cathy albro

MDP Rural Caucus Co-Chair

As a graduate of MSU, Cathy taught elementary students and later worked with teachers to develop engaging curriculum and teaching methods. Working for the HighScope Foundation, Cathy’s work took her to many schools where she observed the huge inequities in education for children living in poverty, including many Native American reservations.


Cathy was also an entrepreneur; founding an accredited child care center and assisting businesses in opening on-site centers for their employees. Cathy also owned a “learning store” in Grand Rapids for 30 years.


Due to her life experiences and the state of our country, Cathy decided to run for Congress and was the Democratic nominee for Michigan’s 3rd District in 2018. She lost to incumbent, Justin Amash with 44% of the vote.


Cathy and her husband, Rick, live in Middleville where Rick is a women’s basketball coach at Davenport University. They also have a small farm in Bellaire in northern Michigan. Cathy is happy to continue her political career to elect Democrats through the MDP Rural Caucus.

mark ludwig

MDP Rural Caucus Co-Chair

Mark was born and raised in Michigan.  His youth was spent assisting his father during the early days of the environmental movement, studying Great Lakes water birds affected by industrial pollution.   He settled in Allegan County, founding a small beef farm in Clyde Township in 2005 with his wife Kim.  Mark served on the Fennville Public School Board, Clyde Township Planning Commission and currently serves on the Allegan Conservation District Board of Directors.  He also co-chair of the Michigan Democratic Party Rural Caucus and is an alternate to the MDP State Central Committee.   Mark graduated from Michigan State with a degree in Environmental Issues and has a Short Course Degree from UW Madison in Grass Based Dairy.    Ludwig is running for Allegan County Drain Commissioner on a platform of aggressive climate adaptation.  

We are looking for a Regional Vice Chairs for the following regions:

Region 2 - Marquette, Dickenson, Menominee, Alger, Delta, Schoolcraft, and Luce Counties.

Region 5 - Otsego, Montmorency, Crawford, Oscoda, and Alcona Counties

Region 6 - Wexford, Missaukee, Lake, Osceola, Mecosta, Isabella, and Montcalm Counties

Region  7 - Roscommon, Ogemaw, Iosco, Clare, Gladwin, Arenac, and Midland Counties

Region 8 - Mason, Oceana, Newaygo, Muskegon, Ottawa, Kent and Barry Counties


Let us know if you’re interested

Brian Hoduski

Region 1 Vice ChairGogebic, Ontonagon, Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, and Iron Counties

Brian Hoduski is a lifelong Democrat and has been active with the Houghton County Democratic Party since moving there from Grand Marais in 1999. He has served as co-chair of the HCDP since 2006. He learned from boyhood about rural issues helping on his Grandfather’s farm in Menominee County. He trained as a fishery biologist and geographer and has worked in conservation and museum curation since 1986. He enjoys cooking, gardening, hunting, traveling, and his grandkids.

Dixon Dudderar 

Region 3 Vice Chair - Chippewa, Mackinac, Emmet, Cheboygan, Presque Isle, Alpena, and Charlevoix

Dixon is a retired reporter, editor and skilled photographer, having worked at newspapers in Indiana, Texas, Wisconsin and, for over 22 years, at the Grand Rapids (MI) Press. He has a Journalism BA, and an MPA (Public & Environmental Policy), both degrees from Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!). This background nurtures his interest in politics and environmental issues, and his desire to see kind and qualified people of integrity elected to public office. His background also lit his fire to advocate for more renewable energy production, especially locally and at the state level. Dixon, 68, and his wife, Julie, cherish time with the four daughters and five grandchildren in their extended family, and are avid Great Lakes sailors and outdoor enthusiasts. They live in Harbor Springs.

CJ Schneider

Region 4 Vice Chair - Leelanau, Antrim, Kalkaska, Benzie, Grand Traverse, and Manistee 

Hello, my name is CJ Schneider and I serve as the Regional Vice Chair for Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, and Manistee Counties. I've enjoyed various internships and volunteerships and the importance of advocating for rural michigan. Having been raised in rural Michigan, I understand the necessity of conservation and access to quality education, healthcare, and internet access. In my downtime you can catch me watching movies or enjoying the beautiful lakes and rivers of the Northern Lower Peninsula. 

