Grand Rapids appoints HR director


Desiree Foster. Courtesy City of Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids has reinstated a former management position and named a 16-year employee to the role.

Grand Rapids City Manager Greg Sundstrom said last month that Desiree Foster has been promoted to human resources director.

The HR post was recently re-established as part of the city’s succession planning for the fall 2018 retirement of Mari Beth Jelks, managing director of administrative services.

Jelks served as human resources director prior to her current role.

Sundstrom said Foster’s promotion is part of the city’s Grow Our Own initiative aimed at building leaders within its ranks.

Foster has served as a labor relations specialist since 2010.

She holds an M.S. in administration from Central Michigan University.


As HR director, Foster will assume management oversight of all human resources recruitment, selection and training activities.

Foster will assist with establishing best practices and benchmarks for recruitment, testing and training services.

She will also be responsible for the city’s Civil Service Board agenda, processes, procedures and compliance functions.

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