About Us

The Michigan Conservative Energy Forum is an organization founded by conservatives who believe that Michigan should adopt a genuine “All of the Above” approach to energy policy that includes increasing our commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Moving Michigan towards an “All of the Above” energy policy will create jobs, expand our economy, increase national security, improve public health and leave behind a powerful legacy for future generations.  We encourage you to stay involved through our website; and/or by checking out our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Channels and Newsletter for regular news & event updates. 

Statement of Principles

Download the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum Statement of Principles.


Leadership Council

Larry Ward

Executive Director

Larry Ward’s has been a long time Republican activist and conservative leader in Michigan. 

Larry’s campaign consulting firm, Republican Advisory Services, successfully ran the campaign for current Secretary of State, Ruth Johnson.  From 2007-2010, Larry served as the Political Director of the Michigan Republican Party under GOP Chairmen Saul Anuzis and Ron Weiser.  He has a long history of grassroots GOP activism, first as a candidate for State Representative in 2002, followed by serving as the Ingham County Republican Party Chairman in 2004. Larry served as a Deputy Coalitions Director for the DeVos for Governor Campaign in 2008, and served as the 8th District Chairman for U.S. Congressman Mike Rogers from 2006-2009.

Larry's dedication to political activism is matched only by his commitment to  community, dedicating his time and energies as Past President to the Williamston Sunrise Rotary (Paul Harris Fellow), and currently serving in his 12th year as Vice President of the Williamston Community School’s Board of Education.  In 2012, Governor Rick Snyder appointed Larry to serve on the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System Board (MPSERS).

Larry was raised in Plymouth, Michigan and is a graduate of Western Michigan University. He currently lives in Williamston, Michigan, with his wife, Karen, and their three sons; Jacob, Aaron, and Joshua.

For too long, we have allowed the debate on energy policy to be dominated by voices on the Left. But energy policy impacts every Michigander and every American – and Conservatives have solutions to our energy challenges, and contributions to make to the policy debate. It’s time that Conservatives come to the table, make their voices heard, and lead the way.

Hank Fuhs

Secretary
Michigan Republican State Committee

A retired United States Air Force/Air National Guard Lieutenant Colonel, Hank exemplifies what it means to serve.
 
Hank served his country for more than 31 years in the US Armed Forces and he continues to make a difference today in numerous capacities.  Hank is a member of the Kent County Republican Party, the Third District Republican Committee, and is a local leader on conservative issues.  Today however, Hank is best known as the Secretary of the Michigan Republican State Committee – a volunteer position to which he has been elected since 1982.  

Hank is also a small business owner, serving as the President of Fuhs Brothers, specializing in pharmaceutical, specialty medical services, and retail sales.

Republicans have long been leaders on energy policy — from Teddy Roosevelt to Gerald Ford to Ronald Reagan. Energy security is national security. The less reliant we are on foreign nations for our energy production, the safer our nation will be. It’s time for Republicans to again lead on energy policy.

Hank is a founding member of the Leadership Council of the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum.  


Anna Mouser

Vice Chair
Grand Traverse County Republican Party

A resident of Grand Traverse County since 2000, Anna is a lifelong Republican and became very active in Republican politics in 2004.  She has been a member of the Grand Traverse County Republican Party Executive Committee for several years and was elected Vice Chair in 2010. She was elected to the Chairman’s position in 2011 and won re-election to that position in 2012.  Anna also serves as Co-Chair of the Michigan Republican Party’s County Chair Advisory Committee.  

Anna has worked for several years in customer service and has experience in both retail and banking.  Currently, she works for an agency that focuses on workforce development.  She is a student at Northwestern Michigan College studying Business Administration and will be graduating this May.

I don’t have children, but I’m very concerned about future generations. I want to make sure we reduce pollution and make sure that they can enjoy the beauty of the Great Lakes. Transitioning Michigan away from our heavy reliance on coal to a genuine ‘All of the Above’ energy strategy that incorporates responsible use of Michigan’s vast natural resources including hydro, biomass, wind and solar is not only good for Michigan’s economy, but it’s good for the future of our kids.

