Logie Assumes CAA Leadership
GRAND RAPIDS — In a somewhat surprising move, Convention and Arena Authority members chose Mayor John Logie as their new chairman last week. The selection of the mayor was unexpected, as vice-chairman David Frey was expected to ascend to the post. But Frey withdrew his name from nomination.
Logie succeeds Steven Heacock, who served as the panel’s first chair. The board also re-elected Frey as vice-chairman and Birgit Klohs as secretary-treasurer. All three will serve two year terms.
Frey said he declined the chairman’s post for now because he wants to devote his full attention to the construction of DeVos Place.
He chairs the committee that oversees the building of the $219.5 million convention center, and also serves on the Grand Action Committee, a private group that has raised $30 million for the project. The project needs another $13 million and Frey said he would devote his time to closing that deficit.
“I’m committed to doing everything possible to close that gap at the earliest opportunity and that does include a number of alternatives including some rather aggressive lobbying with our friends in Washington, D.C.,” said Frey.
Frey added that he was busy with Grand Action preparing a plan to renovate DeVos Hall, a 2,400-seat auditorium in the Grand Center that is home to the city’s four performing arts organizations. He estimated the cost of that project would be around $10 million.
“For those reasons, and other personal responsibilities, I choose not to be considered for the chairmanship at this time,” said Frey, who Heacock suggested as the new chair. Frey then nominated Logie to the post.
The mayor said he was pleased to accept the chairmanship.
“This is a public facility and one of the reasons why I was happy to accept this position is to continue to have it be seen as a public institution in Grand Rapids and Kent County. But it is also a continuing dynamic of the public-private partnerships that has become known as how we get things done in this city and in this county,” said Logie.
Heacock chose not to seek another term as chair after serving in that post for nearly two years. Frey offered high praise for the outgoing chairman by highlighting his uncanny ability to bring consensus to the board and for setting the leadership standard on the board.
“I think he has performed another great public service for the city and West Michigan. As we all know, Steve is a very bright and very capable person with a high energy level and is a remarkably balanced person,” said Frey. “We are lucky to have him in our midst.”
“I’ve enjoyed the experience greatly and do intend to continue on the board to serve you in other ways,” said Heacock, who chairs the Kent County Board of Commissioners. “It’s been a real good experience.”