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Latino Business and Economic Development Center Director Seeks to Explore Synergies as GRCC Trustee

Ferris State UniversityAn advocate for the Latino business community and Ferris State University, in Grand Rapids, will continue his community outreach and service as Carlos Sanchez was appointed on Monday, June 19 to fill the remainder of a term on the Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees.

Sanchez said he was intrigued by the opportunity to replace Bert Bleke, the former superintendent of the Grand Rapids Public Schools, on the GRCC board.

“I inquired about the possibility, and then met with associates who suggested it was a good fit for me,” Sanchez said. “I believe my experiences are similar to some of the population of the college and I hope to benefit them with representation on the board.”

Sanchez was appointed to direct the Latino Business and Economic Development Center in November 2012. Board chairperson David Koetje is quoted in the community college’s release on Sanchez’ appointment commending him as “widely respected by the West Michigan business community, the local philanthropic community and those colleges we have pathway connections with.” Sanchez said he will retain some current volunteer obligations, and conclude other community involvement.

“My chairmanship of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation is coming to an end, though I will remain with that organization as a trustee,” Sanchez said. “I will be wrapping up an extended involvement with the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan.”

Sanchez had been interim executive director of the HCWM, a former executive director of the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and a board member of the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids as well as the Dyer-Ives Foundation. He hopes to collaborate with administrators and peers on the GRCC board, to benefit higher education, and further the Ferris mission.

“This board is focused on setting policy, and I am excited to help the college face various challenges,” Sanchez said. “This is a chance to help out an important institution in the Grand Rapids area. I am looking forward to see what other synergies we can explore.”

Bleke had been a GRCC board member since 2011. Sanchez will have the opportunity to run for a two-year term as a trustee, as his appointment continues through December 2018.

PHOTO CAPTION: Ferris State University’s director of the Latino Business and Economic Development Center, Carlos Sanchez, was appointed on Monday, June 19 to a vacant seat on the Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees.