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Grand Action resurfaces as Grand Action 2.0 with new and old faces

Grand Action 2.0, Co-chairs Tom Welch, Carol Van Andel and Dick DeVos photo
Grand Action 2.0

The not-for-profit economic development organization behind major Grand Rapids projects is returning with some new faces. Grand Action formed in 1992 supporting quality of life projects leveraging public-private investments in Grand Rapids. Downtown projects including Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place DeVos Performance Hall, the Grand Rapids Civic Theater, the Downtown Market and the Secchia Center at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine are the results of Grand Action. It  “accounted for $420 million in direct capital investment and included private funding of $130 million.”

In 2018, Grand Action leadership behind those projects retired. Now, a re-launch; call it Grand Action 2.0, with original co-char Dick DeVos joining newcomers Carol Van Andel and Tom Welch. David Frey, an original co-chair, will now serve as vice chair.

“Cities need to utilize all of their resources public and private.”

Grand Valley State University President, Dr. Philomena Mantella is a new board member. Before her appointment as GVSUs fifth president, Mantella served in a leadership role at Boston’s Northeastern University.

“Really to be creative and not look for each institution, or each party, to have to solve all of the capital challenges they have on their own, the building challenges, but how we can work together to leverage a shared view and many times a shared facility.”

Mantella says that’s a smart way to approach development and redevelopment.

In its news release, Grand Action 2.0 explains its vision “is to foster public-private collaborations on transformational projects that benefit health, education, science, the arts, economic vitality, and the residents of the region.

I’m Patrick Center.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.