DRM advocates through a team approach.

DRM teams:

  • Executive Office
    Michelle Roberts, Executive Officer
  • Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, and Office Management
    Michele Brand, Director
  • Litigation Strategies
    Kyle Williams, Director
  • Advocacy Strategies and Vaccination Advocacy
    Mark McWilliams, Director
  • Communications and Voter Accessibility
    Rachel Huddleston, Director
  • Community and Institutional Rights Advocacy
    Simon Zagata, Director
  • Education Advocacy
    Kris Keranen, Director
  • Employment Advocacy
    Elham Jahshan, Director
  • Information, Referral and Data
    Sarah Palacios, Director
  • Representative Payee Monitoring
    Sara Koroniotis, Director

DRM Executive Director

Michelle Roberts

Michelle Roberts is the Executive Director of Disability Rights Michigan. She brings passion and knowledge of disability rights from her long-time demonstrated commitment to the work of DRM and over 30 years of experience serving people with disabilities.

In 2002 Michelle joined DRM as an advocate on the Community and Institutional Rights (CAIR) team. She was promoted to Director of Advocacy in 2005 and managed in this capacity until her appointment to Deputy Executive Director in 2018 and then Executive Director in 2019.

She holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees, in Psychology and Social Psychology, from Western Michigan University. She has served in the mental health field as a Support Coordinator for Community Mental Health, a Psychiatric Care Specialist for a private psychiatric hospital, and a provider running independent living programs for adults with mental illness.

Michelle is a member of Attorney General’s Elder Abuse Task Force, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Behavioral Health Advisory Committee, and several other committees and workgroups.  She also serves as an officer on the Board of Directors for the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN).

Michelle has presented for many regional and national organizations, hospitals, conferences, and universities.

Board of Directors/Governing Board

The Governing Board for DRM is currently comprised of 14 individuals who are diverse in terms of age, ethnicity, geographical location, gender, and disability. A majority of the Board must be individuals with disabilities or have an immediate family member with a disability.  Up to 16 voting members and up to 4 non-voting members may sit on the Board at any given time.

By law, the agency implementing the federally mandated protection and advocacy systems must be independent from providers of services to persons with disabilities with the exception of providers of legal advocacy services. Occasionally individuals who have a service provision role may serve on the Board. In such cases, their potential conflicts of interest must be disclosed.

The Board oversees and approves budgetary, priority, and policy issues and generally meets four times a year. Board committees sometimes meet in between board meetings, and occasionally the same day as board meetings.

DRM posts meeting schedules and approved minutes from board meetings and allows an opportunity for members of the public to attend and provide public comment at these meetings. We understand the full value of transparency and we post our information to remain accountable and provide the public with an additional opportunity to offer input. DRM is not an agency exercising governmental authority or functions, so it is not subject to the Open Meetings Act or the Freedom of Information Act.

The following individuals currently sit on the Board of Directors:

Paul Palmer, President
Brian Calley, 1st Vice President
Malkia Newman, 2nd Vice President
Hansen Clarke, Treasurer
Daniel Bartz, Secretary 
Thomas H. Landry, Immediate Past President
Amanda Bouwman
Jacqueline Cuevas
Amanda Davis Scott
Theodore Dorsette III
Davin Hemmila
Christopher Land
Vincent Pinti, non-voting
Jane Shank, non-voting

Approved Meeting MinutesBoard MeetingsBoard Portal

Lead. Inform. Inspire.

Disability Rights Michigan is led by a Board of Directors, made up of individuals with disabilities, family members of individuals with disabilities, and professionals. This group is crucial to the mission, vision, and operation of DRM. The Board is responsible for setting DRM’s annual focus areas and objectives while also providing oversight and ensuring DRM operates with the highest integrity.

Broadening our perspectives.

