30 July 2019

Rotary Club of Grand Rapids Announces New President

***This press release was announced by the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids on July 29, 2019***

The Rotary Club of Grand Rapids has announced Neil Marchand will serve as the club’s 2019-2020 president. Marchand is the youngest person to serve in the role in the organization’s 106-year history.

“Rotary’s theme for this year is Rotary Connects the World. From local ramp builds and river clean-ups, to building rainwater harvesting and sanitation systems in Mexico, the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids has a strong tradition of connecting with our local and international communities through service. I am humbled and honored to be the president of the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids, and I’m excited for the year ahead,” said Marchand.

Marchand joined the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids in 2012. He has chaired the club’s membership committee, created and co-chaired the Service Above Selfie committee and serves on the board of directors.

“As the newest president of the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids, Neil is the embodiment of the club’s commitment to Service Above Self. Neil is a strong, tireless leader that will continue Rotary’s rich tradition of connecting business leaders through the act of service and philanthropy. I am truly pleased the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids elected Neil to continue its 106-year history of serving our great community through excellent leadership,” said Michael Sytsma, past-president of the club and current board member of the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids Charities Foundation.

Marchand is a partner at Miller Johnson in the law firm’s Grand Rapids office where he is the vice chair of the firm’s Mental Health Law Practice Group. He works with mental health care providers and clinicians on the many complex legal and ethical matters imposed on mental health providers. Marchand also focuses on insurance coverage disputes on behalf of policyholders, and has been named a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” in Insurance Coverage litigation every year since 2013.

Marchand’s previous community involvement includes serving on the Great Gardens Party committee and long range planning committee at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. Marchand is a 2013 graduate of Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Grand Rapids program. He is an avid gardener, enjoys remodeling projects and loves spending time with his wife and two young children.

Marchand is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School where he was a Thurgood Marshall Scholar and earned his J.D. with honors, and The George Washington University where he earned his B.A summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. Marchand is a Trustee of the Grand Rapids Bar Association and served on the executive committee for the Gerald R. Ford Chapter of the American Inns of Court.

The Rotary Club of Grand Rapids 2019-2020 Board of Directors also includes:

Executive Committee:

Neil Marchand, President, Partner, Miller Johnson
Chelsea Dubey, Past-President, Communications, Metro Health – University of Michigan Health
Jonathon Hankins, President-Elect, Director of Major Gifts, Davenport University
Paula Jastifer, President-Nominee, Deputy Assessor, City of Grand Rapids
Doris Drain, President-Designate, Vice President Commercial Loans, United Bank of Michigan
Hilary Smith, Treasurer, Partner, H&S Companies
Danielle Rowland, Secretary, Owner – Agent, State Farm
Dawn M. Smith, Executive Director, Rotary Club of Grand Rapids


Mary Jo Baweja, Business Development Director, Ulliance
Paul O. Farr, MD, retired, physician
Jim Gilbert, Partner, Swanson-Phillips & Associates
Shannon Kolarik, Business Development, Custer, Inc.
Christine Lindeman, Relationship and Operations Manager, Sytsma Wealth Strategies
Eunice Lopez-Martin, Branch Manager, Choice One Bank
Michael Loughman, Director of Sales, Holland Home
John F. Salan, retired, Assistant United States Attorney
Denise Sherwood,Senior Vice President, USI
Shaun Shira, Major and Planned Gifts Director, Grand Rapids Community Foundation
James P. White, Foundation Board President, President, White Development

The Rotary Club of Grand Rapids meets on the second, third and fourth Thursdays of the month at noon at the University Club of Grand Rapids. The first Thursday of the month is a 4 p.m. gathering at various locations. Visit or more information.

Rotary International is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and act to create lasting change across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves. The Rotary Club of Grand Rapids was formed in March 29, 1913, making it the second Rotary Club in Michigan and the 77th worldwide at the time. The club now boasts over 200 members and offers a variety of opportunities for members to connect socially and professionally, including weekly luncheons featuring respected speakers who are national figures, state lawmakers, and local trendsetters. Since their first meeting in the historic Livingston Hotel, Rotary Club of Grand Rapids members have worked with great care and diligence to fulfill the mission of Rotary International, “to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.”