Q&A: Lynee Wells


Lynee Wells.

Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com.

Lynee Wells is a principal and urban planner with Williams & Works, an engineering, surveying and community planning firm in downtown Grand Rapids.

Wells is a systems thinker and community builder, connecting cause and effect through a shared education and engagement process unique to the time, place and people involved.

Wells was the lead planner for the Arena South Vision Plan and the Laker Line BRT study and recently spearheaded the repeal of the city ban on downtown longboarding and skateboarding.

Biggest career break?

Becoming the first woman principal at Williams & Works, one of the original engineering firms in Grand Rapids, with a long history that includes structural engineering for the Blue Bridge.

Proudest moment?

My proudest moments are each and every time I see my children smile.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

Never settle.

How did you make your first dollar?

Busking. I played Christmas Carols on French horn at the train station when I was in 7th grade.

Most-treasured possession?

Memories of loved ones who have passed.

Dream job?

Becoming a Montessori school teacher. I’m not sure who has learned more by sending our kids to infant care and preschool at Stepping Stones Montessori. I’m a better parent for studying the work of Maria Montessori and observing my children’s teachers.

If I were President for a day, I would . . . ?

Institute the metric system.

Last book you’ve read?

"Start Where You Are" by Pema Chödrön

Last thing you Googled?

Grand Rapids Griffins playoff game recap

Your worst habit?

Staying “connected” to the iPhone over the weekend or after work when I know I should be connecting to my family and friends face-to-face. I’d like an app that locks my phone when I walk through my front door.

To unwind, I like to . . . ?

Hot yoga, to unwind the body and the mind.

Dream vacation?

Touring great public markets and plazas throughout the world for weeks at a time with the people I love.

Favorite food?


Person you most admire?

I admire any person who can live in the moment.  

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