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

Jes Kramer

Chief Financial Officer

she/her
jkramer@gaah.org
(616) 742-0692 x 105

Vanessa Cervantes

Cook Arts Center Family and
Volunteer Coordinator

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

Gaby Favela

Cook Library Center
Family and Volunteer Coordinator

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

Kate Glossop

Cook Arts Center
Program Manager

she/her
kglossop@gaah.org
(616)742-0692 x108

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

Esme Garcia

Cook Library Assistant

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

Raquel Rodriguez

Cook Library Center
Academic Coordinator

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

Our Board

Jim Foerster

Board President

State Farm Insurance

he/him

 
“I am proud to a part of the GAAH team. I am in awe of the dedication and commitment each staff member brings to the families we serve. I love seeing the smiles this brings to the children’s faces.”
Jim Foerster

Marlene Kowalski-Braun

Vice President
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 enjoy seeing young people find direction in life, something to pursue and learn about themselves.”

Scott Harris

Tony Baker

Ferris State University
he/him

“GAAH is the most representative organization in this neighborhood. Advocacy, teaching, encouraging creativity are only a few of the ways that children and families are impacted by GAAH.”

Tony Baker

Tim Ellens

Calvin University
he/him

“GAAH is a great story! Who doesn’t want to be a part of that? I get to help choose the words that tell that story as a board member, and I also get to get to know and learn from the great people that make up the staff and board. Witnessing the vibrance of this community is the reward.”

Tim Ellens

Tina Bain

Community Volunteer
she/her

“I am a passionate believer in the importance of arts to individual and community wellbeing. I marvel at how far the organization, staff, and community have come and am very proud of the work and contributions being made. Being part of GAAH is one of the most inspiring things I do these days!”

Tina Bain

Ricardo Benavidez

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. I have witnessed and 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 Hernandez

Steelcase
she/her

Marlene Hernandez

Briana Trudell

Secretary
Grand Rapids Public Library
she/her

“GAAH is an established, grassroots organization that goes above and beyond to support the community in which they serve in more ways than just their programming and services.”

Briana Trudell

Diana Schad

Family Business Alliance
she/her

“I love GAAH’s connection to the community and ability to engage kids and adults of all ages in art, music, dance, and the humanities. It is a tremendous resource for the Roosevelt Park area, and continues to be innovative in its support and programming.”

Diana Schad

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.

Key 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.