WEST MICHIGAN SPORTS COMMISSION ELECTS JIM HORMAN, PRINCIPAL AT PROGRESSIVE AE, AS NEW BOARD CHAIR

Other Officers Elected and Three Board Members Added, Effective Jan. 1, 2019

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Nov. 28, 2018 – The Board of directors of the West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC) elected Jim Horman as the non-profit’s new chair at its recent board meeting, in addition to approving the slate of other officers for one-year terms. The board also elected three new board members plus renewed two members for a second, three-year term. All board positions take effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Horman is the third chair to serve since the West Michigan Sports Commission was created in 2007, succeeding Deb Kay from 2015 to 2018, and Dick Vander Molen from 2007 to 2014. Horman joined the WMSC board in 2017 and also chairs the WMSC’s infrastructure committee that assesses the area’s sports venue needs.

“When I met Jim Horman through Leadership Grand Rapids before the WMSC was formed, I knew he was someone to keep in close contact with,” said Mike Guswiler, president of the West Michigan Sports Commission. “His passion and commitment to economic development projects through his role at Progressive AE and the Transplant Games is ideal for our work at the WMSC. We are lucky to have someone of Jim’s professional talents and personal caliber to help guide our nonprofit.”

Horman started volunteering with the WMSC in 2012 when he served on the task force established to create the flagship $7.5 million Art Van Sports Complex in Plainfield Township (recently completing its fourth season). He also collaborated with the WMSC while on the board of the Transplants Games of America that he still serves on today, working side by side with the WMSC to host the first Transplant Games in Grand Rapids in 2012.  Horman served on the WMSC’s advisory council from 2014 to 2016 before being elected to the board in 2017.

“My career is built on developing community assets through mission-based work, so serving the West Michigan Sports Commission with its goal of positively impacting the area’s economy and quality of life through amateur sports is very important to me,” said Horman.

Horman is a principal at Progressive AE, joining the national architecture and engineering firm in 2012 as an architect and practice leader.  Some of his most significant sports-related projects include most of the YMCA facilities in the area including the Spartan YMCA and Mary Free Bed YMCA (a LEED-certified complex that is the first in the world to be certified for Universal Design by the Global Universal Design Commission), the Art Van Sports Complex, the recent Fifth Third Ballpark reconstruction and expansion, and a new Boys & Girls Club of Holland with athletic spaces.

“I help my architecture clients plan for the future of their organizations, and I hope to do the same in my new role with the WMSC,” said Horman. “We have a wonderful 10-year track record as a non-profit, adeptly lead by Mike Guswiler plus my predecessors Deb Kay and Dick Vander Molen. I see my role as not only looking out for the WMSC from an external perspective, but also internally guiding how we envision the future as both an economic generator and conduit to wellness.”

Horman and his team also are actively involved in many community projects that elevate area arts, culture and entertainment ventures such as the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Downtown Market and Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s current $80 million expansion. On the tourism and hospitality side, Horman and his team are renovating 390 guest rooms in the historic Pantlind wing of the Amway Grand Hotel plus reskinning the glass tower, designing a new pavilion at Calder Plaza to support stage and performance areas, and designing new convention centers in Muskegon and Jackson. He also is leading the design of the new Amy Van Andel Library and Community Center in Ada and a new library in Georgetown Township.


Prior to Progressive AE, Horman was an owner at Design Plus, a Grand Rapids-based architectural/ engineering and design firm. A Grand Rapids area resident for 22 years, Horman received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Miami University and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Michigan. He lives in Cascade Township with his wife, Laurel, and two children, Alexandra and Cole. He swims, sails and enjoys other competitive sports in his free time.

Other Officer and Board Elections

Officers in addition to Jim Horman who were elected to one-year terms starting Jan. 1, 2019 include Deb Kay as immediate past chair (from chair); Mike Donnelly, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, as vice chair (from board member); Bob Partridge, Grand Rapids Community College (retired), as treasurer (from board member); and Scott Bernecker, Merrill Lynch, as secretary (from board member). New members elected to the board include Nick Davidson, Aquinas College; Tim Gortsema, Grand Rapids Griffins; and Jim Jarecki, West Michigan Whitecaps. Board directors who renewed their three-year terms that expire Dec. 31, 2018 include Mike Donnelly and Tom McCall, Meijer, Inc.

Other board members completing the 15-member board include Brenda Borkowski, Steelcase, Inc.; Emily Brieve, Kent County Commission; Dave Hoogendoorn, Ernst & Young, LLP; Diane Jones, Kent County Commission; Doug Small, Experience Grand Rapids; Ed Wilson, Country Inn & Suites; and Peter Secchia, SIBSCO, LLC (emeritus and founding member).

Board members whose terms expire Dec. 31, 2018 are Dan DeVos, Tim Selgo and Dick Vander Molen.

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About the West Michigan Sports Commission

The non-profit West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC) identifies, secures and hosts a diverse level of youth and amateur sporting events to positively impact the economy and quality of life in the region. Since its inception in 2007, the WMSC has booked 719 sporting events and tournaments that attracted more than 1.2 million athletes and visitors, generating $338 million in direct visitor spending. For more information, visit westmisports.com and Facebook.com/WestMichiganSportsCommission and follow @WestMiSports.

Media Contacts

West Michigan Sports Commission

Katy Tigchelaar

Kim Skeltis, Blue Blaze PR

Meijer State Games of Michigan

Eric Engelbarts, II

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