The newly hired communications coordinator for the Macomb County Board of Commissioners brings a diverse background of financial knowledge, writing ability, business acumen and political involvement.
Rola Zarife recently started in the role and was immediately swept into documenting the board’s approval last Thursday of the largest project in the county’s history, the $229 million jail-complex overhaul.
“It was baptism by fire,” Board Chair Don Brown said. “We’re really pleased to have her. She has been a player in local economic development, has done some writing and understands numbers.”
She also works as a financial adviser and has been active in business development, worked with the Southeast Michigan Chamber of Commerce, was a free-lance writer for The Arab American News and last year ran as a Republican for state representative in the 62nd District in east-central Macomb County.
“I have always had an interest in current events such as news, politics and sports,” she said, adding she is a big Detroit Red Wings fan and hopes “General Manager Steve Yzerman #19 can turn it around.”
Her position was created by the board for this budget year. Zarife is earning a salary near the top of the range of $40,000- $52,000.
She is the primary media contact and is working with the board’s marketing company, Hunch Free in Mount Clemens, on various efforts in social media and other avenues, Brown said, and also is being cross-trained on duties among some of the other staff members to fill in when other people are off. The board operates with a staff of seven.
A public relations manager position previously existed, but was eliminated when the post was vacated in 2021.
Zarife continues to also work as a financial adviser and with the chamber, and has worked as a private client investment associate, business development manager and account manager, according to her LinkedIn page.
She has a bachelor’s degree from the Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration.
– Macomb Daily, macombdaily.com. Edited for style.