Frey Foundation sets forth plan for leadership change on Wilson retirement

Following up on his strategic engagement to help lead the Frey Foundation transition to next generation leadership,  Frey Foundation President Steve Wilson has announced that he will retire in June 2018. This timetable will  allow the organization time to recruit new leadership and set the pace for a seamless transition. The Foundation has formed a search committee, headed by Tripp Frey, and engaged Kittleman & Associates, LLC, a national executive recruitment firm dedicated to the non-profit sector, to help manage the search for the new president.

“Steve has been an incredible asset to the Frey Foundation,” said Mary Frey Bennett, Foundation Board Chair. “He has helped us build great capacity for our team and deepened many relationships in the communities we serve. Steve has also been a great convener—bringing community groups and other funders together to come up with strategic solutions to complex issues. We are thankful for all that he has contributed and aim to continue building on these successes as we go forward.”

The search for Wilson’s replacement will begin immediately. “This is an opportunity for us to recommit to sustaining our focus as a regional leader in enhancing the lives of children and families, protecting our natural resources and promoting the arts as part of building strong communities,” said Tripp Frey. The Frey Foundation serves a unique group of communities in West and Northern Michigan.

Wilson has guided the Frey Foundation through a strategic planning process focused on building community. He helped the organization more clearly define and operationalize its values. He also helped the Frey family transition the Board from the second to the third generation. “It has been particularly rewarding to work with the Foundation’s dynamic and thoughtful multigenerational Board,” said Wilson. “I am incredibly proud of the contributions I’ve made to this organization and I am excited to see us launch new work in 2018.

Prior to joining Frey Foundation Wilson served as executive director of the Ruth Mott Foundation in Flint, Michigan. He is also the former president of the Grand Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (now Experience Grand Rapids)—a position he held from 1992 to 2008.

The Foundation is still accepting applications for the position; qualified candidates may share their resumes with Megan Monaco at

The Frey Foundation is a private family foundation based in Grand Rapids, Michigan with assets topping $155 million. It was founded in 1974 by Edward and Frances Frey. Today second and third generation trustees continue their legacy.

Frey Foundation continues to support and focus activities with nonprofits in west and northern Michigan that are working to enhance the lives of children and families, protect natural resources, promote the arts, and build community.
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