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After a detailed application review process, area students were awarded scholarships in varying amounts from 94 different scholarship funds, for a total investment of over $600,000.
Students and their families came to the Yacht Basin Marina to meet the generous donors who made it possible for the students to receive these scholarships.
Mike Goorhouse, Community Foundation President and CEO, congratulated the scholars who he hopes will become future leaders in our community. “We’re honored to partner with your scholarship donors to support your educational journey,” he said.
Stacy Timmerman, Director of Scholarships, thanked the donors for their “continued support of the inspiring and deserving students.” She also addressed the students about the scholarship process. Stacy has spent many hours over the last few months reading through applications and meeting with review committees to determine recipients. “Students, please know that in our extremely competitive scholarship process, you were selected as the right person for your scholarship. We couldn’t be happier for you!” Stacy told them.
Jim Bishop from West Michigan Community Bank, who sponsored the event, shared his story on the many reasons he supports the Community Foundation. He spoke about how he received community foundation scholarships as a student and how that generosity changed his life for the better. It later inspired him to contribute financially and to get involved in board service at the community foundation as an adult. He encouraged each of the students to pay it forward to the next generation with time, talent, and/or treasure whenever they’re able.
The event also featured a student panel where four college students spoke about life in college and how different it can be from high school, some difficulties that come with college, and advice for incoming college freshman.
Stephanie Arndt from Hope College talked about how difficult it was for her to change her major and that she had to overcome her fear of claiming an English major, but it was” the most rewarding thing” she has ever done.
On advice for the scholarship recipients, student Kiannah Vandenberg from Grand Valley State University reminded the student scholars not to be upset or quit if they get a B or C on an assignment or in a course for the first time, as college classes can be very challenging and difficult even for the best students. She also talks about the opportunities of college internships which can give students college credit and experience doing something that they love.
After the panel, the reception lasted another hour with students and donors talking over cupcakes and lemonade and getting pictures taken together.
The Community Foundation is so happy to host this event that allows the students to meet and talk with their scholarship donors. We are so thankful to all of the donors for making such a big impact in the lives of these students. We congratulate these exemplary 2017 scholarship recipients and wish them every success in higher education and beyond.
The Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area elected a new slate of officers during its 2017 annual meeting.
Elected as Board Chair is Mark K. Harder, a partner with the law firm of Warner Norcross & Judd LLP. Harder chairs the firm’s Private Client and Family Office Practice and concentrates his practice in estate planning and administration for high-net-worth individuals and in the representation of family-owned businesses and their owners.
Harder succeeds Scott Spoelhof, who held the position of chair in 2016. Mark served as chair-elect to Spoelhof for the past year. Harder joined the Board in 2014 and has most recently served on the Foundation’s executive, governance, development, and audit committees.
“The Community Foundation plays an integral role in maintaining and improving the quality of life in our community as it helps steward resources to impact others,” Harder said. “I am deeply honored to be part of that effort and look forward to working with the leadership team and my fellow Board members to help create lasting positive change.”
Harder has been recognized as a Michigan Super Lawyer since 2006 and has been listed among The Best Lawyers in America since 2005. He was named Lawyer of the Year for Trusts and Estates in the Grand Rapids area in 2010 and again in 2017 and a Leading Lawyer in Michigan from 2014 to the present. He was also recognized for for his work in private wealth law by Chambers High Net Worth Guide in 2016.
Mark is a Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel and is a member of the American Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan, State Bar of Wisconsin, Ottawa County Bar Association, Michigan State Bar Foundation and American Bar Foundation. He is also a member of Attorneys for Family Held Enterprises.
Mark serves on the Institute of Continuing Legal Education Probate and Estate Planning Advisory Board. From 2003 until 2010, Mark led State Bar of Michigan efforts to write the Michigan Trust Code, as well as other legislation regulating how trusts are handled. In 2015, he authored a commentary for Michigan’s Uniform Principal and Income Act. He has also co-authored the Estates and Protected Individuals Code with Reporters’ Commentary from 2010 to 2017 for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education.
A graduate of Leadership Holland, Mark has been active in a variety of community organizations, including the Center for Women in Transition, Macatawa Cycling Club, Holland Area Chamber of Commerce, Hospice of Holland and the Grand Rapids-based Family Business Alliance.
Harder holds a bachelor of business administration with high distinction from the University of Iowa and his doctor of jurisprudence with highest distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law.
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A new Leadership Council has been formed to collectively focus on workforce housing solutions. The Leadership Council, composed of the area’s top community and business development organizations will work to ensure housing is available for all area workers.
Mike Goorhouse, President of the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area and Holly Johnson, President of the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation will serve as co-chairs of the newly formed Housing Next Leadership Council. The Council also will include representatives from the West Coast Chamber, Chamber of Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Ferrysburg, United Way of Ottawa and Allegan Counties, Ottawa County, Lakeshore Advantage and Community SPOKE.
“Affordable housing was already a big problem in our community and it is getting bigger. Recent estimates of the shortage have grown to between 12,000 and 15,000 units, said Goorhouse, co-chair of the Housing Next Leadership Council. “Local businesses, government, and nonprofit organizations are all seeing the lack of affordable housing creating tremendous difficulty in many families’ day to day lives and constraining our overall ability to grow and thrive as a community.”
The Housing Next Leadership Council was formed due to the extensive housing research effort lead by the United Way of Ottawa and Allegan Counties – Ottawa Housing Next. The Leadership Council’s first order of business will be to hire a director fully focused on workforce housing solutions. This individual will be the champion for workforce housing solutions in our community. The position description for any interested applicants can be on the United Way website: https://www.ottawaunitedway.org/employment. The Council plans to have its new director in place by the end of 2017.
“Lack of affordable housing is both a social and an economic issue, and will require government, business and nonprofits all working together to make significant progress towards a solution,” said Johnson “I can’t remember a time when these eight organizations have collaborated so closely to address a key community priority.” In addition to the Leadership Council, there will be a broader Advisory Board which will have representation from developers, businesses, philanthropy, housing nonprofits, government and residents.
Housing Next has identified four strategies to help our community better access these market-driven solution
In addition to Johnson and Goorhouse, other members of the newly formed Leadership Council include:
Lyn Raymond, Director of the Lakeshore Housing Alliance will serve as liaison from the Leadership Council to the broader Advisory Panel.
“United Way is pleased to transition the leadership on this effort to this Leadership Council, while still keeping all the important members of Ottawa Housing Next informed and engaged,” said Patrick Moran, President of the United Way of Ottawa and Allegan Counties. “This cross sector council is the right group at the right time to increase market driven housing solutions.”
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