Ritsema has served as acting director since the retirement of Ted Perez in June 2002. She has worked for the city of Grand Rapids since 1991 and has been with Parking Services since 1997.
Kimball cited Ritsema’s talent and management expertise as well as her strong commitment to customer service and satisfaction as reasons for his decision.
“Ms. Ritsema has demonstrated that she can balance good business with great service,” said Kimball. “Her knowledge of optimizing parking resources to meet the competing needs of downtown employees, daily visitors and event patrons is unsurpassed.”
During the past year Ritsema has worked on the Monroe Ramp II pedestrian corridor, the parking agreements with the Downtown Development Authority and the Convention/Arena Authority and the coordination of replacement parking during various construction projects.
“Ms. Ritsema went up against national competition and came out ahead. I have been impressed with her grasp of the auto parking system’s important role in economic development and downtown mobility. She possesses a genuine understanding of the numerous interrelationships that it takes to create a successful environment,” said Eric Delong, deputy city manager.
“One example has been her work on the Michigan Hill study that has included work with all types of stakeholders with multiple interests. She is as comfortable working on neighborhood parking issues as she is preparing for the opening Monroe Center II.”
Ritsema noted that she is excited about her new position.
“I am excited to continue the good work that my predecessor began which emphasizes a strong customer service orientation and to put my own stamp on our parking service by looking at new opportunities,” said Ritsema.