Bernal named to Crain's list of LGBTQ leaders

Jesse Bernal, chief of staff to the president and vice president for Inclusion and Equity, was named a 2022 Notable LGBTQ Business Leader by Crain's Detroit Business.

The list recognizes senior leaders who self-identify as LGBTQ who are making innovative, forward-thinking and substantial contributions to their industries, organizations and communities.

Jesse Bernal sitting on a couch in a  gray suit, blue tie
Jesse Bernal joined Grand Valley's senior leadership team in 2015. He now serves as chief of staff to the president and vice president for Inclusion and Equity.
Image credit - University Communications

President Philomena V. Mantella said Bernal skillfully collaborates to create space for diverse voices at all levels to be authentically present and fully participant in the university’s strategic direction. 

“I have known and valued the leadership of Jesse Bernal since coming to Grand Valley and have witnessed the early impact of his commitment to the future of education with equity at the center," Mantella said. "During his tenure in higher education, he has shaped a legacy of enhancing sustainable and innovative approaches to fuel the upward mobility of our diverse communities at the university and beyond."

Bernal, who joined Grand Valley in 2015, has been an active member of the National Association of Chief Diversity Officers in Higher Education, Excelencia in Education and the President’s Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. 

In 2018, he was appointed to the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan and reappointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2022. In 2022, he was appointed to the City of Grand Rapids Community Relations Committee. He serves on several area nonprofit boards and advisory committees including the Grand Rapids Cesar Chavez Committee, Grand Rapids Public Museum and YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids.


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