John and Deanna are passionate leaders for this community who actively seek to make West Michigan an exciting place to live, work and learn.
With more than 24 years of experience in real estate and urban re-development, John has championed some of the most challenging projects in Grand Rapids. As a co-founder of Locus Development, his vision and business acumen led to the successful completion of projects like Hopson Flats, 38 Commerce, the Flat Iron building, Brewery Vivant and many more. John is currently the executive chairman of Founders Brewing Company, responsible for the strategic direction of the company. He has played an active role in the brewery’s expansion and growth since 2006. John is active in the community, he is the chairman of the board for the Downtown Market, founding member and treasurer of Grand Rapids Whitewater, and serves on the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Committee. John is also a director of the Grand Valley University Foundation.
Deanna’s passion for education led to over 20 years of leadership in her field and service to students. She is highly respected as a counselor and teacher, receiving the profession’s most prestigious recognition with the William Gramenz Award in 2015 from the Michigan Association of College Admissions Counseling. She received the award for her outstanding leadership as the organization’s president, and her service to students, the profession, and the association. Deanna has also served on the East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation, the UICA Off the Wall Committee, the John Ball Zoo 125th Celebration Committee, and on the Executive Board of the West Michigan Counseling Association.
John and Deanna are very engaged supporters of Grand Valley State University. In addition to John’s role as a director of the GVU Foundation, both John and Deanna have served on the foundation’s Community Leadership Scholarship Committee. John is also a mentor to students through the Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy. Most recently, they established the Green Family First Generation College of Education Scholarship to support first generation students pursuing a four-year degree in education.
John and Deanna are tremendous role models for Grand Valley students. Together, they are having a lasting effect on our community that will be appreciated far into the future.