Governor appoints three new members to WMU Board of Trustees

Contact: Paula M. Davis

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today announced three new appointments to Western Michigan University's Board of Trustees. They include Kelly K. Burris, B.S.‘88, intellectual property attorney; Jon Hoadley, a former state representative and current Western graduate student; and Lisa Williams, B.A.'98, M.A.'04, a school principal and vice president of the WMU Alumni Association.

"We are pleased and honored to welcome this slate of new appointees to the Board of Trustees. Their vast experiences in thought leadership will bring fresh perspectives to the table for the next several years, and we appreciate their willingness to serve," says WMU President Edward Montgomery. "As they embark upon this new responsibility, we look forward to working together diligently and responsively to advance the mission of the University."

Burris will fill the seat vacated by former trustee Ron Kitchens and complete the term ending Dec. 31, 2024. Hoadley and Williams will begin new, eight-year terms. Their leadership fills vacancies left by William Johnston and Jeffrey Rinvelt, whose terms expired on Dec. 31, 2022.

Kelly K. Burris (left), Jon Hoadley (middle) and Lisa Williams (right) were appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to join the WMU Board of Trustees.

About the trustees

Kelly K. Burris

Burris is the owner and founder of Burris Law, PLLC, which is based in Detroit, Michigan. In her practice, she represents clients in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Prior to practicing law, Burris spent more than 11 years as an engineer in the aerospace industry with McDonnell Douglas and Boeing. Licensed to fly since 1985, she is a volunteer pilot with Angel Flight Central and Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic, nonprofit organizations that provide free air transportation to medical patients in need. Her Bachelor of Science degree from Western is in aerospace engineering. She also earned a master's degree in materials science and engineering from Washington University and a law degree from Saint Louis University.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to engage with the talented team of educators, administrators and students at Western Michigan University,” says Burris. “I am looking forward to engaging with the University to innovate a path to increasing educational opportunities and success for a broad array of students.”

Jon Hoadley

Hoadley is an independent consultant and the membership engagement director for Michigan Donor Alliance. He previously served as a Michigan representative for the 60th House District and served as the minority vice chair of the appropriations committee and a member of the Higher Education and Community Colleges Subcommittee. Prior to his service in the state House, Hoadley was the president of Badlands Strategies LLC and worked for other nonprofit organizations. He is engaged in a number of nonprofits in the Kalamazoo area and nationally. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degrees in social relations and women’s studies from Michigan State University.

“I’m thrilled to be back serving the WMU community,” Hoadley says. “Today really is a great day to be a Bronco.”

Lisa Williams

Williams is principal of The School at Marygrove in the Detroit Public Schools Community District. She began her career with the district more than 20 years ago as a high school English teacher before serving in leadership roles in Ferndale Public Schools and the Van Dyke Public School District. She also worked as a school improvement consultant with Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency. She is a trustee on the Minerva Education Development Foundation Board, member of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals and serves as vice president of the WMU Alumni Association. Williams, a two-time Western alumna who received her bachelor's degree in secondary education and master's in educational leadership, received the College of Education and Human Development's Golden Apple Award in 2013. She is the mother of two sons, Deonte Roberts and Jordan Williams, B.S.’21.

“I’m thrilled and excited about this appointment,” says Williams. “I look forward to the opportunity to forge positive relationships with all stakeholders and community partners.”

Appointments to the WMU Board of Trustees are subject to the advice and consent of the Michigan Senate.

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