Salvation Army appoints development director

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Joseph Curtis. Courtesy Salvation Army Kent County

Grand Rapids native Joseph Curtis last week was named Salvation Army Kent County’s new development director.

Curtis will act as the key fundraiser to advance the Salvation Army’s mission, working with donors, prospects, foundations, corporate partners and other community organizations.

“My aspiration is to bring people together through newly discovered resources and act as a catalyst for business leaders eager to help foster positive change. That’s my life calling,” Curtis said. “It happens to be what I do for a living.”

After spending the past 20 years in development roles in Phoenix, Arizona, Curtis returned to Grand Rapids to offer his talents to the local community. Over the past year, he served as divisional director of corporate relations for The Salvation Army’s Southwest Division. Prior to joining the Salvation Army, he worked 17 years with the Boy Scouts of America and its Grand Canyon Council, where he served as COO, director of development and chief diversity officer.

Curtis, a 1999 graduate of Grand Valley State University, also offered his fundraising and recruiting talents to the Boy Scouts of America’s Gerald R. Ford Council two years before his move to Arizona. His volunteer efforts included serving homeless youth at Thomas J. Pappas Elementary School, where his interactions with students prompted him to raise funds and develop weekly programs.

He also helped launch Boy Scout programs for African refugees, coordinated youth career fairs for children in foster care and encouraged those who identify with his life story of overcoming socioeconomic barriers at several events as a keynote speaker. He also was a 19-year rotarian in Phoenix and served on the president’s advisory council for Rio Salado College, as well as the board for Arizonans for Children.

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