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GR Public Museum Welcomes New Foundation Board Members

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The Grand Rapids Public Museum is pleased to announce the appointment of four new members to its Friends Foundation Board, effective immediately.   The Friends Foundation is the parent organization of the Museum, and a 501c3 non-profit entity now responsible for the funding and operations of the institution.   


New Board Members include:

  • Dr. Gilda Gely, Ph.D., Provost/Executive Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs at Grand Rapids Community College. 
  • J. Patrick Hackett, Attorney.
  • Jim Williams, President and CEO of Williams Distributing Co. 
  • Mike Van Gessel, President and CEO of Rockford Construction.

The Friends Foundation Board of Directors includes Danny R. Gaydou, Chair; Carol Van Andel, Vice Chair; Rich Noreen, Secretary/Treasurer; John Canepa; John Dean; Birgit M. Klohs; Don Maine; Larry Titley; Tom Wesholski, Steele Taylor, Dale Robertson and Kaplin Jones, Counsel.


The Board enthusiastically reports the following positive growth numbers from fiscal year 2010.  Through the end of May, 170,559 people visited the Museum, 30,000 of which were student groups, and membership hit an all time high. 


The Grand Rapids Public Museum is a conservator of the past but is in the business of the future.  With its roots as an educator it is a place for bridging generations, sharing stories and ideas, and creating community.  Its main exhibition facility, located at 272 Pearl Street, has three floors of fascinating exhibits, a carousel and planetarium.  For information, call 616.456.3977 or go to

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