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HOLLAND – Holland is Ready has selected a 14-member board of directors that will work to move the community forward to achieving the safety, rights and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the area.
The new board, which met for the first time on Feb. 27, includes people of a variety of ages, professions, faiths, races, backgrounds and gender, including:
Jen Adams, 43, currenlty the rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Holland and one of the founding members of Holland is Ready; Charletta V. Berry, 45, works in Hope College’s Office of Financial Aid and is an Army veteran; Charley Renee Bowers, Ph.D., 74, is retired from the agricultural division of The Upjohn Company. She currently works part-time as a sales associate at jcpenney; Mary De Ridder, 67, retired from First United Methodist Church of Holland as outreach director. She now helps coordinate as a volunteer for Justice for our Neighbors, a faith-based outreach to immigrants, and the Holland area chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Gays and Lesbians.; Andres “Andy” Fierro is pastor of Crossroad Chapel and a part-time chaplain at Holland Hospital. He is married and the father of two sons; Karis Granberg-Michaelson, 28, is a Hope College graduate, serves the local community through AmeriCorps and serves on the Board of Directors of Room for All, advocating for the full participation of LGBT people in the life and ministry of the Reformed Church in America; David Hoekstra, 58, is a self-employed woodworker/cabinet maker. A 36-year resident of Holland, David is in his third term on the Holland City Council; Jim Larkin, 58, a journalist who retired from The Flint Journal after serving as a suburban editor and columnist. He is a former Holland Human Relations Commission member; Donald Martin, 33, teaches English at Grand Rapids Community College; Katie Polik, 15, a sophomore at Holland High School, is vice president of the Gay-Straight Alliance at Holland High School and runs cross country and is an active member of the theatre and forensics teams at her school; Magdalena Rivera, 46, is City of Holland Human Relations Commission chairperson and a Holland Public Schools Board of Education Trustee; Joanne Stewart, 51, a chemistry professor at Hope College and a parent of two Holland High School students; Carla Black Vissers, 48, teaches English at Hope College and formerly served on the Holland City Council, Holland Human Relations Commission, and Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance; Lindsay TerHaar, 23, a Hope College graduate, works as a volunteer coordinator for Habitat for Humanity.
“We are grateful for the wonderful response from the community and the commitment of talented board members as we move forward in our work for the safety, rights and inclusion of GLBT people on the lakeshore,” Adams said.