Meals on Wheels CEO retiring

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Brewster Hamm Courtesy Meals on Wheels Western Michigan

Meals on Wheels Western Michigan said CEO Brewster Hamm is retiring, effective in July.

His replacement is expected to be announced next week.

Hamm had served as CEO of the nonprofit since 2013.

“My time at MOWWM has been a role I’ve thoroughly loved,” he said. “I will forever support the mission of keeping seniors healthy and independent in their own homes as long as possible. I have a lot of passions, and I’m going to stay active and continue to make a difference wherever I can.”

MOWWM said Hamm has committed to returning to help with the nonprofit’s annual Chef’s Specialty event in September.

Hamm grew up in Clarkston and has lived in the greater Grand Rapids area for 38 years.

He holds business and psychology degrees from Western Michigan University and also took graduate courses in business and labor negotiations.

Ham worked for 22 years at Steelcase in a variety of leadership positions. He later established the Brewster Group, a consulting firm that worked with area CEOs and business leaders to help their organizations function more effectively.

In 2013, at age 65, Hamm became the sixth CEO of Meals on Wheels Western Michigan.

During his tenure, the nonprofit saw “a steady period of managed growth and success” with an over 30% growth rate, MOWWM said. The organization currently serves over 900,000 meals a year with the million-meal mark “not far away.”

Hamm oversaw two expansions while at the helm of MOWWM, which took the organization from 25,000 square feet of operating space to a 50,000-square-foot capacity.

He said he aimed to grow the funding and professionalism of MOWWM and to “make sure no senior was ever put on a waitlist.”

“I couldn’t feel better about the organization right now,” Hamm said. “We have a terrific team and are poised to go into an excellent period of growth. Coronavirus is horrible, but it has shown that the need for seniors to have healthy food is even greater than we thought. During COVID-19, we have had tremendous community support, and area foundations have really stepped up.”

Hamm said he is looking forward to traveling and sailing with his partner Linda and spending more time with his four children and nine grandchildren.

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