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Grand River Bank's location at 50 Crahen Ave. NE in Grand Rapids Township. (COURTESY PHOTO) Grand River Bank's location at 50 Crahen Ave. NE in Grand Rapids Township. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Grand River Bank taps Drew Ysseldyke as next president 

BY Thursday, March 30, 2023 04:32pm

GRANDVILLE — Drew Ysseldyke seized an opportunity to return to his community banking roots in joining Grand River Bank.

A veteran banker for 26 years in the Grand Rapids-area market, Ysseldyke joined Grand River Bank this week as president. He succeeds Liz Bracken, who was among the executives that founded Grand River Bank nearly 16 years ago. Bracken retired in December as president and CFO.

Drew YsseldykeDrew Ysseldyke, president of Grand River Bank. (COURTESY PHOTO)Ysseldyke comes to Grand River Bank from Old National Bank, one of the largest banks in the Midwest with $46.7 billion in assets and 250 locations in 10 states, where he worked for eight years. Ysseldyke served as Grand Rapids market president and corporate banking executive since January 2020. He previously worked at Fifth Third Bank and PNC Bank and was assistant vice president for commercial loans at Holland-based Macatawa Bank from 1999 to 2008.

His time at Macatawa coincided with the bank’s rapid growth, which Ysseldyke recalls as “an incredibly fun period of my career, and I really missed that piece of it.”

“Old National is a fantastic organization and treated me so well in my eight-year tenure, but I really missed community banking,” Ysseldyke told MiBiz. “This is a wonderful organization and platform to get back to my roots.”

“You’re sitting eye-to-eye with the owners of a company,” he added. “To get back to that piece of it was a huge lure to me.”

Ysseldyke’s appointment comes as Grand River Bank brings in some new senior leadership. The bank also recently hired John Vander Velde as chief operations officer and brought on Debbie Larson as director of human resources.

“We need to ensure that we have the talent, the capacity and the perspective to continue the bank’s trajectory of success and to provide the sort of inspirational leadership that our team expects and deserves. Drew is the guy to do that,” CEO Pat Gill told MiBiz. “He’s an outstanding addition to the team and the perfect guy for the job. As I keep telling him, he was born to do this job.” 

Grand River Bank, with two offices in Kent County, had $530 million in total assets at the end of 2022, more than double the assets from four years earlier, according to a quarterly finance report to the FDIC. The bank had $466.9 million in total deposits as of Dec. 31, 2022.

Gill describes 2022 as a “great year” and said Grand River Bank expects to record further growth ahead.

“We believe that there’s a continued opportunity for us. The runway’s pretty long, we think, yet in West Michigan,” Gill said. “We’ve done a reasonable job carving out a niche in the market and we intend to expand that niche and continue to earn our opportunity and place here in West Michigan.”

Gill credits Bracken with helping Grand River Bank to grow in the market during her time as president and part of the senior management team.

“Liz’s departure certainly left a meaningful gap in the company and we’re fortunate that we’ve been able to find some talented folks who are going to fill that gap,” he said.

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