Shirkey announces chief and deputy chief of staff positions

LANSING—Senate Majority Leader-elect Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, today announced current Senate Majority Chief of Staff Craig Ryan will be named as his chief of staff for the next term beginning January of 2019.  Alisha Cottrell, current Chief of Staff for Senator Shirkey, will be Deputy Chief of Staff, Communication and Caucus Services in the majority leader’s office next term.

“Craig brings years of experience and expertise in the role of chief of staff and I am thrilled that he has decided to remain in the position as our team moves into the majority leader’s office,” said Shirkey.  “I have known Craig for several years.  He is a consummate professional and a trusted friend and counselor.  I know he will be a strong leader and an asset to the team.”

Ryan is currently Chief of Staff to Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive.  Ryan has occupied the position since 2016.

Ryan came to the Michigan Senate from his position as Deputy Policy Director and Senior Policy Advisor in the Michigan House Republican Policy Office.  Ryan has held various staff positions in the Michigan Senate and House since 1997.  Ryan worked as an executive for Lafarge North America from 2006 to 2013.

Ryan is a graduate of Michigan State University and resides in Perry, Michigan with his wife, Telly, and their five children.

“Alisha is an indispensable member of my inner circle. She has tremendous instincts; her presence and input always add great value. Craig and Alisha provide a very solid foundation for building a high-performance team,” said Shirkey.

Cottrell has been on staff in the Michigan Senate since 2013.  Prior to her work in the legislature, Cottrell worked in government affairs for Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania and the Michigan International Speedway from 2005 to 2013.

Cottrell is a graduate of Jackson Community College in Jackson, Michigan and Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan.

Cottrell resides in Jackson, Michigan with her husband, Issac, and their two children.  Cottrell is an active member of her community and has been recognized by her neighbors and peers for her local contributions.