Our organization and Board of Directors is committed to a more inclusive, diverse Board of Directors who can help inform and guide our work. We want to include perspectives representing Michigan’s range of geography, ethnic and racial backgrounds, socioeconomic status, variety of disability experiences and types, LGBTQIA+ community experience, diverse gender identities, and lived experience in an institutional or incarcerated setting. This diversity will ensure DRM recognizes and can better meet the needs of all Michigan citizens with disabilities, including those who are most disconnected from the disability service system and may not know about DRM.

 

Your experience, our mission.

We are currently seeking qualified applicants to join our Board of Directors. The blue highlighted counties are where we currently have Board member representation. Take a look at the map to see counties where we don’t have Board members and if you are in one of those unrepresented areas, we would love to hear from you!

If you are interested in joining this group and working to promote DRM’s mission, vision, and values, please contact info@drmich.org to request a copy of our application materials.


Board County Map

PAIMI Advisory
Council (PAC)

The responsibilities for PAIMI Advisory Council members include:

  • Advising the Disability Rights Michigan Board of Directors on policies and priorities to be carried out in advocating and protecting the legal rights of persons with mental illness.
  • Jointly developing annual priorities with members of the DRM Board of Directors and DRM staff based on input from individuals throughout the state.
  • Educating the public and eligible individuals about the DRM mission, statutory requirements, priorities, and activities.
  • Each year, creating an independent report to the federal funders on PAIMI work for the fiscal year.

DRM posts meeting schedules and approved minutes from the PAIMI meetings, and also allows an opportunity for members of the public to attend and provide public comment at these meetings. We understand the full value of transparency and we post our information to remain accountable and provide the public with an additional opportunity to offer input. DRM is not an agency exercising governmental authority or functions, so it is not subject to the Open Meetings Act or the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Council Members

Chair –  Christopher Land, Taylor
Vice Chair – Veronica Ibrahim, West Bloomfield

Christina Agle, China
Euphemia Franklin, Center Line
Joelle Gurnoe-Adams, Ann Arbor
Davin Hemmila, Negaunee
Fiona Hert, Ada
Renee Kimball-Rouse, Brooklyn
James Rye, Erie
Charles Scott, Belleville
Lois Shulman, West Bloomfield
Trina Tocco, Royal Oak
Mora Wilkevicz, Howell

The council is mandated to have members from the following groups:

  • An Attorney
    Individuals from the public who are knowledgeable about mental illness, the advocacy needs of persons with mental illness, and who have demonstrated a commitment to improving mental health services
  • A Parent of a Child (under 18) with a Mental Illness
    The family member shall be a primary caregiver for an individual who is currently a minor child or youth who is receiving or has received mental health services
  • A Mental Health Professional
    Individuals from the public who are knowledgeable about mental illness, the advocacy needs of persons with mental illness, and who have demonstrated a commitment to improving mental health services
  • A Mental Health Service Provider
  • Mental Health Consumers
    Individuals who are receiving or who have received mental health services and family members of such individuals

Approved Meeting Minutes  PAC Meetings  PAIMI Portal

Interested in becoming a PAIMI Advisory Council member?

In fall 2024, we will have four open seats.

PAIMI Advisory Council is dedicated to ensuring our membership is diverse and representative of the state of Michigan. As part of that goal, we seek to include members from all regions of the state.

We currently have representation from the following counties: Jackson, Kent, Livingston, Marquette, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne.

We are hoping to expand our reach and encourage people from additional counties to apply. PAIMI Advisory Council is also committed to expending the cultural diversity of our membership including gender, race, ethnicity, age, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, veteran status, religion, and national origin.

All applications will be held until December 31 of the year in which they were submitted.

To apply to become a PAIMI Advisory Council member:

Download a PDF version of the application form and fax or mail the form to Disability Rights Michigan:

Disability Rights Michigan
4095 Legacy Parkway
Lansing, MI  48911

Fax: 517-487-0827

Questions? Call Disability Rights Michigan at 1-800-288-5923.

 

 

How Can We Help?
Contact Us Anytime

We want to hear from you! Whether you're looking for advocacy, have a question, or just want to connect, please reach out.

Online

Contact Us