Government Relations Director
Cana Garrison started her career in state politics to make a difference and to play an integral role effecting policy for all Michigan residents. That has taken on several forms; from her time as a state senate campaign manager, legislative aide, and chief of staff to include her service in the Air National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves. Prior to joining MFDA in 2011, she held several key positions in the Michigan State Legislature; most recently, as Chief of Staff to State Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) from 2005 to 2011. Her passion for policy and making a difference for Michigan citizens was showcased by leading negotiations of multiple stakeholders to a successful conclusion regarding the Michigan Sex Offender Registry and clean-up of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (as passed by ballot initiative) as lead staff member on the Senate Judiciary Committee as Senator Jones served as Chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus and Senate Committee on Judiciary. She has personally worked on over 200 pieces of legislation. Additionally, she managed office staff and budget to ensure constituent opinions were heard by the Senator/Representative and concerns with state government were resolved.
Cana also serves in the United States Army Reserves as a Civil Affairs NCO with the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion out of Danbury, Connecticut. She most recently deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201 in the African country of Niger where she most prominently worked with local women’s organizations to increase their access to skill training and economic opportunities. Additionally, Cana worked with non-governmental organizations in order to generate funding for various projects as identified through various assessments. Prior to joining the Army Reserves, Cana served as an Air Transportation Journeyman in the Air Force Reserves (3 years) and Michigan Air National Guard (11 years) as a planner focusing on the African continent.
Cana is a proud Spartan (Go Green!) having earned a BA in Geography from Michigan State University; she lives in Charlotte with a very demanding basset hound/beagle mix named Lucy.