Economic Development and Human Resources

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. appoints CEO and board members

February 14, 2018
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Tim Kelly
Tim Kelly. Courtesy DGRI

The management entity for downtown Grand Rapids has selected its new top executive and board members.

The Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., or DGRI,  Board of Advisors said yesterday it has chosen Tim Kelly as the agency’s president and CEO, effective immediately.

Kelly was serving in the role on an interim basis after Kris Larson, former DGRI president and CEO, resigned in November to take a comparable position in his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina.

“Tim is the right leader for this organization at this time,” said Kayem Dunn, outgoing board chair, DGRI. “He has been with the organization since its 2013 startup. He led the cultivation of the GR Forward plan and has deep knowledge of the community’s vision for downtown.

“He also possesses the skills, style and collaborative spirit necessary to continue the implementation of GR Forward and lead the organization in the service of our local city-building movement.”

Board selections

The DGRI board also elected Nikos Monoyios as board chair and appointed five new board members.

Monoyios, a long-range planner at The Rapid transit agency, has served on the DGRI board since 2014 and was appointed vice chair in 2015.

He currently is spearheading the development of The Rapid’s 13-mile Laker Line, a transportation project connecting downtown Grand Rapids and Grand Valley State University’s main campus in Allendale.

The following are the five new appointees to the DGRI Board of Advisors:

Wayman Britt, newly appointed Kent County Administrator

Shaun Biel, of Spectrum Health and chair of the Monroe North Tax Increment Finance Authority

Eddie Tadlock, of SMG and chair of DGRI’s GR Forward Goal 1 Citizen Alliance focused on river restoration and revitalization

Monica-Steimle App, of Rockford Construction and chair of DGRI’s GR Forward Goal 2 Citizen Alliance focused on developing a true downtown neighborhood that’s home to a diverse population

Jorge Gonzalez, of Start Garden and chair of DGRI’s GR Forward Goal 4 Citizen Alliance focused on ensuring continued vitality of the local economy

Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal and Grand Rapids Whitewater President and CEO Richard Bishop were also appointed to the board in November.

“We’re working to position Grand Rapids at the forefront of America’s downtown revitalization and city-building movement,” Tim Kelly said.

“These appointments reflect recent leadership transition in the community, deepen DGRI’s leadership network and strengthen the role that citizens play guiding DGRI’s work. These appointments also ensure we’re bringing together the creative ideas, expertise, experience and collaboration required to pursue and achieve the community’s vision for downtown Grand Rapids.”


In 2013, DGRI was established as the management organization for the Downtown Development Authority, or DDA, the Downtown Improvement District, or DID, and the Monroe North Tax Increment Finance Authority.

In addition to the mayor-appointed boards of directors overseeing the DDA, DID and Monroe North Tax Increment Finance Authority, DGRI is guided by a board of advisors and five separate alliances comprised of citizen volunteers who help shape DGRI’s work and investment in the urban core.

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