PR firm hires new president

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John Helmholdt. Courtesy SeyferthPR

A Grand Rapids-based public relations firm named its new president.

SeyferthPR recently appointed John Helmholdt as president of the firm effective July 1.

The firm said Helmholdt will play a critical role in deepening the company’s commitment to client service and growth, especially in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); issues management; and public affairs.

“Adding John to our strong bench of practitioners is critical as we continue to expand our practice in the areas of issues management, public affairs and DEI programming,” said Ginny Seyferth, founder of SeyferthPR.

Helmholdt will replace Seyferth as president, and she will remain as chair and CEO while continuing to work in the field with the firm’s clients.

Helmholdt currently serves as the executive director of communications and external affairs at Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS), a role he has had for nearly 15 years.

Prior to GRPS, he co-owned the political consulting firm Strategic Communications Group, formerly Jones, Gavan & Helmholdt.

He also worked as a lobbyist and political affairs manager for the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and legislative aide for State Representatives Scott Shackleton and Michelle McManus.

“I am completely honored and excited to work alongside the well-recognized public relations professionals of SeyferthPR,” Helmholdt said. “This is an opportunity to return to the counseling role I began my career in and doing it next to some of the best professionals in the business.”

The West Michigan Public Relations Society of America named Helmholdt the 2016 PR Professional of the Year.

The Business Journal included Helmholdt among its 40 Under 40 Business Leaders for multiple years.

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