Anna is a founding member of the Leadership Council of the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum.


Ed Rivet

Conservative Political Activist

Ed has served as apolitical activist in Lansing since 1988.  He has more than 30 years of experience in government affairs and holds a Master’s Degree in Policy Analysis and Evaluation from Michigan State University.  

Ed is passionate about his belief that conservatives need to lead the energy policy discussion. 

Improving the quality of life for all Michiganders, especially those among us in the greatest need of protection – our children and seniors – is very important to me and my core beliefs.

Sound energy policy is rooted in conservative values like economic growth, strong national security and healthy families. I am honored to serve on the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum Leadership Council because it’s a tremendous opportunity for conservatives to show the nation that it’s possible to create jobs, stimulate our economy, and improve public health through responsible expansion of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Ed joined the MCEF Leadership Council in February of 2014.


Gabriel Leaf

Chairman
University of Michigan College Republicans

Gabriel Leaf was born and raised in Elk Rapids Michigan and is a Senior at the University of Michigan where he is studying Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and pursuing a minor in Latino Studies.  

Gabe is a Senior advisor of the U of M College Republicans and is a member of the U of M Competitive Alpine Ski Team. He is also a student researcher, participating in research exploring the long-term affects of post-traumatic stress disorder and other cognitive declines at the Veterans Hospital in Ann Arbor.  Long term, Gabe hopes to enroll in medical school and become a pediatric surgeon. 

Issues of energy and the environment are vital to my generation and they are important issues for engaging younger voters. As I work with college students, they are surprised to find out that I’m a conservative while also being passionate about both preserving our environment and growing our economy. Protecting our environment, diversifying our energy portfolio, and growing our economy aren’t antithetical propositions – they work hand in hand. This is why I’m proud to join the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum – Conservatives talking about a sound ‘All of the Above’ approach to energy policy is exactly what we need.

Gabe joined the MCEF Leadership Council in September 2014.  


Jim MacInnes P.E.

Chairman and CEO
Crystal Mountain Resort

Jim is a long time advocate of strengthening US energy security through the deployment of renewable energy, transportation electrification and by reducing energy waste.  He served in the US Navy Pacific Fleet during the Viet Nam era and later graduated from the University of California, Irvine earning a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and an MBA with a major in finance.    He became a licensed professional engineer in 1980.  

Jim worked as a power engineer for Ebasco Services, Inc., the company that designed Michigan’s Ludington Pumped Storage facility and later went on to develop renewable power plants in California.   He moved to Michigan in 1985 and became chairman and CEO of Crystal Mountain Resort in 1987.   Crystal Mountain is an energy intensive business that employs up to 650 people, has developed $80 million in resort projects and has received numerous awards for its work on energy conservation, including Governor Snyder's "Energy Innovator of the Year" award in 2015.  Jim, and his wife Chris, earned the US Small Business Administration’s Entrepreneurial Success award for the state of Michigan.  Jim serves on the board of directors of Fifth Third Bank, west Michigan.

Environmental and energy issues effect all of us, it isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue. We all need to give back to our communities and do what we can to make the world a better place to live and work.

In 2011 Governor Snyder appointed Jim as chair of the Michigan Utility Consumer Participation Board, which represents the interests of residential ratepayers in electric and gas utility rate cases.    He served on the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Council and has testified on energy issues before the Michigan Senate and House energy policy committees.   Jim served as vice-chair of the Electrical Engineers' professional association, the IEEE, Energy Policy Committee and is a member of the IEEE Power and Energy society.  The IEEE is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.


Charlie Kolean

Chairman
Michigan Federation of

College Republicans

Charlie Kolean grew up in Holland Michigan and is currently a senior at MSU studying Economics.   

Charlie is the Chairman of the Federation of College Republicans and has been an active member of the MSU College Republicans.  He has also been involved in several Republican campaigns including being a Field Representative for Terri Lynn Land's campaign for senate.

Energy is an issue that Conservatives should be leading on – ‘all of the above’ energy policy creates jobs and bolsters the economy. It’s an issue that college students everywhere care about and want to be involved in.

