Communications firm enters market


Steve Faber. Courtesy Byrum & Fisk

An East Lansing advocacy communications firm is expanding into Grand Rapids with a new downtown location.

Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communications said yesterday that it has opened an office at 99 Monroe Ave. NW.

The office will be run by former Friends of Grand Rapids Parks Executive Director Steve Faber, who will serve as Byrum & Fisk’s West Michigan team leader.

Faber’s leadership of the Grand Rapids office will include business development, strategy and serving clients.

The firm plans to add additional staff to the Grand Rapids office as it builds its presence in the area.

Byrum & Fisk provides communications, public relations and campaign strategy on a variety of issues: agriculture, education, health care, corporate, labor and nonprofit.

The firm offers several communication services: message development, crisis communications, rapid response, media management, social and digital engagement and more.

"Growth" market

Mark Fisk, Byrum & Fisk partner, said encouragement from clients and colleagues in West Michigan prompted the decision to open a Grand Rapids office.

He said Grand Rapids presents “an exciting growth area,” and Byrum & Fisk will “add something positive and unique to the innovation going on in the region.”

“We plan to engage the diverse sectors of the Grand Rapids and West Michigan community, from health care and technology to manufacturing and agriculture,” he said.

Fisk added that the firm will “help tell the positive stories that are happening in Grand Rapids and West Michigan.”

Local advocate

The firm said Faber has experience creating and guiding the growth of nonprofit organizations and "community change" initiatives and brings community engagement, grassroots communication and "problem-solving" skills to the firm.

Dianne Byrum, partner at Byrum & Fisk, said Faber’s "relationship-building skills and strategic acumen" and “knowledge of the West Michigan landscape will help us to serve more clients and bring a new focus to the West Michigan market.”

“Steve will be an incredible asset to our team,” she said.

Faber led a growing organization for the past six years that “brought together public and private partners to re-build and revitalize public spaces in the city,” Fisk said.

He added that Faber recently accepted the Governor’s Service Award for Outstanding Volunteer Program of the Year.

“We’re excited to have someone with so much commitment to Grand Rapids lead our new office,” Fisk said.

Since 2009, Faber has served as the executive director of Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, where he successfully advocated for the organization, which was founded in 2007 to focus on the enhancement and expansion of parks and public spaces in the city.

Six years in, the organization is a “well-functioning” nonprofit known for its successful support of the city of Grand Rapids parks millage campaign.

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks said Faber will “continue to be available in a support role through the next two months,” as the organization searches for a new executive director. It plans to announce an interim executive director soon.

Prior experience

Prior to working with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, Faber served as associate director for The Delta Strategy.

Faber is also an active volunteer in West Michigan: serving with the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Community Leadership; on the board of directors of LINC Up; and as an advisory member with Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc.

He is also a founding member of Newberry Place, an urban co-housing development in Michigan.

He was recognized by the Grand Rapids Business Journal as a 40 Under Forty honoree in 2010.

He moved to Grand Rapids in 1993 from the Pacific Northwest, according to LinkedIn.

He is a graduate of Calvin College and Grand Valley State University, where he earned a master’s degree from the School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration.

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