The city of Grand Rapids has appointed three officials to serve top economic development, planning and finance posts.
The chief financial officer and planning director positions will be filled by officials currently holding the jobs on an interim basis, while the city hired an economic development director with prior experience in Ohio.
Interim Planning Director Kristin Turkelson, who has served in the role since September and joined the department in 2013, was named planning director. Turkelson is the former planning director for the city of Grand Haven. Following a national search for the position, Turkelson will oversee the city’s new master plan and other planning and development projects.
“This is a pivotal time for our city and, despite the inevitable challenges ahead of us, we have a solid foundation to build upon,” Turkelson said in a statement.
Jeremiah Gracia, senior economic development administrator for Dublin, Ohio, was named Grand Rapids’ new economic development director to oversee the city’s equitable economic development plan, manage real estate development and work on local placemaking efforts.
Interim CFO Molly Clarin was appointed to the position on a permanent basis. Clarin was previously fiscal services manager after joining the city in 2015 and also finance manager in Anchorage, Alaska.
“I am committed to helping our organization further develop the strategic plan, which already has proven to be a helpful guide in creating the budget,” Clarin said in a statement. “It also will inform how we rebuild to be even more resilient and agile in the future.”
City officials say a national search for an oversight public accountability director and an opportunity to meet the finalists is coming.