Rick Huisman named our new Executive Director!
May 25th, 2012
Rick Huisman, a former executive for Eastern Floral and Major League Baseball pitcher, was named executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth (BGCGRYC).
Huisman joins the BGCGRYC as it prepares to open its new club inside the Paul I. Phillips Recreation Center, 726 Madison Ave. SE. A grand opening celebration is slated for June 5 with programming set to launch on June 11.
“I am thrilled to lead a team of passionate staff and volunteers,” Huisman said. “Every child needs a safe, comfortable place where they can nurture their talents, meet new friends, study or just play a game.”
Huisman, 43, previously served as chief operating officer at Eastern Floral, where he helped manage significant growth of his family’s business. He has served as a committee member for the Boys & Girls Club of Holland and as a board member for The Chamber Grand Haven Spring Lake Ferrysberg.
After being selected as a third round pick by the San Francisco Giants in the 1990 amateur draft Huisman spent 12 years as a professional baseball player. His MLB career included pitching 29 games for the Kansas City Royals in 1995 and 1996. During one of the Royals’ community outreach efforts, Huisman learned how Boys & Girls Clubs provide a positive influence for kids.
“Rick is the perfect fit to lead this organization as it enters an exciting new era in its long history serving the children of Grand Rapids,” said Grand Rapids Police Chief and BGCGRYC Board President Kevin Belk. “He brings not only a great business acumen, but a passion for our mission of helping kids develop their character and talents to become the future leaders of our community.”
BGCGRYC employs a growing staff of more than 25 people and dozens of volunteers who serve more than 2,000 children each year. The clubs offer programming in the arts, health and life skills, sports, fitness, and education, career, character and leadership development..
Huisman succeeds Dave Emenheiser, who had served as interim executive director of the clubs over the past year. Emenheiser recently accepted a new position at Amway but remains a member of the BGCGRYC Board of Directors.
In addition to the club at the Paul I. Phillips Center, Boys and Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth offers year-round programming at the Steil Club, 235 Straight Ave. NW, and the Seidman Club, 139 Crofton St. SE. BGCGRYC’s Camp O’Malley, a summer camp along the banks of the Thornapple River in Caledonia Township, celebrates its 70th year of healthy outdoor adventure on June 11.
Rick Huisman lives in Holland with his wife, Nicole, and three children, Jack, 13, Mason, 10, and Avery, 7.
Steil Club Garden Plant Day!
May 22nd, 2012
On Saturday, May 19th, we had our official garden Plant Day! The Club members worked hard moving top soil to fill the beds and placing mulch around the trees where they planted colorful flowers. They also planted a variety of vegetables including corn, carrots, cabbage, bell peppers, cucumbers, and more. And we can't forget the cantaloupe to accentuate our strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and kiwi! We also have an herb garden growing including cilantro, basil, dill, chives, sage and many more fantastic herbs. Last but not least, the Club members created a pumpkin patch. Later this summer, we are putting up a wooden swing set that was donated to the Steil Club. It will be in the garden area, and we will be adding a permanent shed to house all of our garden tools!