to support the academic and cultural initiatives for international populations. Her programming and outreach efforts included education and training across campus and in the community related to intercultural communication, leadership development, and culturally responsive pedagogy. While at MSU, Nicole pursued her doctorate in Education Leadership, with research interest related to processes and inputs that influence leadership, instructional core, and student engagement and motivation.
She is passionate about understanding how to develop meaningful and equitable learning that supports education in the 21st century as influenced by her own immigration and integration into US education systems. Nicole was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon and started her academic journey at Lewton Elementary in the Lansing School District.
Vice President/ Co-Founder, Michigan Flyer LLC a Michigan Intercity, Public Transportation Bus Company, Dec 2011 – Present · 11 yrs. 3 mos., East Lansing MI
President of Skybird Okemos Travel Inc – a retail travel agency.
State of Michigan DHS/DMBS, Full-time · 27 yrs
SENIOR ANALYST | MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH And HUMAN SERVICES- CHILD SUPPORT
- Served as contract administrator on several data matching and technology contracts, including leading the Request for Proposals process.
- Implemented and oversaw Michigan’s Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM), a federal Title IV-D program. · Served as a multi-state FIDM Alliance contract administrator and alliance manager. This program helped to perfect thousands of liens and levies issued by the State of Michigan’s Circuit Courts on banks and financial institutions across state lines.
- Oversaw multi-state purchasing alliance (approximately 20 states) and coordinated Michigan Judicature Act protocols with Friends of the Court units in Michigan.
- Served as lead coordinator between the Michigan attorney General’s Child Support Division and the DHS Child Support FIDM unit.
Jan 1985 – Jan 2000 · 15 yrs. 1 mo.
Oversaw hundreds of major procurement processes on behalf of all Michigan Executive Departments.
Buyer/Senior Buyer for Services including IT services, Travel programs, Advertising/marketing/PR, Video Productions, Temporary Employment Services, Financial Institutions’ services, Insurance and more.
Vice President Sales and Operations
Red Carpet Travel Co of Michigan (a statewide retail travel agency) · Full-time
May 1982 – Jan 1985 · 2 yrs. 9 mos.
East Lansing, Michigan, United States · On-site
Managed multi office retail Travel Agency including Lansing Airport and East Lansing Michigan
Military Service (Sergeant – Tank Commander)
Israel Defense Forces · Full-time
Aug 1972 – Aug 1975 · 3 yrs. 1 mo.
Michigan State University 1978 – 1981
Crop and Soil Science, College of Ag. MSU East Lansing
Planning Commission, Meridian Township
Jan 2011 – Jan 2015 · 4 yrs. 1 mo.
Past President, Rotary International, Sep 2013 – Present · 9 yrs. 6 mos.
Rotary International Service Club
Erin Schor serves as Legislative Policy Director for the Michigan Department of State and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. A seasoned government affairs professional with over 20 years of experience in Michigan politics and policy, Schor has also worked as Vice President for the Michigan Community College Association, and in a variety of roles in the Michigan House of Representatives.
Schor is an active member of the Ingham Intermediate School District Board of Education and the Board of Directors for Impression 5 Science Center, and has also served on the Potter Park Zoo Society board and as founding chair of the Lansing Mayor’s Arts and Culture Commission. She believes passionately in the power of learning from other people and cultures in an increasingly interconnected world.
My name is Commissioner Heather Taylor. I am a trained Computer Programmer by trade and a Technical Specialist by profession. My personal passion lies in community work. I have more than 10 years’ experience working with community affairs and non-profit organizations, I enjoy domestic and international travel and have extensive travel experience in the Diaspora of Africa. Currently serving as a commissioner for the City of Lansing Housing Commission, as a commissioner for the City of Lansing Regional Sister Cities, a chapter member of Black Lives Matter of Lansing, as a Lansing Juneteenth Board Member, Entertainment Co-Chairperson, building relationships throughout the community, lobbying and promoting partnerships, and a Martin Luther King Luncheon Commissioner.
Raj M. Weiner
Raj M. Wiener is a 2023 recipient of the Homer Higbee International Education Award, which is presented to MSU students and volunteers who have made significant contributions to the advancement of international communication, understanding and cooperation through service.
Wiener is past president of the Community Volunteers for International Programs in MSU’s International Studies and Programs. She is also an attorney, former state public health director and small business owner. Wiener is an advocate and organizer in local, national and international humanitarian responses for disaster relief; food insecurity, disease and injury prevention; justice in diversity, inclusion; and gender equity and equality.
She serves on governing boards in higher education and health care delivery, including as a trustee of the Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control. She is a director on the After the Storm: Michigan Disaster Recovery and Response board and Oxfam International’s Sisters on the Planet. Wiener also serves on the advisory executive committees to both MSU’s Community Volunteers for International Programs and the Wharton Center for Performing Arts. She is currently engaged in organizing a local humanitarian response effort to send medical wound and burn care supplies to civilian victims of shelling in Ukraine by connecting her Williamston Rotary club to Rotary clubs in Ukraine.
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Dr. Xinyu Wu
Dr. Xinyu Wu leads the Visiting International Professional Program and the Office of China Program at Michigan State University. She also serves as the executive director of Michigan Council for Citizen Diplomacy which is part of a U.S. national-wide community-based network for international visitors leadership exchange.
Stephen P. Gasteyer
MSU Liaison to Youth Action Committee (YAC)
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Office of the Mayor - City of Lansing