NIA Centre names new executive director

NIA Centre names new executive director
Andre Dandridge. <strong> Courtesy NIA Centre </strong>

A Black-led Grand Rapids nonprofit has appointed a new executive director with a background in health care science.

NIA Centre, a Grand Rapids African American cultural nonprofit, recently said it appointed Andre Dandridge to the role of executive director. 

A Grand Rapids resident, Dandridge has over 15 years of experience in the health care science industry and a background in intellectual property.

“Andre’s diverse background in the health, legal and nonprofit sectors has prepared him to lead our organization,” said Robert Upton Jr., board chair, NIA Centre. “Andre is poised to engage with residents and visitors to our city as we work to create a community where African Americans have equitable financial, business, health and cultural opportunities that lead to success.”

Dandridge earned a bachelor’s degree from Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University and a Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law with a concentration in intellectual property. 

He has held various roles in biomedical laboratories, law firms and community development organizations, earning recognition as a “game changer” by Newsone and being featured in publications such as B.L.A.C. Detroit, The New Citizens Press and Huffington Post.

His appointment follows a yearlong search after the resignation of former NIA Executive Director Sierra Hatfield. 

NIA Centre is a nonprofit that has launched a major effort to place a world-class African American cultural center in Grand Rapids. The organization’s three focus areas include cultural arts, entrepreneurship and wealth building, and health awareness. NIA Centre currently offers internship opportunities and business programming directed toward African Americans, arts exhibitions and performances and works with local health care organizations to promote health equity.

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