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Board of Directors

The Interurban Transit Partnership is the organization that is responsible for The Rapid and all of its transportation services in the Grand Rapids area. Its board of directors comprises representatives of all six municipalities in The Rapid service area. The board meets monthly, and meetings are open to the public.

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2020 Meeting Dates

  • January 29 (Annual Meeting/Election of Officers)
  • April 29
  • May 22
  • June 24
  • July 29
  • August 26
  • September 23
  • October 28
  • December 4

Full 2020 Rapid Board Meeting Schedule (362 KB, PDF)

Time: 4 p.m.

Place: Virtual Zoom Meeting

Next meeting date: Oct. 28

Rules for Public Comment  

Board of Directors Meeting Packet for October 28, 2020 (11 MB, PDF)

Meet the Board of Directors

Charis Austin, Wyoming

Charis AustinCharis Austin serves as a Client Advocate at the Michigan Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired.

Robert Postema, Wyoming

Rob PostemaRob Postema Board Member was elected to Wyoming’s City Council in November 2016 and also serves on The Transportation Policy Committee of the Grand Valley Metro Council. Prior to his election, Rob served in Wyoming for 16 years as a Planning Commissioner and 8 years as a member of The Board of Zoning Appeals. Rob graduated from Calvin College with a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering Degree. He is a Principal Owner at Richard Postema Associates P.C., Architects & Engineers, a family owned and operated business.

He and his wife, Shelley, have been married 25 years and have two daughters.

Rick Baker, Grand Rapids

Rick Baker  Verhulstis President/CEO of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, a 2,400-member business organization that is actively engaged in developing strong leaders, a diverse workforce, and a business environment that fosters economic prosperity for all.

The Grand Rapids Chamber’s vision is for the Grand Rapids region to be a dynamic, nationally recognized, top-of-mind community. Under Rick’s leadership, the Chamber has developed a strategic focus on three key areas: being a champion for an inclusive and magnetic community, accelerating business growth through cutting-edge programming, and providing a positive business climate by aggressively advocating for business. 

Rick began his career in chamber of commerce management in May of 1988. He has held executive positions with chambers in Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota, prior to assuming his current position in April 2011. Rick’s career has allowed him to fulfill his passion as an advocate for business.

Rick has an education in accounting and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Upper Iowa University. He is a 1995 graduate of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Organization Management at the University of Colorado. He’s a Board Member for the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, member of the Metro Chambers Coalition and the United States Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. Locally, he serves on the Boards of Directors of The Right Place, Inc., Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., Grand Valley Metro Council, Experience Grand Rapids, Davenport University College of Business and the West Michigan Policy Forum.



Rosalynn Bliss, Grand Rapids

Mayor Rosalynn BlissRosalynn Bliss became the City of Grand Rapids’ first female Mayor when she took office on January 1, 2016. She previously served as a Second Ward City Commissioner for 10 years. 

Mayor Bliss also is an adjunct professor at Grand Valley State University's School of Social Work. She earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of South Alabama and a master’s in social work from Michigan State University. 

Mayor Bliss is an active member of the community. She is Past President of the Michigan Municipal League and serves on the boards of the Downtown Development Authority, Experience Grand Rapids, Grand Valley Metro Council, Kent County Land Bank Authority and Interurban Transit Partnership, among many other organizations.

  • Mayor Bliss has been recognized and honored locally as well as statewide for her commitment, dedication and work in the field of child abuse and neglect and for her leadership in the community. Recognitions include:
  • WMCAT’s Award for Innovation
  • Kathryn Timmer Literacy Award
  • Crain’s 100 Most Influential Women
  • Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan
  • Five-time recipient of Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty distinction
  • West Michigan Public Relations Society of America’s Communicator of the Year Award
  • ATHENA Young Professional Award
  • Tim Pope Memorial Award for Outstanding Young Governmental Leader
  • Christine Nelson Professional Award for Service to Children
  • Michigan Professional Society on the Abuse of Children Special Recognition Award

As Mayor, she is committed to supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs as well as addressing disparities in our community and making sure that Grand Rapids is a great place for everyone. 