Ann Lubecky

Region 10 Vice Chair -  Huron, Tuscola, Sanilac, Lapeer, St. Clair, and Macomb Counties

My name is Anne Lubecky and I am the daughter of Polish Immigrants that settled in the United States of America following WWII. I graduated from Wayne State University and was accepted into the Dietetic Program and became a Registered Dietitian. A few years later, I proceeded to obtain a master’s degree in Nutrition. My career involved working in hospitals and nursing homes. Eventually, I started my own business and became a contracted consultant dietitian. I am married to my wonderful husband, Walter, for 40 years. We have three children: two girls and one boy.

I am a “thumber” and as of now, I reside in a rural community called Mayville Michigan. My purpose is to change the negative politics in our region. I joined the Rural Caucus. I have met many same-minded individuals who wanted to bring progress and opportunity to the rural area in our state. Yes, I consider Michigan a “Rural State” and the Rural Caucus is important for positive changes in our state.


Region 11 Vice Chair -  Allegan, Van Buren, Kalamazoo, Berrien, Cass, and St. Joseph Counties

Karen started life on the family dairy farm in Mississippi, and grew up in Memphis, TN. She attended the University of Mississippi and the University of Memphis and graduated with a BS in Biology/Pre-Med. She worked for the Federal Government in Diabetes Research until marriage transplanted her to Niles, MI. 

Now a 46 year resident of Berrien County, except for a 3 year period when she was a hay producer in Kentucky, she raised two daughters here and started and ran SCI Alarm, a local security company, for 33 years. 

She has raised, trained, and shown American Quarter Horses in NRHA and ARHA; trained and shown American Blue Tick Coon Hounds on the bench and in them field, run 3D Archery Courses, and placed in the IBO World Championship shoot. 

Presently “retired” she manages 640 acres of timberland in Mississippi, and owns a local airbnb house. She is the Chair of the South County Democratic Club, a member of the Berrien County Democratic County Committee, and 6 th District, and serves on Berrien County Farm Bureau's Policy Committee, and as a state delegate.

Rob Lyerla

Region 12 Vice Chair -  Eaton, Ingham, Calhoun, Jackson, Branch and Hillsdale

Rob is a retired CAPT (O-6) in the US Public Health Service, having served as an epidemiologist in Atlanta (CDC), Geneva (WHO) and DC (NIH, SAMHSA).  He is currently on faculty at WMU and enjoys this second career.  He has a PhD in Statistics and an MGIS in geographic analysis.  He’s passionate about science and conservation, public health, under-served populations and the honor of public service.  New to Michigan in 2018, he lives in Calhoun County, just south of Battle Creek in East Leroy, MI. 

MArie Joppich

Region 13 Vice Chair -  Livingston, Oakland, Washtenaw, Wayne, Lenawee, Monroe Counties

Marie is a life-long resident of Livingston County and with her husband , Gary, Has lived in Hamburg Township for 35 years. She grew up in Livingston County where her family started a small dairy farm in the late 1950’s. Following graduation from Hartland High School in 1973, Marie went on to graduate from Oakland Community College. Continuing her education while working full time, she earned her BS at Lawrence Technology College and then obtained a Masters Degree in Information Systems at LTU.

Because of the positions she has held in various computer related businesses, Marie gained managerial as well as time management skills. Dealing with people from all over the world, taught her how to listen to what was being said or asked and to always respond with honesty and integrity.

In addition to her full time job, six years ago she started a horse training business in partnership with a trainer friend. This enabled Marie to understand the struggles of operating a small business and, especially, the importance of maintaining and adhering to a strict business plan and budget. At the same time, Marie learned the necessity of having to be flexible with both.


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PO Box 312

Romeo, MI, 48065