Heacock Joins Van Andel Venture

October 17, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS—Steven Heacock has accepted a position at a start-up company begun by David Van Andel.

Van Andel recently appointed Heacock as chief legal and finance officer for IdeaSphere Inc., an international business venture he started recently in Cascade Township.

“I’m playing a dual role,” Heacock said on Wednesday. “The chief legal officer, so I have general counsel responsibilities. But also the chief financial officer, so I’m overseeing the controller’s work, the general ledger work and the financial analysis.”

Heacock has a law degree and also is a certified public accountant.

Earlier this year, Heacock resigned as general counsel and vice president of development for managed care company Priority Health. Before joining Priority, he was a partner at the city’s largest law firm, Warner, Norcross and Judd.

Heacock said he received a number of interesting offers after he left Priority, but chose IdeaSphere because of the people involved with the firm.

“It’s Dave Van Andel, Bill Nicholson and Tom Hall, and they’re just incredibly creative minds. They’re the kind of people you want to associate with who embody success,” he said.

Van Andel is chairman and CEO of IdeaSphere, while Nicholson is company president and Hall is the chief brand officer.

IdeaSphere is the culmination of a number of business transactions that Van Andel has conducted over the past two years. The firm is a new entry into the natural and organic product industry, with a mission is to deliver “wholesome and earth-friendly products” to consumers around the globe.

“We’re a start-up. But the hope is to become a significant presence within the natural, organic food, vitamin and supplement area,” said Heacock from his office at IdeaSphere.

Heacock is wrapping up his third term as chairman of the Kent County Board of Commissioners this year. He decided not to seek re-election in the county’s 5th District.

Heacock also sits on the Convention and Arena Authority board and chairs the panel’s finance committee. He chaired the seven-member CAA, the body that owns the convention center and arena, from its inception in April 2000 until last January. Heacock thought he would continue with the CAA after he leaves the county at the end of this year.

“I think so. I’ve really haven’t made that decision,” he said. “But I’m pretty certain (that I will) and I think (Kent County Vice Chairman) David (Morren) wants me to continue.”           

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