New Interim Director (media release)


For Immediate Release

July 6, 2015


Kristen Guinn, 616-458-9481, kguinn@shrr.com

Bill Kirk, 616-719-4610, bkirk@downtowngr.org

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks Announces New Interim Director

Organization begins transition with a proven, dynamic leader

(Grand Rapids, MI.) – Friends of Grand Rapids Parks (FGRP) has announced the hiring of Shannon Cohen, founder of Community Ventures, as Interim Director while the organization begins a search for a new full-time Executive Director position to be filled by the fall of 2015.

“Shannon has a track record in the community of creating positive impact and outcomes as a leader, visionary, and strategist. She will bring incredible value to Friends of Grand Rapids Parks during this transition, and we are thrilled to have such a capable individual on board as Interim Director,” said Kristen Guinn, FGRP Board of Directors President.

FGRP will begin the formal search later this month for a permanent Executive Director. Ms. Cohen will be working with the FGRP staff and Board of Directors to maintain the organization’s momentum and success on continuing programs, efforts, and events. “I am honored and excited by this opportunity to render service and expertise to such an amazing organization as we shepherd in a new generation of leadership,” said Cohen. “The incredibly talented staff members at FGRP are amazing leaders in the community, as evidenced by recent achievements like the Governor’s Service Award for Volunteer Program of the Year, and the release of the Urban Tree Canopy Study. It will be a true joy to contribute to such a strong, established organization.”

FGRP has worked closely with the City of Grand Rapids and countless community members and organizations over the last six years to protect, enhance, and expand the City’s parks and public spaces. On August 27, community members and supporters will gather for the 5th Annual Green Gala, where attendees will celebrate these successes, outgoing Director Steve Faber’s tenure at FGRP, and the new path forward for the organization.

About Friends of Grand Rapids Parks (www.friendsofgrparks.org)

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is an independent, citizen led, nonprofit enterprise founded in 2008, working closely but separate from the City, with the mission to identify specific park projects, mobilize people, and generate resources to protect, enhance, and expand the City’s parks and public spaces. In a nutshell, we make park improvement projects happen by bringing together neighbors, park users, the City, funders, volunteers and contractors. We believe that vibrant parks and public spaces are essential to support the community’s economic competitiveness, environmental health, and cultural well-being. We understand that a healthy park system is a long-term commitment.


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