A workforce training and development organization appointed a new executive director.
The board of directors for The SOURCE — a nonprofit, membership-based business collaborative, created and driven by West Michigan business owners and based in Grand Rapids — said last week that it appointed Alison Freas as the organization’s new executive director. Freas comes to The SOURCE from Herman Miller, where she spent 10 years in various roles in human resources.
She replaces Milinda Ysasi, the former executive director who left in April to become CEO of Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women.
Most recently, Freas was manager of career development for Herman Miller, leading a small team focused on supporting manufacturing team members in their pursuit of career advancement. The SOURCE said Freas, who has a passion for education, community and workforce development, is an “excellent fit” for her new role.
Freas is a first-generation college graduate. She holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary business education from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in career and technical education from Western Michigan University. She currently is pursuing her associate coaching credential from the International Coaching Federation.
She was a member of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Grand Rapids class of 2016 and a member of the Regional Impact Leadership Team focused on post-secondary education access and attainment. She serves on the board for Latin Americans United for Progress in Holland and was chair of its annual youth leadership conference in 2018 and 2019.
Freas was involved in several extracurricular activities at Herman Miller. She served as the education lead of the Herman Miller Cares corporate giving program, and she was a member of the Gender, Racial Equity and Disability Equity Teams. Freas was involved in several projects over the years at Herman Miller, including middle school design competitions, talent champion programming, and restating corporate purpose and values. She also was a part of the project team that worked on the proposal to join The SOURCE as a member.
“I am excited to join a great team at The SOURCE that has had a significant impact on West Michigan,” Freas said. “I believe in The SOURCE’s mission and look forward to working with partner companies to serve employees. The SOURCE will be a critical partner in the recovery and rebuilding of our local workforce as we exit COVID.”
Founded in 2003, The SOURCE partners with government, business and community organizations to increase employee retention, provide soft and hard skills training, strengthen families and build community. As a cross-sector network, the organization uses a shared cost model to meet the personal, employment and training needs of employees and their families with the eventual goal of supporting economic self-sufficiency for employees and their families.