The Grand Rapids Rowing Association is honored to have the following community members on it's Board of Advisors.
President, West Michigan Sports Commission
Mike was named the first executive director of the West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC) in 2007 when the commission was established, leading all operations since its inception. Under his leadership, the commission has booked nearly 300 sporting events that attracted 315,000 athletes and visitors, generating more than $100 million in direct visitor spending. Mike was recently promoted to president to serve in an expanded role overseeing WMSC operations, the signature Meijer State Games of Michigan, and construction and operation of the championship-caliber Art Van Sports Complex opening in 2015. Under Mike's leadership, the Sports Commission has been an integral partner to the GRRA, especially in terms of landing events such as the 2014 USRowing Masters National Championship Regatta and the 2012 MACRA Collegiate Championship.
The Hon. George Heartwell
Former Mayor, City of Grand Rapids
Mayor George Heartwell was the Mayor of Grand Rapids from 2004 to 2015. During his tenure, City government has implemented a variety of environmental measures, including purchase of renewable resource energy, use of alternative fuels in city vehicles, continued attention to water quality in and around the Grand River, and widespread implementation of energy conservation measures. In January 2007 the United Nations recognized Grand Rapids as a "Regional Center of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development".
Grand Rapids is widely recognized as one of the most sustainable cities in America. In 2010, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gave Grand Rapids the "Nation's Most Sustainable City" award, and in 2012 Mayor Heartwell was given the first place Climate Protection Award by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
George Heartwell is married to Susan, who directs the Student Advancement Foundation. George and Susan are proud parents of three adult children and six extraordinary grandchildren.
Fred P. Keller
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cascade Engineering
Fred Keller founded Cascade Engineering in 1973, following an earlier career as a metallurgist with Pratt & Whitney. Keller has led the company in its growth into a solutions-based organization with 15 customer-focused business units comprising 1,000 employees and 12 facilities worldwide, and a unique focus on sustainable products and services. Underlying Cascade's organizational culture is Keller's belief that business has the unique opportunity to complement its focus on financial performance with important work in the social and environmental arenas.
Keller is past chairman of the Economic Club of Grand Rapids and has chaired several community boards. His innovative management approach and work in advancing sustainability are featured regularly in business and industry publications, and he serves as a visiting lecturer on Sustainability at Cornell University's Johnson School of Management. A Grand Rapids native, Keller earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and a Master of Science in business management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
A long-time friend of rowing starting with his days at Cornell, Keller has been a community champion for the Grand Rapids Rowing Association, helping to raise funds for the new boathouse as well as continuing support of programs, and his advice and guidance has been crucial to the Association's continued success and growth.
The Hon. John H. Logie
Former Mayor, City of Grand Rapids
John Logie is founder of the Health Law Practice Group at WNJ, and chaired it until becoming Mayor of the City of Grand Rapids in 1991. He continued to litigate cases for firm clients while serving as Mayor through 2003. In particular, he represents property owners in condemnation, and zoning lawsuits, and either family members or estates in will contests in Probate Courts.
As a co-chair of the Grand Rapids Rowing Association's boathouse campaign, Logie was a critical force in re-establishing the Association's presence on the Grand River. Logie has been a strong advocate for the Association's high school and youth programs, especially in regards to reaching at-risk populations in the Grand Rapids metro area.
Arend "Don" Lubbers
President Emeritus, Grand Valley State University
Arend D. Lubbers became president of Grand Valley in 1969 at the age of 37, making him one of the youngest university presidents in the nation. When he retired in 2001, he was the longest-serving public university president in the country. In the 32 years in between, Lubbers led the university's evolution from a small, liberal arts college to a regional university. Lubbers guided the university's response to regional education needs with the establishment of the Seidman College of Business, the Kirkhof College of Nursing, and the Schools of Education, Social Work, Health Sciences, Engineering, and Communication.
Lubbers received his master's degree in history from Rutgers University in 1956, and then taught at Wittenberg College in Ohio before returning to Rutgers in 1958 to pursue his doctorate. In 1962, Life magazine named him to its list of the top 100 young men under 40 in the United States. Lubbers came to Grand Valley from Central College, in Pella, Iowa, where he had served as president for nine years. At the time of his appointment to that position, Lubbers, at 29, was the youngest college president in the country. Don's support of rowing started with his commitment to support and continue the rowing club at Grand Valley State, which has grown into a powerhouse among Midwest collegiate rowing programs. The "Lubbers Cup" regatta, held most recently in Spring Lake, MI, is the largest regatta hosted by the University. Lubbers has also been instrumental as a community advocate of the GRRA, and served as co-chair of the capital campaign for the new boathouse.