board members

joel ruiter

Joel Ruiter currently serves as the Executive Director of Home Repair Services, a nonprofit housing support agency. In addition to serving on the Bates Place Board since its inception, Joel has been actively involved with several other boards of nonprofits doing significant work in the Grand Rapids area. “The Bates neighborhood has experienced significant transition during my lifetime giving it a unique story. But it’s been a story too often told solely through the lens of poverty, deficits, needs, and isolation. Through Bates Place Neighbors, it will be exciting to see a narrative start that places neighbors (and their capacity for change and flourishing) at the center.”

lisa derr

Lisa is committed to directly impacting and making differences in people's lives and the community. As Executive Director at the Alano Club of Kent County, she seeks to support individuals in their recovery journey. Lisa views her role on the Bates Place Neighbors board as another exciting opportunity to help people believe in themselves and develop a community of support.

dave jacobs

Dave is a retired social worker who spent 34 years developing programs at Home Repair Services. All his work there was designed to help strengthen the individual. Dave is delighted with the shift in focus at Bates Place Neighbors from serving the individual to developing the community, and he is eager to give this new approach a try. It’s his hope that this community can find its own voice and be heard in a rapidly changing city.

scott vander kooy

Scott is the President of Comprenew a non-profit certified electronic recycler, and Tent Schools International, a non-profit education development organization dedicated to the needs of displaced people throughout the world. He values the fact that Bates Place Neighbors first strives to recognize and encourage the gifts that are already present in the neighborhood. Scott is happily married to Janice, and they have three children, Jake, Tatiana, and Luke.

khalid goudeaux

Khalid is a software engineer who settled in the southeast corner of Heritage Hill with his wife Stefanie and their three young boys. As part of a strong discipleship community in Chicago, he learned firsthand the power of belonging while building community. He and Stefanie share a passion for personal finance and the individual, relational, and community benefits that mastery brings. Now as an area resident, he's especially excited to help Bates Place's mission in the neighborhood.

grace ruiter

Grace Ruiter loves to tell stories, especially stories of people who are making a difference in their communities. As a staff member of the non-profit, Facing History and Ourselves, she gets to do this everyday in a unique context. It was also through storytelling that Grace first got involved with Bates Place Neighbors, contributing articles for the newsletter. She’s excited to deepen her involvement with Bates Place Neighbors as a member of the board. 

GAry Mulder

Gary Mulder retired as the head of a Christian Publishing organization in 2008. Since then, he has spent much of his time volunteering in a variety of roles. This includes advocating on social justice issues and working directly with people open to various forms of coaching assistance. Gary is excited about the opportunity to be involved with Bates Place Neighbors’ efforts to work to identify and build on existing assets in a neighborhood setting.