Charles N. Ash., Jr., a partner with the law firm Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, has been named board president of the Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation.
Ash served on the board for five years before stepping into his new role as chair. He will serve a two-year term on the board, which is the exclusive fundraising partner of the Grand Rapids Public Schools.
A graduate of Grand Rapids Public Schools, Ash concentrates his practice in litigation and has extensive experience representing businesses in complex contract and tort litigation in state and federal courts throughout the country. He works with clients in manufacturing, transportation, energy, mining, oil and gas, financial services and other industries.
“It is an honor and a privilege to serve as board chair of GRSAF, an organization that does tremendous work to support the students who attend Grand Rapids Public Schools,” said Ash, who graduated from Creston High School. “I look back on my years in GRPS with gratitude and pride. I thank the many great teachers who helped me, as well as the staff and administrators.
“I cannot emphasize enough the power of education to shape not only the futures of the students, but also the future of the City of Grand Rapids. I look forward to working closely with the GRSAF board and leadership to expand community-wide support for our mission.”
Ash replaces Deb Bailey as board chair, who will continue to serve as an integral GRSAF board member.
“I am excited to work with Charles as he steps into the role as board president,” said Michele Suchovsky, executive director of the GRSAF. “As an alumnus himself, Charles' commitment to the current GRPS students, who will be future fellow alumni, is unparalleled.
“As an attorney and community leader, Charles brings his expertise, vision and passion to support the Foundation's vision to ensure the best educational opportunities and experiences for all of our students.”
A native of Grand Rapids, Ash holds an undergraduate degree from Calvin College and his doctor of juris prudence from Stanford University. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Michigan Super Lawyers for his litigation work. Ash is a graduate of Leadership Grand Rapids and Leadership West Michigan. He has served on the Alumni Association Board of Calvin.
About the Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation:
The Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization serving as the strategic fundraising partner of the Grand Rapids Public Schools. Its purpose is to raise, grow and steward funds and other community resources to support the Grand Rapids Public Schools for the benefit of its students. During the 2015/16 school year, GRSAF's philanthropic impact through private community investment on GRPS was more than $1.2M. www.grsaf.org.
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