Charlie joined the MCEF leadership council in May 2016.


Katie O’Connell

Program Director

Katie grew up in southwest Michigan, steeped in conservative roots. As a result, Katie already has a strong political and campaign resume.  

Katie served as Field Director for Congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) during his successful 2012 re-election campaign, and was the Campaign Manager for GOP state Senator Margaret O’Brien’s successful 2014 campaign.  She also volunteered for the Romney for President (2012) campaign, and Governor Snyder’s successful 2014 re-election bid.  Katie tutors high school students in Economics, Math and English.  

Katie graduated from Michigan Technological University with a B.S. in Economics.  Her classes in environmental economics enticed her to explore environmental and energy policy and its impact on economic growth. 

Energy technology is growing at an exponential rate. We need to make sure that our policies are keeping pace. I’m excited to have this historic opportunity to help bring common-sense, conservative solutions to the forefront of Michigan’s energy policy debate.

Keith den Hollander

Chairman
Christian Coalition of Michigan

Over the years, Keith has held many roles in Republican politics.  He has served on the Kent & Calhoun County Republican Executive Committees, the Second & Third Congressional District Republican Committees, and he is a former member of the Michigan Republican Party State Committee.  He was the Kent County Bush-Cheney ’04 Chair and has served on other Presidential Campaign Steering Committees.  He has also served as an Ambassador for the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

Energy Policy affects our lives in many ways, from those in poverty, who struggle to afford the costs, to those who leave their families to fight overseas and protect our energy interests. I am proud to stand with the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum as we work to provide education on the critical energy issues that will shape the future of our state and our nation.

Keith and his wife Rebecca live in Marshall with their three sons and daughter.  Keith is a founding member of the Leadership Council of the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum


Kelly Mitchell

Out-Reach Vice Chair
Michigan Republican State Committee


Kelly Mitchell has lived in Michigan her entire life, growing up in rural Thetford Township. Her activism in Republican advocacy began as a Young Republican. Having been a resident in Genesee and Kent Counties at different stages, she served in multiple County and District level positions.

In 2012, Kelly was elected to the Electoral College as one of 16 statutory delegates to be seated in the Electoral College if the people of Michigan favored the Republican Candidate, Mitt Romney. She is a former Legislative Intern for former State Representative Marty Knollenberg, State Committee Member, Precinct Delegate, 3rd District Committee Member, and Appointed to the RNC Michigan Black Advisory Council. She has served on the Women for Mitt Coalition, Women for Ruth Johnson, and Women for Terri Land for Senate campaigns. She is also a member of the Michigan Conservative Energy Leadership Council and Appointed to the Kent County Board of Commission Solid Waste Management.

Kelly is a 2013 graduate of the Michigan Excellence in Public Service Series and awarded the MRP Grassroots Leadership Award in 2015. She has an Associate's Degree in Applied Science and a Bachelor's Degree in Business.

Active engagement is critical to advance change. This is why I was so excited to join MCEF. The Michigan Conservative Energy Forum exists to engage Conservatives on an issue where we have been disengaged for too long. I am thrilled to be a part of an organization that is taking an active leadership role on these issues.

Kelly is a founding member of the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum’s Leadership Council.  She is married with one adult daughter and resides in Grand Rapids where she is a Certified Tourism Ambassador.  She is employed as a Sales Executive for a Blueprint Precision Tooling Company in Walker, MI.


Mark E. Huizenga

Mayor, City of Walker
Partner, Key Green Solutions

Mark is a highly-motivated, results-driven professional with over 15 years of proven management consulting expertise.  Mark has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration from Calvin College and a Master’s Degree in Management from Aquinas College.  Mark is a Board Certified Medical Practice Executive with the American College
of Medical Practice Executives (ACMPE).  His consulting firm, www.huizenga-consulting.com provides consulting services across the United States.  He has consistently been a high performer: holding senior management roles with Spectrum Health, Health Development International, ProCare Systems as well as other health care organizations.  Mark is an adjunct instructor at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids Michigan.  Mark is also the managing partner for Key Green Solutions, LLC a sustainability management software company based in Grand Rapids.  Key Green Solutions provides a comprehensive energy, waste, water, food and carbon footprint calculator.  Key Green software is being used by hospitals in 22 states, one province and covers 110 million sq ft.  Key Green is rapidly being recognized as the premier sustainability management software suite for hospital systems across the United States.

