2018-10-06 / News

Posthumus Joins State Park Commission

By Stephanie Fortino


At right: The Mackinac Island State Park Commission held its September meeting at Grand Hotel following the joint session with the city council. Pictured on the east end of the porch are (from left) state park director Phil Porter and commissioners Mary Callewaert, Richard Manoogian, Marcia Brogan, Chuck Yob, Bill Marvin, Dan Loepp, and Dick Posthumus. At right: The Mackinac Island State Park Commission held its September meeting at Grand Hotel following the joint session with the city council. Pictured on the east end of the porch are (from left) state park director Phil Porter and commissioners Mary Callewaert, Richard Manoogian, Marcia Brogan, Chuck Yob, Bill Marvin, Dan Loepp, and Dick Posthumus. Dick Posthumus of Alto has been appointed to the Mackinac Island State Park Commission and attended his first meeting Friday, September 28. He was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder, for whom he currently serves as chief of staff.

He replaces former commissioner William Deary, who moved to Florida earlier this year.

Mr. Posthumus served 16 years in the Michigan Senate and is the longest-serving senate majority leader, a position he held from 1991 to 1999.

While he has had a long political career, Mr. Posthumus has always considered himself a farmer first and foremost, he told the Town Crier. His family’s farm south of Grand Rapids was established in the 1920s, and he still lives about two miles away from where he grew up.

As a young boy, Mr. Posthumus loved talking about politics with his grandfather, a veteran of World War I.

“In the back of my mind, I had an interest in politics,” he told the Town Crier, which eventually led to a decades-long career in state government.

In 1982, Mr. Posthumus was recruited to run for the Senate in the 31st District, as there was no Republican nominee. After winning that election, he became majority leader in 1990, when John Engler first became governor.

Mr. Posthumus would then go on to serve as Mr. Engler’s lieutenant governor following the November 1998 gubernatorial election.

The two have been close friends for decades, he told the Town Crier, having first met while attending Michigan State University. Mr. Posthumus managed Mr. Engler’s first campaign in their youth, when he ran for State Representative in Mount Pleasant.

Mr. Posthumus served as the 61st Lieutenant Governor for four years. In 2002, he was the Republican nominee for governor, but lost to Democrat Jennifer Granholm.

Following that election, Mr. Posthumus entered the private sector for several years.

In 2010, he became a senior advisor to Gov. Snyder and in 2017 was named Chief of Staff. He will continue to serve in that position until Mr. Snyder’s term ends later this year.

Mr. Posthumus is now looking forward to taking a step back from politics, he said, as he wants to do more volunteer work.

His experience with the Mackinac Island State Park Commission has included working with Com- mission Chairman Chuck Yob and former Chairman Dennis Cawthorne. He is looking forward to continuing to use his political connections to help the state park and all of Mackinac Island.

He proposed to his wife, Beth Ann, on the porch of the Governor’s Summer Residence, which is maintained by Mackinac State Historic Parks.

Of his appointment, he said, “To me, [the Island is] the most beautiful place in the world. I’ve always helped it, and I had the opportunity to help more. I feel honored.”

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