Tracie Coffman, Grand Rapids

Tracie CoffmanTracie Coffman is a program officer for Michigan, focused on Grand Rapids programs, at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan.

In this role, Coffman is responsible for identifying and nurturing opportunities for affecting positive systemic change within communities, and executing programming efforts that are aligned with overall organizational direction. She provides expertise in all aspects of the grantmaking process including evaluating grant proposals, conducting background research, preparation of funding documents, grant monitoring, driving community connections and providing grantee customer service.

Prior to joining the Kellogg Foundation, Coffman served as the director for Kent County’s Essential Needs Task Force (ENTF). In this position, she reported directly to the governance board and provided the overall administration and strategic direction for the ENTF. She also represented ENTF on the Kent County Board of Commissioners – Human Services Committee, Community Action Agency Advisory Board, FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter Program Board. Prior to this, she was the coordinator for the Michigan Foreclosure Task Force through CEDAM; she served as an adjunct professor at Grand Valley State University and was also a financial counseling program manager with Home Repair Services in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Coffman received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.

Andy Guy, Grand Rapids

Andy GuyAndy Guy serves as Chief Outcomes Officer at Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., the organization responsible for place management and city building in Downtown Grand Rapids. In this role, Guy directs DGRI’s policy, strategy and communication initiatives.

Guy brings 15 years of broad experience in Michigan’s mobility and urban revitalization movement. Prior to joining DGRI, Guy served as Associate Director of Governor Rick Snyder’s Office of Urban Initiatives. He also served as Director of Metropolitan and Environmental Initiatives at Grand Rapids-based Wondergem PR.

A graduate of Michigan State University, Guy lives in Downtown Grand Rapids with his wife and two daughters, who attend Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Jack Hoffman, Grand Rapids

Jack HoffmanJack Hoffman was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and attended Creston High School, the University of Michigan, and the University of Michigan School of Law, receiving his J.D. in 1976. His major areas of practice are insurance and real estate, including tax credit financing and historic preservation and planning issues. He served six years on the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission. He has been chairperson of the Grand Rapids Master Plan Zoning Committee and the Grand Rapids Parking Commission. He is currently chair of the Green Grand Rapids Committee and a board member of the Interurban Transit Partnership, Michigan's most successful public transportation provider. He resides in Heritage Hill with his wife, Rebecca Smith-Hoffman, who is a principal at Past Perfect, Inc., a historic preservation consulting firm.

Gary Carey, Walker

Gary CareyGary Carey has served as a Walker City Commissioner since January of 2013, with additional years of service starting in 1999 on the Walker Historical Commission. 

Currently, he is employed as a Regional Sales Director for Paycor, a privately held software and technology company. I lead a sales team that covers most of Michigan and northern Indiana. Prior to Paycor, he enjoyed over twenty years with two Fortune 500 companies where he held various roles in sales and operational leadership.

Gary has also served in numerous roles with the Kenowa Hills School District. Some of his involvements included serving as a high school football coach, Education Foundation President and Trustee, and multiple facilities and bond committees.

In addition to his role on the City Commission, he serves the Walker community in the following roles:

  • Finance Committee
  • Ordinance Committee
  • Emergency Planning Committee
  • Police/Fire Committee
  • Kent County 911 Dispatch Authority Board
  • Interurban Transit Partnership Board of Directors 

He has been married to my wife Cori for over 27 years, and have three adult children: Alex, Brenden, and Caitlin. Alex and Caitlin have entered careers in Law Enforcement with two local agencies, while Brenden is currently in Dental School. Gary is also a member of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church.

Steven Gilbert, Walker

Mark Huizenga

Steven Gilbert was elected to the Walker City Commission in 2017. Steven graduated from Kenowa Hills High School in 2011, and Grand Valley State University in 2015. As a City Commissioner, Steven also serves on the Planning Commission, Ordinance Committee, Police and Fire Committee and Building Committee. Steven currently works as a Legislative Director in the Michigan Senate and is proud to represent the City of Walker on The Rapid's Board of Directors.

