John Proos

Former State Senator

Former State Senator John Proos was elected to the Michigan Senate in November 2010 and was reelected in 2014 to represent the 21st district of Berrien, Cass and most of Van Buren and St. Joseph Counties. He served as State Representative of the 79th district from 2005 through 2010. Sen. Proos resides in St. Joseph with his wife Kristy and three children, Elena, Jack and Nora.

Sen. Proos is a 1988 graduate of Lake Michigan Catholic High School. He is a 1992 graduate of College of Arts and Sciences at Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI with a degree in Political Science. In 1994 Sen Proos received a Master’s in Higher Education Administration from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.

Proos served as the Deputy Chief of Staff and District Director to U.S. Representative Fred Upton and as vice president of Heritage Homes Inc. of Michigan.

In addition to family and political life Proos is active in many southwestern Michigan groups including the Rotary Club of St. Joseph/Benton Harbor and the United Way of Southwest Michigan. Proos is a member of the 4th Degree of the St. Joseph the Provider Knights of Columbus Chapter of St. Joseph Catholic Parish.

In March of 2019, Proos founded the bipartisan governmental consulting firm, JP4 Government Solutions, LLC. and serves as the Executive Director of Michigan’s Great Southwest Strategic Leadership Council, a collective impact community development organization.

David Rutledge

Former State Representative

David received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Tennessee State University and has studied at both Harvard Law School and the University of Michigan Law School. He holds an honorary doctoral degree from Eastern Michigan University

David’s work history includes both public service and higher education experiences. He has chaired both the Washtenaw Community College Board of Trustees in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Association of Community College Trustees Board of Directors headquartered in Washington D.C. From 2011 through 2016, he served as a State Representative for the 54th District which includes the Ypsilanti area. David recently retired (May 2021) from the faculty of Central Michigan University where he held the position of Griffin Endowed Chair in the Political Science Department. He is a Viet Nam era military veteran having served in the United States Air Force as a Personnel Officer achieving the rank of Captain.

David has served on state commissions appointed by governors from different political parties. He currently serves at the pleasure of the current governor on the Michigan Veterans Facility Authority Board which is responsible for planning and building new state-of-the art homes for senior veteran. Because of his leadership and service to his community and the State of Michigan, David has been honored by the Ann Arbor News as its Citizen of the Year.

David’s wife, Geraldine Simmons Rutledge, a retired elementary school teacher and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority passed in 2015. They have two children, Marcus Rutledge, Felicia Rutledge Thomas, and three grandchildren, Kelton Patton of Ypsilanti, Darius Rutledge, and Jayla Lawrence of Phoenix, Arizona.