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Alumnus Snead and Heartwell Appointed to Ferris State University Board of Trustees


On Monday, Dec. 28, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the appointments of alumnus Ronald E. Snead Sr., of Stanwood, and former Grand Rapids Mayor George K. Heartwell III, of Newaygo, to the Ferris State University Board of Trustees.

Snead succeeds Lori Gwizdala, whose board appointment expires Dec. 31, 2020, while Heartwell replaces Robert Hegbloom, whose term also expires on Dec. 31, 2020.

A 1971 Ferris graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Science Education, Snead will begin his second appointment to the Board of Trustees. During his previous membership, Snead was elected as the first African American alumnus to serve as the board’s chair. Snead, a 1995 recipient of a Ferris Distinguished Alumni Award, received a 2011 Giants Award, the William Glenn Trailblazer Award. Snead retired from Dixien, LLC, a supplier of metal stampings and plastic molded parts to the automotive industry. At Dixen, LLC, he was vice president of corporate relations.


Heartwell currently serves as a member of the Great Lakes Water Quality Board, Muskegon River Watershed Assembly, Newaygo Economic Development Corporation, Environmental Law and Policy Center Michigan Board, and the Zoning Board of Appeals for the City of Newaygo and Garfield Township. The former Grand Rapids mayor earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and English Literature from Albion College and a Master of Divinity from the Western Theological Seminary.

The Snead and Heartwell eight-year board appointments officially begin on Jan. 1, 2021.

Board appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.