Mark has developed deep industry experience in several categories including:

  • Strategic Planning 
  • Profitability, Operational & Efficiency Analysis
  • Development of Ambulatory Infusion Centers
  • Pharmaceutical advisement for new biologic drugs and their delivery cycle

Mark provides operational and efficiency work to medical practices, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.  Mark serves on various boards including Health Development International and is an advisor to several medical practice boards.  Mark has been a guest lecturer in Central America, Eastern Europe, South East Asia and the United States.

Mark was elected the Mayor of the City of Walker in November 2013.  Previously Mark was elected as a commissioner for the City of Walker, and served as a Planning Commissioner for 8 years.

An ‘All of the Above’ approach to energy policy is an important part of ensuring Michigan’s future. Whether we’re looking at expanding our use of renewable resources for energy production or working to reduce energy waste, ‘All of the Above’ just makes sense.

 Mark is a founding member of the MCEF Leadership Council.  


Reka Holley

Vice Chair
Barry County

Born and raised in Hastings, MI, Reka has a history of Conservative community and political involvement including serving as an Evangelical Field Director for the Republican National Committee (2004), Vice Chair of the Barry County Republican Party (2005 – 2006), Legislative Assistant for State Representative Bill Caul (R- Mt. Pleasant), Regional Coalitions Director on the DeVos for Governor Campaign (2005-2006), and Michigan Operations Manager on Romney for President (2007).  Reka also worked as a Summer Associate at the American Center for Law and Justice in Virginia Beach, VA (2008) and is currently serving as a Member of the School Board at Barry County Christian School in Hastings, MI – a position she was honored to assume 13 years after graduating from BCCS.  She has also been privileged to volunteer with the Student Statesmanship Institute during their summer programs serving both as a lobbyist for the mock-legislature and as a coach for the Mock Trial and Moot Court tracks.    

A true ‘All of the Above’ approach to energy just makes sense – and it’s something people of my generation and younger consider a no-brainer. The technology exists – it’s time to start talking about how best to utilize it and to move the government out of the way so that entrepreneurs can start putting this exciting technology to work for us.

Reka holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Political Science from Cornerstone University (2007), a Master of Arts in Government from the Robertson School of Government at Regent University (2012), and a Juris Doctor from Regent Law School, Regent University (2010).  She is a licensed attorney and is a member of the Michigan Bar Association.   

Reka joined MCEF in February 2014.  She enjoys spending time with her family and is an avid ballroom dancer.  


Dean Berden

Vice Chair
Sanilac County GOP
Secretary
Organic Farmers of MI
10th District Republican State Committee Member

Dean is a former teacher and taught Industrial Education for 26 years.  The last few years of his teaching career the class worked on a solar electric car, leading Dean to build his house that is run solely on solar power.  Dean also runs a fully self-sustaining organic farm that has 850 acres.  His success with solar for the past 14 years led to Dean helping others with their solar installations with his business DB Solar LLC.

Dean is the Secretary, and one of two founding board members, of Organic Farmers of MI, a grower owned company that markets more then 10,000 acres of land.  Organic Farmers of Michigan’s mission is to ”increase the viability of farming for all generations and to provide the local community, as well as abroad, with healthy and nutritional foods.”  Organic Farmers of MI has more than 50 members and over $40 million in sales each year.

Currently Dean serves on the Health Board and Department of Human Services (DHS) Board for Sanilac County and is Chairman of the Brownfield Redevelopment Board. He is also an active member of the Sanilac County GOP where he serves as Vice Chair.  Dean has been married for 43 years to his wife Kathy Berden and they have 4 children and 10 grandchildren.