It’s been an exciting couple weeks at the community foundation. We are thrilled to have been recognized as Finalists in both the MiBiz Best Managed Nonprofit Awards and the Lakeshore Advantage Visionary Awards.

GHACF was a co-finalist in the MiBiz Best Managed Nonprofit Awards in the large organization category. The awards “spotlight best business practices and excellence by nonprofit organizations throughout the region.” Awards for small, medium, and large organizations, as well as a professional achievement and young professional, were given at a ceremony Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at the Goei Center in Grand Rapids.

Holly Johnson, GHACF President

“We’re honored to be recognized regionally for the impact that we are having in Northwest Ottawa County. Solving complex systemic issues requires strong partnerships, strategic collaboratives, and a variety of resources. We remain grateful to all of our partners, our incredibly generous donors, and our Board of Trustees—past and present.” — Holly Johnson, GHACF President

The MiBiz nomination focused on the work the GHACF has done to help develop the Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium, which will open this year. This will be a waterfront green space that our community will be proud of—and other communities will be inspired to recreate for themselves. This space will be more environmentally conscious, with less concrete and more grass to protect our natural ecosystems. Mostly, it will be a place for all to enjoy our waterfront and will forever serve as a way to remember a dedicated local philanthropist, Lynne Sherwood.

“Our visioning and funding of Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium is a shining example of how we are working with all sectors to better our community today and forever,” said Johnson. “The people in our community are familiar with our mission, and we’re excited to share our good work with the larger West Michigan community.”

Mike Goorhouse, CFHZ, and Holly Johnson, GHACF

The GHACF was a co-finalist with the Community Foundation of Holland/Zeeland (CFHZ). The two foundations are working together on Housing Next, a cross-sector collaborative initiative involving nonprofit, government, and business partners that have strived to create and promote a strong economic case for additional workforce housing units in the greater Ottawa County region of Michigan.

Lakeshore Advantage named Holly Johnson, together with Mike Goorhouse from the CFHZ, as a finalist for their Visionary Awards for the Housing Next initiative. The Visionary Award recognizes leaders and the initiatives they undertake to affect positive economic change now and for the future. Together, our boards have committed $750,000 in operational costs and we’re eager to impact change in our county.

“These leaders have formed partnerships far outside their comfort zones, blazing trails, trying new things and recognizing that success is achieved through commitment, creative thinking and collaboration. We are fortunate to have multiple visionaries in our region, which makes choosing just one award recipient a difficult task.” — Jennifer Owens, Lakeshore Advantage President


Read more about these recognitions here:

MiBiz: Grand Haven Area Community Foundation partners to address local needs
Grand Haven Tribune: Community foundation a finalist in MiBiz awards
Grand Haven Tribune: GHACF president a finalist for Visionary Award

Top picture, from left to right: Barb VanHeest (GHACF Board), Tammy Bailey (GHACF Board Chair), Holly Johnson (GHACF president), Colleen Mitchell (Consultant, Venture3Philanthropy), Melanie Swiftney (GHACF Director of Marketing & Communications), Monica Verplank (GHACF Board). Not pictured: Randy Hansen (GHACF Board) and Chris Riker (GHACF VP of Advancement & Donor Services).