Nonprofit CEO steps down after 34-year run


Jonathan Bradford. Courtesy Inner City Christian Federation

The long-time CEO and president of a housing nonprofit will step down later this year.

The Inner City Christian Federation in Grand Rapids, or ICCF, said today that Jonathan Bradford will retire in September, following 34 years at the helm of the organization.

A search committee plans to have a new CEO and president in place by late summer for a “smooth transition.”

“Jonathan Bradford has put his faith into action for over 34 years, providing leadership to ICCF,” said Ted Coz, board president, ICCF. “This has manifested itself through building homes, transforming neighborhoods and empowering countless lives through housing and life-skill education.

“The board of directors thanks him for his years of vision and dedication to our city and the cause of housing opportunity for all.”

The early years

In 1981, Bradford assumed the executive director position at ICCF, for what was supposed to be a six-month transition.

From 1978 to 1982, working with nine employees, ICCF rebuilt 12 houses.


Bradford’s role at the nonprofit ended up lasting much longer than intended, and ICCF has played a much larger role in the Grand Rapids community.

Now, the organization has more than 40 employees specializing in construction, property management, housing education and counseling and finance and serves more than 2,200 households.

Since Bradford began, ICCF has built or rebuilt 460 family homes. It owns 168 units of rental property across Grand Rapids for low- and moderate-income families.

Twenty-five years ago, ICCF also established The Family Haven, which has provided emergency shelter to more than 1,850 homeless families.

“I am profoundly grateful for having had the opportunity to serve the families and neighborhoods of Grand Rapids for these years,” Bradford said. “The dedication and hard work of the thousands of families which ICCF has had the privilege of working has been compounded with the caring and generosity of our community.”


Cox added that moving forward, ICCF, the oldest housing development nonprofit in Michigan, “has been entrusted with invaluable experience, skills and connections.”

“The ICCF board and staff are both deeply committed to preserving and building on that record toward the goal that someday no one will have to choose between decent housing or other life necessities,” Cox said.

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