Who We Are

Who We Are

Our board and staff recognize the life-changing power of reading and the arts. With the help of many talented artists and committed volunteers and community members, we strive to provide an environment of care and belonging for children and adults living in the Grandville Avenue neighborhood, and beyond. Watch this video to see more.


Our Staff

Steff Rosalez

Chief Executive Officer

she/her
srosalez@gaah.org
(920) 659-6966

Eleanor Moreno

Chief Operations Officer

she/they
emoreno@gaah.org
(616) 742-0692 x1104

Jes Kramer

Chief Financial Officer

she/her
jkramer@gaah.org
(616) 742-0692 x 1102

Sandra
Rodriguez-Ramirez

Cook Library Center
Elementary Coordinator

she/her
srodriguezramirez@gaah.org
(616) 475-1150

Harmony Nguyen

Cook Arts Center Ceramics and STEAM Program Coordinator

they/them
hnguyen@gaah.org
(616)742-0692 x1107

Raquel Rodriguez

Cook Library Center
Middle and High School Coordinator

she/her
rrodriguez@gaah.org
(616) 475-1150

Kas Valtierra

Cook Arts Center Administrator

she/her
kvaltierra@gaah.org
(616) 742-0692 x1100

Noemi Gonzalez

Community Engagement Coordinator

she/they
ngonzalez@gaah.org
(616) 742-0692 x1105


Our Board

Chavala Ymker

Plainsong Farm, Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance

they/them/theirs

“My passion is to help people tell their stories and I’m so excited to be a part of an organization that so intentionally uses art and story to inspire confidence and break down harmful structures. ”
Chavala Ymker

Ricardo Benavidez

President

Ktisis Capital

he/him

“I instantly fell in love with the work of GAAH – the neighborhood and vast intersection of identities the organization serves is inspiring. Education and the arts hits true to the core of my personal passions. I am excited by the organization’s and staff’s potential to affect systemic change in the Roosevelt Park neighborhood specifically and the philanthropic sector broadly.”

Ricardo Benavidez

Marlene Kowalski-Braun

Grand Valley State University
she/her

“I wanted to spend my time walking alongside an organization that was committed to equity. GAAH uses an equity lens in all it does. It elevates the voices of neighbors, works to create the conditions for their thriving, and specifically invests in youth in the community – an investment in the future.”

Marlene Kowalski-Braun

Scott Harris

Treasurer
Huntington Bank
he/him

“I love seeing kids allowed to be kids, be happy, find themselves and feel safe. I know GAAH creates those spaces and when a board position opened, specifically for Treasurer, it matched my skill set and I wanted to help.”

Scott Harris

Briana Trudell

Secretary
Bradbury Miller Associates
sher/her/hers

“GAAH is such an important organization in our community. It provides our neighbors with a safe and caring space where kids and families can build community, try new things, and grow. The staff take the time to really get to know the neighbors and make them feel welcome and empowered.”

Briana Trudell

Nancy Toledo Jimenez

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.
she/her/ella

“I joined the board because GAAH is awesome and I wanted to give back to the org that helped me tap into my creativity. Growing up, I’d go to GAAH’s summer camps and I loved trying new things like pottery, guitar, violin etc. I’m excited to continue to champion the work of GAAH and help advance it.”

Nancy Toledo Jimenez

Tina Bain

Amway – Retired
she/her/hers

“My association with GAAH keeps me connected to the community in ways that my daily life does not provide. Kids and the arts are two of my passions and the work of GAAH keeps me in touch with both. My fellow board members are dedicated and professional, the staff are among the most dedicated and committed professionals I have had the privilege to support.”

Tina Bain

Tony Baker

Vice President

Ferris State University
he/him/his

“GAAH does great work. They care for the children of the neighborhood, they advocate for GRPS students. They are my bridge to the community. They use the arts to help children learn. I love the staff and community.”

Tony Baker

Key Characteristics

Eager to learn and unlearn

We are willing to lean into discomfort to better understand each other and those we serve.

Accountable to the team

We build trust and community by taking responsibility for our actions even when good intentions have negative consequences.

Committed to the neighborhood

We cultivate a flourishing neigh- borhood by practicing reciprocity and listening well.

Critical Actions

Calling out injustice

We help make things work for our neighbors by challenging systems, cultural norms and personal biases.

Engaging with youth

We actively support and interact with the young people we serve

Sharing joy

We express and celebrate the things that bring joy, the good in others, and the good in situations.