Human Resources and Nonprofits

Family foundation hires president

July 18, 2018
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Holly Johnson
Holly Johnson. Courtesy Frey Foundation

A local family foundation has a new president.

Holly Johnson will take the role at the Grand Rapids-based Frey Foundation beginning in early August.

Johnson is the current president of the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation.

Under Johnson’s leadership, the foundation’s assets have nearly doubled, and she has seated a new team, expanded the office space and continued community grants.

She has been involved with large community projects, such as Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium and Housing Next.

Johnson began at the community foundation in 2007 as the VP of development and was promoted five years later.

Previously, Johnson worked in development at the Greater Ottawa County United Way and began her career in administration for The Challenge Machinery Company and Manpower.

Johnson said she has “a lot to learn” moving from a community foundation to a private foundation, and she plans to spend a lot of time listening.

In her role, she will continue the “strong relationships” of the foundation and direct work, acting as the face of the organization.

She said the invitation to head the foundation was a “real honor,” citing the “good work” it does in the community, such as recently bringing a “LOVE” sculpture by artist Robert Indiana to downtown Grand Rapids.

“The ‘LOVE’ statue is just a beautiful example of how the Frey Foundation shows up in the community,” Johnson said. “They love their community, and it’ll be and honor to support them in the community they love.”

Johnson has been involved with the West Michigan Planned Giving Group, Association of Fundraising Professionals and Lakeshore ATHENA Award.

She is a trustee for the GVSU Foundation, a national reviewer of communication standards for the Council on Foundations in Washington, D.C. and on a variety of committees with the Council of Michigan Foundations.

She holds a B.A. in English from Hillsdale College and a master of public administration in nonprofit administration from Grand Valley State University.

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