Kevin Ricco has been selected as the new director of Grand Valley State University’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center. He succeeds T. Arnold Boezaart, who will retire at the end of October after serving as director since 2009.
Ricco will officially assume his role September 22.
Since November of 2012, Ricco has served as manager of operations for Grand Valley’s Pew Grand Rapids Campus and regional centers. Prior to that, he was Allegan County’s first director of county development where his responsibilities included economic development, Brownfield redevelopment, and parks and recreation and tourism management.
“Kevin’s collaborative leadership style will enable MAREC to enhance its mission as a catalyst for economic development as well as a research and development center,” said Brian Copeland, associate vice president for Business and Finance at Grand Valley. “We’re grateful for Arn’s leadership. He effectively opened the doors of the MAREC facility to the community and led the way in business development and many research activities.”
Ricco said his plans for MAREC include continuing to build the business incubator program and weaving in Grand Valley’s academic mission into the center’s work, “whether that’s connecting students with our incubator clients or planting seeds that might spark some interest and focus on entrepreneurial enterprises among our faculty and students,” he said.
He said Boezaart has done a tremendous job of building community relations in Muskegon and surrounding communities. “I would like to continue to build relations and get to a point where MAREC is the first thing that comes to mind when people in the state, region and even country think of alternative and renewable energy,” Ricco said. “Clean and renewable energy resources are becoming vitally important, and technology is a big part of this movement. I look forward to helping facilitate this endeavor.”
Ricco, a native of Muskegon, received a bachelor’s degree in natural resource management from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in business administration from Eastern Michigan University. He has served on the board of directors for Southeast Michigan Association for Recreation Trails, Allegan County Wellness Council, and West Michigan Cultural Trails, among others. He currently serves on the board for the West Michigan Tourism Association.
The Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon is an economic development initiative of the City of Muskegon in partnership with Grand Valley State University and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. MAREC offers a range of technology oriented business start-up and incubation opportunities with emphasis on renewable energy innovation and efficiency. MAREC operates in partnership with the Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) program.