2020-22 Board Nominees
Posted on: February 6, 2020 | Posted in: News
The candidates for the 2020-2022 Eastown Community Association Board of Directors is listed below. There are seven candidates for six open positions including two incumbents running due to the end of their terms.
Please see biographies below for more information about each candidate!
Micheal Bopp (Incumbent)
Mike has served on the board since 2019. He helped lead the Eastown community garden as well as help secure a mini-grant for planting trees along Eastown streets, and is an active event volunteer. He has worked to enhance the the Eastown Host Neighbor program by adding and managing an interactive map of participants on the ECA website. Mike is a software developer and one of the founding members of Rapid Development Group in Grand Rapids. He landed in Grand Rapids after graduating from Illinois State University in 2001. He lends his time to organizing local technology groups and conferences and is especially passionate about creating more diversity in the tech industry. Mike loves being a part of an Eastown community that values diversity and inclusion and seeks to do his part to keep it that way. The accessibility of public transportation allows Mike to take the bus to and from work each day where he catches up on the latest books and podcasts that challenge his understanding of the world we live in. Mike grew up loving the This Old House program. Outside of work, Mikeʼs hobbies revolve around home improvement that focus on preserving the character of his old Dutch Colonial on Gladstone where he lives with his wife and three kids.
Becky Dickenson (Incumbent, Secretary)
Becky has served on the ECA board since 2018 and became Secretary in 2019. She is an engaged and dedicated board member who brings joy and enthusiasm to her work on behalf of the community. She has been instrumental in expanding the reach and resources of the ECA with her expertise in marketing and development. She and her wife Michele are proud residents of Eastown since 2010; Michele is originally from Chicago and Becky from Oklahoma. They were drawn to the area because of the relaxed vibe, the walkability, of the neighborhood and the diverse (and cherished) local businesses. – and they have not been disappointed. She is a recognized, top-selling residential real estate agent in West Michigan for the past eight years. Prior to real estate, Becky enjoyed a nearly 20-year career in the marketing communications field. Her interests include theatre, film, contemporary art, and creative writing. She vehemently supports the Arts, at-risk youth, womenʼs issues, and solutions to homelessness by way of her support for Actorʼs Theatre, W. Michigan Gay Menʼs Chorus, Girls Choral academy, Planned Parenthood, Well House, and Our LGBT Fund made possible by the GR Community Foundation.
A lifelong (moved here at seven months old) Grand Rapids area resident, Drew finally found in Eastown a place and community that he could call home. Since 2015 he has spent a large majority of his free time in Eastown enjoying its walkability, the local scene, and guiding friends through tenant troubles and has lived and worked in Eastown for the past two years. Drew has high hopes for GRand Rapids and especially Eastown in sustainability, increased greenery, and art. He believes that the growth of the neighborhood should include current residents rather than pushing them out. When heʼs not helping people jump-start their day at That Early Bird Cafe, he can be found walking Eastown, reading too much news for his health, and enjoying the company of friends in the bars and restaurants of Eastown.
Pamela has been an Eastown resident since 2006 (seven of those years renting). She, with her partner Jack, bought their home in Eastown in 2013. Pamela has been actively involved in the ECA since 2007. She chaired the events committee for five year and has and continues to help organize Eastown events. Pamela served on the board after being appointed in 2008 and successfully running for a seat in 2011. For the past seven years, youʼve likely seen her and Mr. Santa as she and Jack have dressed as Mr. & Mrs. Santa for the Eastown Holiday Shop Hop and Tree Lighting! Pamela welcomes the opportunity to serve on the board again. She says, “Eastown is like no other, and I want to do my part in serving all of our residents. I canʼt imagine living anywhere else! Keep Eastown Weird!”
Noah is passionate about making this world a better place and feels that it all starts at the local level. He is an attorney and Program Director for a small non-profit whose mission is to provide legal self-help services to residents of Kent County, especially those who cannot afford and attorney. Noah and his wife have been around the world, both studying abroad before settling down in Grand Rapids. Theyʼve lived in Eastown for almost three years. And plan to stay, watching the world go by outside our Wealthy St. front door. Noah enjoys walking to the many local establishments the neighborhood has to offer, attending concerts, and being active, which includes playing soccer for Eastown FC this past Summer. He has volunteered with ECA at Streetfair and park cleanups and would love to give back more through service on the Board.
Willard was born in Grand Rapids, is a longtime Eastown resident, and is the youngest of two sisters and a brother. As a teenager he volunteered with the ECA and at Clark Retirement Home. Willard served in both the Army and Air Force from 2008-2012 where he specialized in HVAC, electrical, and equipment repair. Willard ran for Mayor in the city of Grand Rapids in 2015. He currently works as an insurance advisor and enjoys gardening and helping out in the community. Willard is interested in being on the ECA board so that he can amplify resident voice, support the Eastown community and hone his skills for another run at Mayor!
Staci has been a dedicated volunteer at every major Eastown event and most of the smaller ones since January of 2017, when she first came to the ECA as a volunteer. After recently moving to Eastown, she is excited to finally have the opportunity to live in this community that she has loved for years, and is eager to expand her commitment to the Eastown community by joining the ECA board. Staci has dual Masters Degrees in Social Work and Public Health and is invested in improving health outcomes in communities by reducing barriers and creating equitable access to healthcare resources and services. As a director for a local non-profit, Staci also has extensive experience in grant writing, budget management, as well as providing and evaluating community education and training programs. Staci is an avid trivia fan and can be found at Harmony Brewing Company nearly every Sunday playing trivia and spending time with friends and neighbors in the Eastown Community.