Michigan's First Lady, Sue Snyder
First Lady Sue Snyder has long been a supporter of Michigan’s families and children. In 2015, she became an advocate for ending sexual assault on college and university campuses – our students’ home away from home.
The issue of sexual assault has been a sensitive topic gaining national attention, and Snyder believes Michigan can and should be a leader in addressing this critical issue. As a mom whose youngest daughter is in college, this issue has taken on a personal meaning. As First Lady, Snyder hopes to encourage collaboration and productive discussion in an effort to work together to bring an end to sexual assault on our college and university campuses.
There is great work already happening at our schools to help prevent assault, but there is more that can be done. This summit acts as a catalyst to a long-term initiative aimed at igniting active participation, informing stakeholders, empowering individuals, and ultimately ending assault.
Snyder is a Dearborn native and attended Western Michigan University with a focus on business and administration. Governor and Mrs. Snyder have three young adult children.
State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker
Raised on a family farm in Antwerp Township, Tonya has been a lifelong resident of Southwest Michigan.
Tonya is a graduate of Mattawan Consolidated High School. She holds a B.A. in business from Michigan State University and a J.D. from the Detroit College of Law, where she graduated cum laude.
After completing law school, Tonya became an attorney and partner at a law firm in Paw Paw. She concentrated in family, estate, business and municipal law. She was admitted to the State Bar of Illinois (1996), Florida (1994), Michigan (1993), and the American Bar Association (1993).
Tonya was first elected to the Michigan Senate in November 2010, following three terms in the House of Representatives. During her first term she was chosen by her Senate colleagues to serve as President Pro Tempore of the Senate, only the second woman in Michigan’s history to hold this position. She continues to hold this position in her second term.
State Senator Rebekah Warren
Rebekah Warren is proudly serving her second term in the Michigan Senate, representing the Eighteenth District. She was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2006, where she represented the 53rd District for four years.
As a longtime advocate for sexual-assault prevention and a legislative co-chair for First Lady Sue Snyder’s “Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault” Summits, Senator Warren firmly believes that our state’s colleges and universities can play a pivotal role in the prevention of sexual assault both on campus and in the nearby communities, and that it is vital that these institutions build a system that encourages the reporting of assaults.
Further, throughout her tenure in the legislature, Senator Warren has consistently promoted legislation to protect victims of sexual assault. In 2013, she sponsored Senate Bills 593 and 597, part of a larger package that established training procedures for medical professionals in identifying and treating victims of human trafficking and sex trafficking. In 2016, she introduced Senate Resolution 168, recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which she was proud to introduce again in 2017 as SR 44, along with SR 43, which also recognized April as Campus Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
State Representative Laura Cox
State Representative Laura Cox of House District 19 was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2014.
Laura began her public service career as a U.S. Customs special agent, learning firsthand what it takes to protect Michigan’s residents. In 2004, she was elected to the Wayne County Commission and voters have since repeatedly re-elected her. Cox chaired the Ways and Means Committee, seeking relief for county taxpayers by fighting to undo wasteful spending
As a legislator, she was named to Governor Rick Snyder’s Assault Kit Tracking and Reporting Commission. Laura was also named by Michigan first lady Sue Snyder to assist with the Let's End Campus Sexual Assault initiative, to help develop methods to end sexual assault on college campuses. Following the discovery of thousands of untested sexual assault kits in Detroit. In May, Cox was named by former House Speaker Kevin Cotter to the National Committee of State Legislatures (NCSL). In the NCSL, Cox has been selected as a member of the Budgets and Revenue Committee after being recognized for her abilities in responsible public budgeting. In the current Legislative session, House Speaker Tom Leonard appointed Representative Cox as the first female Appropriations Chair in the history of the House of Representatives.
Laura and her husband, Mike, have four children—Lindsey, Sinéad, Conor and Rory—and two grandchildren—Grace and Savanna.
State Representative Kristy Pagan
State Representative Kristy Pagan is serving in her second term in the Michigan House of Representatives. She represents the 21st House District, which comprises the city of Belleville and the majorities of Canton and Van Buren townships. Rep. Pagan was reappointed to the powerful House Appropriations Committee for a second term.
Pagan was born in Belleville and raised in Canton, where she graduated from Salem High School. After graduating from Western Michigan University, Pagan, like many young people, struggled to find meaningful work in Michigan. Instead, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked in child nutrition policy for a nonprofit organization and took night classes to earn her master’s degree in political management from The George Washington University. Pagan went on to work in education policy with U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow.
In 2011, Pagan moved back to her Michigan hometown and started her own business dedicated to civic and community engagement. In addition to running her small business in Canton, she worked at Wayne State University Law School, where she helped make higher education more accessible and affordable for students.
Pagan is very active in her community. She serves on the Canton Community Foundation Board of Directors and the Advisory Council for the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) program at Canton High School. Additionally, Pagan serves on the Board of Directors for Michigan Youth in Government program, and serves as a mentor for the “Lead Like a Girl” initiative in Canton.