The nonprofit Amplify GR elevated two key team members to roles of greater impact and responsibility.
Grand Rapids-based Amplify GR, a local nonprofit committed to widening the pathways for residents and businesses on the southeast side of Grand Rapids, said last week that it promoted Latesha Lipscomb to director of engagement and Bethany Underwood to operations manager.
“Latesha and Bethany are integral members of our team, and these promotions are reflective of their impact on our organization and, more importantly, the community we are privileged to work with,” said Jon Ippel, executive director of Amplify GR. “The past several months have been incredibly challenging for our community, impacting the way we work together. Through their engagement and operational efforts, along with the support of our entire team, we were able to develop a community partnership agreement in collaboration with the Boston Square Neighborhood Association, Oakdale Neighbors and the city of Grand Rapids, which helped move a project critical to the future success of the neighborhood and its residents forward.”
In her new role, Lipscomb, who joined the Amplify GR team in 2019, is responsible for managing day-to-day engagement efforts, executing community events, and working closely with neighbors and local leaders to further uplift community priorities.
“The elevation of two Black women into positions of leadership at a key nonprofit in the Grand Rapids community is vital to the city’s continued growth,” Lipscomb said.
“There is still a lot of work to be done to address equity in our communities, but a great place to start is by honoring and uplifting the voices of Black and brown women, like my colleague Bethany, whose work has been essential to the forward progress of key projects over the past several years.”
Underwood has been with Amplify GR since its founding in 2017, having served as the organization’s operations coordinator. In her new role, she will be responsible for administrative, financial and communications support for the organization.
“It’s been an honor to be a part of the vital work taking place in Grand Rapids,” Underwood said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to continue working with my colleagues, such as Latesha, and our community partners toward a more equitable future for all neighbors. To that end, Latesha has played a crucial part in further strengthening relationships between our organization and local residents.”
Amplify GR is a nonprofit funded by partners such as the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation and the Cheri DeVos Foundation (CDV5 Foundation) “to widen pathways so that more residents can participate and benefit from neighborhood growth” in the Boston Square, Cottage Grove and surrounding areas on Grand Rapids’ southeast side.
Through collaborations with residents, businesses, community organizations and funders, Amplify GR works in four areas of impact: jobs and entrepreneurship, housing, education and community well-being.