Johnson Center leader chosen as 'Man of Excellence'

Jim Edwards with his award.
Jim Edwards with his award.
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Jim Edwards, the executive director of Grand Valley’s Johnson Center for Philanthropy, has been named one of the Michigan Chronicle’s Men of Excellence for 2012.

Edwards has been with the Johnson Center since 2009 when he signed on as director of the Community Research Institute. He has served as executive director since early 2011.

The Men of Excellence Awards, given by the Michigan Chronicle, celebrate local African-American men who inspire others through their vision and leadership, exceptional achievements, and participation in community service.

Edwards was chosen for the award from hundreds of nominees, and joins a group of the area’s most influential leaders. He’ll be honored at a reception later this summer.

Before joining the Johnson Center, Jim was the program director for Network 180 Access Center in Kent County. He has direct service experience in child welfare and juvenile justice, having served as a foster care worker, Juvenile Court probation officer, investigator for the county Family Drug Court Task Force, and assisting in the expansion of mental health home-based services in Kent County. He also served for five years as a board member for the Arbor Circle Corporation. Additionally, he is assistant professor in the School of Social Work. Prior to joining the Johnson Center, he was responsible for social work field placements in agencies across Michigan.