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Downtown GR Inc. Appoints 60+ Citizens to Leadership Network, Announces New Chief Outcomes Officer | Business

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Downtown GR Inc. Appoints 60+ Citizens to Leadership Network, Announces New Chief Outcomes Officer
Business, People
Downtown GR Inc. Appoints 60+ Citizens to Leadership Network, Announces New Chief Outcomes Officer


The Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) Board of Advisors yesterday appointed 64 citizens to serve on its three Alliances, which effectively function as community-driven steering committees helping to guide the organization’s overall body of work.

DGRI also announced that Andy Guy will serve as the organization’s Chief Outcomes Officer. The new role will direct the implementation of strategic policy, communications, and project initiatives on behalf of DGRI and the downtown neighborhoods.

“We’re working to position Grand Rapids at the vanguard of America’s city building movement,” said DGRI Board of Advisors Chair Ray Kisor. “The Alliances and new staff leadership help ensure we’re bringing the creative ideas, expertise and experience, strategic ability, and collaborative spirit required to pursue that mission.”

DGRI is the organization responsible for place-making and place-management in the central business district of Grand Rapids, Michigan’s second largest city. The organization, established in 2013, serves as the singular management entity for the combined operations of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the Downtown Improvement District (DID), and the Monroe North Tax Increment Finance Authority (MNTIFA).

In addition to the Mayorally-appointed boards of directors overseeing the unique operations of the DDA, DID, and MNTIFA, the Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. leadership network also includes the DGRI Board of Advisors and three separate Alliances comprised of citizen volunteers.

The Alliances, established in 2013, bring together people with different knowledge, perspectives, and backgrounds to solve problems, identify opportunities, and support the day-to-day work of improving Grand Rapids’ central city.

The Alliances aspire to include and make good use of greater Grand Rapids’ demographic diversity. To that end, the composition of each Alliance is intentionally designed to capture and represent a wide range of individual qualities, including but not limited to skills and industry experience, race, gender, age, educational attainment, sexual preference, place of residence, as well as personal interests and passion. Each Alliance meets monthly and provides DGRI staff with critical input that drives organizational budgets, programs, projects, incentives, and services.

Alliance Structure

  • Alliance for Livability – Advises on programs and services related to cleanliness and safety, mobility, beautification, and asset management. The DGRI Board appointed and reappointed 22 members.
  • Alliance for Vibrancy – Advises on programs related to marketing, promotions, communications, special events, and workforce support initiatives. The DGRI Board appointed and reappointed 19 members.
  • Alliance for Investment – Advises on projects related to Downtown infrastructure, real estate development incentives, urban planning, and economic development. The DGRI Board appointed and reappointed 23 members.

Alliance Composition Facts

  • 44 percent non-profit representation from organizations including but not limited to The Right Place, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, Experience GR, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, and ArtPrize.
  • 37 percent private sector representation from small businesses such as Central District Cyclery to large enterprises such as Amway Hotel Corp.
  • 19 percent public sector representation from organizations including but not limited to Kent County, the Rapid transit agency, the City of Grand Rapids, and Michigan Economic Development Council.
  • Whites and non-whites comprise 73 and 27 percent of the Alliances, respectively.
  • Women and men comprise 31 and 69 percent of the Alliances, respectively.

As a whole, the DGRI leadership network now actively engages more than 90 unique individuals from the greater Grand Rapids community in the decision-making flow of the organization’s fiduciary boards and oversight alliances. Private, non-profit, and public sector representation comprise 40, 38, and 22 percent of the DGRI leadership network, respectively.

“Embracing and increasing diversity in DGRI’s leadership network is critical for our organization and, by extension, our central city to achieve its full potential,” said President and CEO Kristopher Larson. “Since the initial seating of the Alliances in 2013 we’ve grown non-white representation by 325 percent and female representation by 43 percent. This diversity empowers more creative ways of solving complex city building problems and seizing new opportunities that fully reflect the values of and vision for our city. We are committed to continue broadening the choir of voices and perspectives that guide our work.”

DGRI also announced Andy Guy assumed the position of Chief Outcomes Officer. In this role, Guy will direct DGRI’s policy, strategy, and communications initiatives. Guy will help DGRI’s leadership network drive implementation of promising city building practices and guide select projects critical to the organization’s pursuit of mission to grow a vibrant 21st century city.

Guy brings more than 14 years of broad experience in Michigan’s urban revitalization movement. Prior to joining DGRI, Guy served as Associate Director of Governor Rick Snyder’s Office of Urban Initiatives. He served as Director of Metropolitan and Environmental Initiatives at Grand Rapids-based Wondergem PR. Guy was the founding editor of Rapid Growth, an online magazine dedicated to investment, growth, and unique stories of urban life in Grand Rapids. He began his career with the Michigan Land Use Institute focused on transportation and Great Lakes restoration issues.

Guy also was the founding Board Chair of Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, serves on the City’s Automobile Parking Commission, and is a member of the Dyer Ives Foundation Board of Directors. He lives in a downtown adjacent neighborhood with his wife and two daughters, who attend Grand Rapids Public Schools.

“I’m thrilled to join the crackerjack team at Downtown GR Inc.,” Guy said. “This is a spirited group of professionals, supported by a remarkable network of community-based leadership, all of whom have an exciting vision for building a great city. It’s my privilege to join the effort and get to work helping make that vision a reality.”

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