Richard Dale "Rick" Snyder (born August 19, 1958), is an American businessman and Republican Party politician. He assumed office as the 48th governor of Michigan on January 1, 2011. Previously, he was chief executive officer, chairman of the board and co-founder of Ann Arbor, Michigan-based venture capital firm Ardesta LLC.
Snyder was born in Battle Creek, Michigan and studied at the University of Michigan, where he earned a Bachelor of General Studies with high distinction in 1977, then a MBA from the University of Michigan Business School with distinction in 1979, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School in 1982. Snyder also served as an adjunct assistant professor of accounting at the University of Michigan. He resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife Sue and their three children and has a vacation home near Gun Lake. The couple were married in 1987 at Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church in Dearborn.
Snyder was employed with Coopers & Lybrand, from 1982 to 1991, beginning in the tax department of the Detroit office. Snyder was named partner in 1988. In 1989, Snyder was named partner-in-charge of the mergers and acquisitions practice in the Chicago office.Snyder joined Gateway in 1991 as the executive vice president and was named president and chief operating officer in January 1996, a position he held until leaving the company as an employee in August 1997.In 1997, Snyder returned to Ann Arbor to found Avalon Investments Inc., a venture capital company with a $100 million fund, along with the co-founder of Gateway, Ted Waitt. Snyder was president and chief executive officer of Avalon from 1997 to 2000. He then co-founded Ardesta, an investment firm, in 2000, becoming chairman and chief executive officer. From 2005 to 2007, Snyder served as the chairman of the board of Gateway. During 2006, Snyder served as interim chief executive officer while a search for a permanent replacement was made. His tenure on the Gateway board ran from 1991 to 2007 until Gateway was sold to the Taiwanese manufacturer, Acer Inc.. Outsourcing had been a campaign issue, and Snyder acknowledged that some jobs were outsourced while he was a Gateway board director, but he said it was not something he voted for, and he worked to bring jobs to America as the interim CEO of Gateway.Ardesta LLC was founded by Snyder and three co-founders in 2000 and has invested in 20 start-up companies to date. Snyder also serves on the boards of the Henry Ford Museum, the Michigan chapter of the Nature Conservancy and several boards tied to the University of Michigan.
Rick Snyder joined Mike Bouchard, the sheriff of Oakland County, Senator Tom George, Peter Hoekstra, an influential member of Congress, and Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox as candidates for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. On August 3, 2010, Snyder won the primary to secure the Republican nomination with a plurality of 36 percent. In the general election on November 2, 2010, Snyder faced Democratic gubernatorial nominee Virg Bernero, the mayor of Lansing, and three minor party candidates. Snyder won easily with a majority of more than 58 percent.
Governor of Michigan
Rick Snyder was inaugurated as Governor on January 1, 2011 at the Capitol in Lansing.His first executive order as governor was to divide the Department of Natural Resources and Environment into two distinct departments as they were a few years ago: the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Quality. On January 7, 2011, Snyder announced he was appointing Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura D. Corrigan to head the Department of Human Services and appointed Michigan Appeals Court Judge Brian Zahra to fill the resulting Supreme Court vacancy. He delivered his first State of the State address on January 19, the earliest Michigan State of the State since Governor Engler's 1996 address on January 17. Snyder endorsed the Detroit River International Crossing for the first time publicly in the address, which was received favorably by Republicans as well as by many Democrats, including Mark Brewer, the leader of the Michigan Democratic Party.Snyder presented his first budget to the legislature on February 17, 2011, calling it a plan for "Michigan's reinvention", and saying it would end Michigan's deficits. He also described the budget as containing "shared sacrifice" but added that it would create jobs and economic growth, "while preserving core, essential services and ensuring a safety net for those who are vulnerable". State Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer criticized the budget, saying that it did not involve "shared sacrifice", but instead was balanced "on the backs of our kids, working families, and our seniors" and "picks out who he’s willing to leave behind. "A March 2011 poll by Public Policy Polling indicated that voters disapproved of Snyder 50-33, and that in a hypothetical rematch of the 2010 gubernatorial election, Snyder's opponent would have won 47-45. However, voters opposed recalling Snyder in the poll by a 49-38 margin. PPP surveyed 502 voters in Michigan, and the margin of error was +/-4.4%.
May 12th, 2011