Ricardo Benavidez '14 & '19
2022 Young Alumni Award Recipient
Ricardo Benavidez is passionate about people, their identities, and their experiences, spending his academic and professional careers finding new and innovative ways to connect people, move causes forward, and make a difference in the world.
Professionally, Benavidez is a senior associate at Ktisis Capital where he serves as a strategy and organization advisor, researcher, and project manager for a diverse mix of individuals and foundations. He is also the Strategist and Communications Director at West Michigan Progress PAC; the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Learning Coordinator for the Grand Rapids Community Foundation; and an adjunct professor at GVSU teaching courses on belonging and inclusive and visionary leadership.
Benavidez graduated from GVSU in 2014 with bachelor's degrees in history and public and nonprofit administration, and in 2019 with a Master of Public Administration. As a student, Benavidez served terms as President and Vice President for Diversity Affairs for GVSU’s Student Senate, as a student ambassador for the Charter Schools Office, and worked in the University Archives. After graduating, Benavidez held several professional positions at GVSU, and served on the GVSU Young Alumni Council for 6 years including terms as President and Chair of the Development Committee, and as a GVSU Alumni Champion.
Benavidez’s public service work keeps him tied to his West Michigan roots. He serves on the City of Grand Rapids Community Relations Commission by mayoral appointment, is the Board President of Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities, and the Co-Chair of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s LGBT Fund Advisory Board. In 2022, the Grand Rapid Business Journal named him a “40 under 40” business leader.
In recognition of his determined and enthusiastic efforts to better the lives of all those around him, Ricardo Benavidez received the 2022 Young Alumni Award.