Gladstone native gets governor appointment

LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder announced the appointments of Elizabeth Kinnart of Rockford and Kimberly Vargo of Traverse City to the Heritage Fund Board. Kinnart is a Gladstone native and alumni of Northern Michigan University.

The five-member board was created through an interlocal agreement as a result of a second amendment to the gaming compact between the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians and the state of Michigan.The board is responsible for overseeing the Michigan Native American Heritage Fund, providing grants for initiatives which promote positive relationships between K-12 schools, colleges, universities or local governments and Michigan’s federally-recognized Indian tribes.

“I thank Elizabeth and Kimberly for their commitment to carrying out this collaboration with tribal governments in Michigan,” Snyder said. “Their work will improve educational opportunities in helping Michiganders to understand the history and positive contributions of native people in our great state.”

Kinnart is a fitness trainer at MCP Sports Clubs and a citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. She previously served as an exercise physiologist, sports injury specialist and personal trainer at Synergy Fitness in Marquette. Kinnart holds a bachelor’s degree in sports science and a master’s degree in exercise science from Northern Michigan University.

Vargo is vice chair of the Tribal Council of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. She previously served as an executive assistant to the tribal council before being elected in 2016. Vargo holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Saginaw Valley State University and a master’s degree in public administration from Central Michigan University.

Kinnart and Vargo serve terms at the pleasure of the governor.