Paul Troost, Grandville

Paul TroostPaul Troost started serving as a member of the Grandville City Council in 2017. He has lived in Grandville for over 25 years and served as Secretary of the Grandville Park and Recreation Board from 2000-2016.  He was Chair of Grandville’s 4th of July Celebration from 2006-2016.  He worked for U.S. Senator Carl Levin in his Grand Rapids office for 27 years, until 2015.  As Senator Levin’s Regional Representative for West Michigan, Paul assisted constituents and communities with federal concerns and problems with federal programs, including transportation and transit issues. Paul was born in Zeeland, grew up in Byron Center and graduated from Kalamazoo College with a BA in Political Science.  He and his wife Patsy have been married 27 years and have two children. Daughter Sydney is a graduate student at the University of Michigan School of Environment and Sustainability.  And son Paul works as a software developer in Ann Arbor. They are all members of Central Reformed Church in downtown Grand Rapids where Paul currently serves as an Elder.  Paul also plays trombone in the Grand Rapids Symphonic Band and the GRSB Trombone Choir.

Stephen Kepley, Chair, Kentwood

Stephen KepleyStephen Kepley is Kentwood’s Mayor and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the City. Prior to his election in 2013, Mayor Kepley worked in the private sector for 15 years followed by 10 years serving the citizens of Kentwood as Director of Engineering and Inspections. Mayor Kepley is a Virginia Tech Graduate and retains many State licenses including Professional Engineer and Building Official. 

Mayor Kepley is celebrating 20 years of marriage to his wife Susan and is the father of three daughters. Stephen and Susan mentor both young professionals and students, many of whom are members of Calvin College’s Mu Kappa, a missionary and third culture student group. They believe the best investment one can make is in people, for these rewards will endure for generations to come.

Terry Schweitzer, Kentwood

Terry SchweitzerTerry Schweitzer is the City of Kentwood Director of Community Development. He also serves on the Transportation Technical Committee of the Grand Valley Metro Council. Terry is a patron of Rapid routes 2, 7 and the Silver Line. With a sincere belief in safe, clean, affordable, efficient and interconnected transportation services, he is proud to serve The Rapid Board of Directors.

David Bilardello, Vice Chair, East Grand Rapids

Dave Bilardello Dave Bilardello is the Vice President, Government Relations & Public Policy at Spectrum Health. In this role, Dave oversees Spectrum Health’s federal, state, and local public policy relationships and advocacy.

Prior to his current position, Dave held a variety of leadership positions at Priority Health during his 20 years of service, including Principal, Public Policy; Executive Director, Commercial Products; and Director of Underwriting and Pricing.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and Master of Business Administration in Finance from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. He completed additional coursework at the National University of Singapore.

Dave is actively involved with the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Health and Hospital Association, and the Michigan Association of Health Plans where he serves on various committees.

He and his wife Michelle have been married 24 years and have two daughters. 

Katie Favale, East Grand Rapids

Amna SeiboldKatie Favale was elected Mayor of East Grand Rapids in December 2019 after serving two years on the EGR City Commission. Prior to her election, she served as a Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Infrastructure Committee member and Board of Review Board member.

Active in the community, Mayor Favale is a current EGR Community Foundation board member and The Rapid board member. Additionally, she has held several positions on the East Grand Rapids Public Schools PTO Council, including president.

Mayor Favale currently works as a Realtor at Greenridge Realty, located in Gaslight Village. She previously worked as a laboratory manager at Northwestern University and a research associate at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. Mayor Favale earned her bachelor’s degree in forensic psychology from Michigan State University and her master’s degree in biology and chemistry from DePaul University in Chicago.

Mayor Favale moved to EGR from Chicago in 2010, although originally raised in Frankenmuth. She lives in Ward One with her husband Dino, three sons Aedan, Sean, and Cian, and English Labrador Sapphire.


FY 2020 Board Meeting Packets

Finance Committee

November 2019 Packet (2 MB, PDF)

Future Planning & Technology Committee

June 2020 Packet (530 KB, PDF)

February 2020 Packet (554 KB, PDF)

November 2019 Packet (1 MB, PDF)

Present Performance & Service Committee

August 2020 Packet (3 MB, PDF)

May 2020 Packet

February 2020 Packet (548 KB, PDF)

November 2019 Packet (1005 KB, PDF)