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GRDadof3

DGRI President leaving

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Kris Larson announced the other day that he's leaving DGRI (Downtown Grand Rapids Inc) and headed back to his hometown of Raleigh NC.  It will be interesting to see who they get for that position.

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2017/11/downtown_grand_rapids_leader_r.html

How are people feeling about the job DGRI has done over the last 5 years? 

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29 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

Kris Larson announced the other day that he's leaving DGRI (Downtown Grand Rapids Inc) and headed back to his hometown of Raleigh NC.  It will be interesting to see who they get for that position.

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2017/11/downtown_grand_rapids_leader_r.html

How are people feeling about the job DGRI has done over the last 5 years? 

When Larson first came on board I was  excited that someone young was taking the helm, who could bring fresh ideas, and hopefully be in the position long term.  However, in the back of my mind I always had a feeling it might not last.   So I'm not surprised.  He was young, and was using Grand Rapids as a stepping stone to get where he wanted to be.   I don't have any insight as to how well he did his job, but it's unfortunate that after just five years the DDA/ DGRI now has to find a replacement.   It would be nice if DRGI could find a candidate that would put down some roots, and wholly invest the job, and downtown's progress for the long term.    Or maybe its good to have a new perspective ever 5 to 10 years???

Is the general consensus that he did bring fresh ideas, and did a good job?

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38 minutes ago, mpchicago said:

When Larson first came on board I was  excited that someone young was taking the helm, who could bring fresh ideas, and hopefully be in the position long term.  However, in the back of my mind I always had a feeling it might not last.   So I'm not surprised.  He was young, and was using Grand Rapids as a stepping stone to get where he wanted to be.   I don't have any insight as to how well he did his job, but it's unfortunate that after just five years the DDA/ DGRI now has to find a replacement.   It would be nice if DRGI could find a candidate that would put down some roots, and wholly invest the job, and downtown's progress for the long term.    Or maybe its good to have a new perspective ever 5 to 10 years???

Is the general consensus that he did bring fresh ideas, and did a good job?

I believe that the DDA really liked him. From where I sit, he did bring a lot of fresh ways to engage the public in "visioning" long term goals for downtown. And DGRI did come up with the GRForward, Riverfront and the Reimagining Calder Plaza documents. I think he took the brunt of a lot of the criticism about the parking issues downtown, whether it was his to take or not. 

It takes a lot of years when working in a city to take ideas and bring them to fruition. 5 years really isn't long enough. Interestingly he was the deputy director of Downtown Raleigh Inc and then went out to Long Beach CA and then to GR, and now he goes back to Raleigh to head up that organization. 

We're a group of downtown and urban enthusiasts here and I'm hearing a lot of crickets in this post. :) Maybe I need to go over to the Salon page to see what people are feeling. 

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5 years is not enough time to fully see full fruits of your labor. He did move to putting issues up front that needed to be addressed now while the economy is good. These are things that re-aligned priorities for the next 10+ years. So I hope what he left behind is continued and not scrapped.  

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I very much enjoyed hearing him speak on the few occasions I did. I thought he did a lot to move the city in the right direction, GR Forward was mostly solid in my opinion. I loved the lecture series they held at Kendall and wish they would have done more of them. I do hope DGRI will land someone that will continue to push us in the right direction.

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In a world where it is not easy to find effective economic development people, I feel Kris did a great job.  He will be missed, but it is hard to fault someone for going home.  He had a common sense approach and really would make things happen when it meant new jobs for downtown.

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5 hours ago, Dj Augustine said:

In a world where it is not easy to find effective economic development people, I feel Kris did a great job.  He will be missed, but it is hard to fault someone for going home.  He had a common sense approach and really would make things happen when it meant new jobs for downtown.

Thanks for the insight DJ. Too bad he can't stick around longer. Onward and upward!

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He did seem to bring a breath of fresh air to the city. I think he had some good ideas, but also think we're riding a wave of development and planning years in the making (not knocking him, just saying the revitalization and interest in downtown started long before he was here). 

With GR being on the Top X List of [Insert Topic here], I have to imagine we'll get a pretty strong pool of candidates. 

Joe

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