State Treasurer and East Lansing Alum Rachael Eubanks to Keynote ELEF Dinner

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 6:58 am
By: 
Ann Kammerer

Above: Rachael Eubanks, Michigan’s 47th State Treasurer

Rachael Eubanks regards it as a privilege to serve nearly 10 million people a day through her role in Michigan state government. She also relishes the chance to speak at the annual awards dinner honoring alumni, friends and students of East Lansing Public Schools. Hosted by the East Lansing Educational Foundation (ELEF), the event takes place May 16, 5:30 to 8 p.m., at the East Lansing High School Student Union.

Eubanks is a key staff member in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration. Appointed Michigan’s 47th State Treasurer in January 2019, Eubanks will tackle some of the State’s greatest challenges by applying her talents and acumen in finance. She also helped regulate the State’s utilities as an independent member of the Michigan Public Service Commission. She served on the commission from 2016 until her recent appointment as treasurer.

Regardless of where success takes her, Eubanks is never far from home. A resident of East Lansing’s Old Whitehills neighborhood, the 1999 East Lansing High School graduate lives a few miles from where she grew up near Pinecrest Elementary. Eubanks said she drives past the high school most every day, and remembers the friends, teachers, and classroom and extracurricular experiences that shaped her life.

“One of the biggest things going to East Lansing taught me was the importance of diversity and inclusion before it was everything that everyone talked about,” said Eubanks. “I never viewed kids from other cultures as different than me. They were just kids in my classroom.”

While Eubanks ventured down the interstate to earn her bachelor’s in economics from the University of Michigan, she eventually returned to Greater Lansing after working a short time in Missouri. Since then, she’s built a career in public finance and state government. She’s helped shape policy and programs related to affordable and sustainable energy, workforce and business diversity in utility markets, and public lighting in the City of Detroit.

“I really enjoy trying to make improvements that benefit everybody—most always using scarce resources,” said Eubanks. “That all goes back to economics, which is what I studied in college.”

Eubanks said she is looking forward to delivering the keynote address at the ELEF dinner in mid-May. As the time approaches, she’s been thinking more of her high school years when she played softball, served as the photography editor for the student newspaper Portrait, and hung out with friends—some of them lifelong.

“My husband is an ELHS grad, too,” said Eubanks of 1999 alumnus Silas Johnson. “We didn’t date then, and we went to different colleges. But we have a long relationship that evolved from friendship to marriage.”

Above: Rachael Eubanks achieves a work-life balance through activities like curling as a member of the Lansing Curling Club. Pictured left to right are Samantha Lewis, Rachael Eubanks, Cory McElwee and Christiane Mallett

Kwafo Adarkwa, president of ELEF, said he instantly knew Eubanks was committed to making a difference the very first time he met her. He also said she’s extremely relatable.

“Rachael is someone young people in our community can look to and know she’s walked a mile in their shoes,” he said. “She provides the role model we can turn to in these tumultuous times. It’s important for young people to see someone like them who has achieved so much.”

Eubanks is one of six honorees at the 19th Annual East Lansing Educational Foundation Awards Dinner. Douglas Johnson, ELHS ’82, will also be honored as a distinguished alumni. Johnson is an internationally known jazz pianist and associate professor at The Berklee College of Music in Boston. Other honorees are Robert Brown (East Lansing Educational Foundation Award), Nick and Lin Archer (Distinguished Community Service/Theda Assiff Award) and Holly Brown (Spartan Village GLOBAL Education Award). Several retired teachers will also be honored for excellence in education.

The 19th Annual ELEF Awards Dinner will be held Thursday, May 16, at the ELHS Student Union 509 Burcham Drive. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. with a strolling dinner, followed by a program and raffle. The event is made possible through the support of title sponsor Flynn Wealth Partners and event sponsors Clark Construction Company and Granger Waste Services. For ticket information and reservations, contact Michele Huisgen by May 10 at 517-333-7439 or michele.huisgen@elps.us.

 

 

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