Association elects Grand Rapids official to board


Kara Wood, the city of Grand Rapids’ economic development director. Photo via

A director at the city of Grand Rapids has been re-elected to the board of directors of the Michigan Economic Developers Association for another three-year term.

Grand Rapids Economic Development Director Kara Wood, who replaced Susan Shannon in the key city post in 2007, will also serve as the MEDA’s treasurer next year, after holding down the agency’s secretary position for the past two years.


Wood also serves as the executive director of the city’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and Economic Development Corp.

She also works closely with the city’s manufacturers and commercial developers to secure the appropriate public incentives for industrial expansions and building projects.

Members of the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority board selected Wood last spring to be the city’s inaugural representative to the Association for Brownfield Redevelopment Authorities, a new statewide organization that began with Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Traverse City and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality as its founding members.


Also last spring, the Michigan Municipal League awarded Wood the 2013 Outstanding Service Award for her work in helping to get a brownfield incentive through the state Legislature last year.

The MML award is given to individuals it feels have gone above and beyond the call of duty in supporting its legislative efforts. The league said Wood has not only been a “major voice” for Grand Rapids, but also for the entire state. She serves on the league’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee.

The Business Journal honored Wood this fall by naming her one of its 40 Under Forty recipients to recognize her efforts on behalf of the business community.

Wood is a graduate of the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University and the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Western Michigan University.

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