Announcement of New Dwelling Place CEO
Dwelling Place Board of Directors announces Jeremy DeRoo as new CEO and celebrates the service of outgoing leader. DeRoo replaces longtime CEO Dennis Sturtevant who led the organization for nearly 33 years and expanded their footprint to four counties.
Community Development Corporation and non-profit housing developer Dwelling Place has selected Jeremy DeRoo as its next Chief Executive Officer. DeRoo will succeed Dennis Sturtevant, who is retiring at the end of July after nearly 33 years leading the organization.
As CEO, DeRoo will continue to lead the work of being a force for change in meeting a wide array of affordable housing and support services needs. As a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization, while using a racial equity framework, he brings a honed skillset to Dwelling Place after serving as Executive Director at LINC Up for nearly 13 years.
“We are confident in Jeremy’s ability to articulate vision and know he will be an outstanding CEO whose passion for improving the life chances for historically marginalized communities will fit nicely at Dwelling Place,” said Dwelling Place Board President Juan Daniel Castro.
“The board is excited to work with Jeremy as our new CEO and believe that he is well positioned as a local leader and influencer. His track record in real estate and community development, affordable housing, authentic community engagement, racial equity and all facets of Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is solid and we believe that Dwelling Place will be well positioned under his guidance to thrive in the years to come. We also want to thank Denny for his nearly 33 years of servant leadership. We are who we are as an organization because of the visionary leadership of Denny. Our growth, development and impact come from his years of dedication and innovation in this complex space of community and housing development. The role he’s played in leading the charge for affordable housing is without comparison. His legacy is cemented, and we are better as a community because of Denny’s leadership. During his tenure, Dwelling Place has grown to become one of the largest and most successful community development corporations in the state.”
As Executive Director, DeRoo has led LINC Up in revitalizing neighborhoods through authentic engagement, stimulating economic development, expanding housing opportunities, creating affordable housing, and developing leadership and capacity in residents and grass-root organizations. DeRoo has positioned LINC Up to create intentional connections at the national, state, local, and block level to maximize impact in the communities served. Recognizing that community development work within the urban core American context is connected to racial equity, Jeremy has helped build a diverse team of employees and helped
address issues of systemic racialization in Grand Rapids. During his time at LINC Up, Jeremy has helped secure over $100 million in funding for community improvement efforts resulting in over 15,000 households participating in community meetings, improving over 750 homes, training over 7,000 resident leaders and creating over 200 full time jobs. Over the years, DeRoo has led through the changing trends in housing, housing policy, as well as economic downturns and the bursting of a housing bubble. In other words, he’s seen a lot and has learned a lot.
“I sincerely appreciate the board’s confidence in me, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead another great organization. My passion and purpose align with my personal commitment to engage in the work of community and systems change here in our community. Dwelling Place is resilient and is a national model in community development. Here in Kent County, we are experiencing a housing shortage of epic proportion. The city of GR will need more than 5000 additional rental units and nearly 4000 more owner-occupied units by 2025 to satisfy demand. I believe with the experienced and talented staff at Dwelling Place, we will continue to move forward and provide the stellar services and programs our neighbors and community deserve, including the addressing of the housing shortage,” DeRoo said. “I’m especially grateful to Denny and how he’s modeled leadership and consistency over the years. Dwelling Place is strong today because of his tireless work for over three decades.”
As CEO, DeRoo will work closely with staff and the Dwelling Place Board to ensure the organization can continue to adapt to serve neighbors and the community through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The Board has been committed from the start that not only is it important to find the right person, but properly onboard their new CEO. The Board of Directors has developed an extensive CEO orientation that will include the existing CEO, the staff and support of the Board. There will be overlap between the outgoing and incoming CEO during the transition, as Sturtevant has agreed to serve as a resource for DeRoo going forward. Another valuable resource in this transition is the tenured and experienced senior staff of nine direct reports to the CEO who have a combined 172 years of service to Dwelling Place.
“It has been an absolute honor and privilege to be a part of an organization that has worked to fulfill the hopes and dreams of many people in our community, including my own,” said Sturtevant. “I was able to gain knowledge and understanding by listening to the indigenous wisdom of those we served. Every community we’ve worked in, I’ve been blessed to see the impact this organization and our outstanding staff has had on individuals and on families, as well as our work to change systems and structures that have been problematic for historically marginalized populations. Hearing the stories of people we’ve served, and being part of their life change has kept me going for these nearly 33 years. We’ve created an amazing base for continued growth for the organization and I believe Jeremy and our remarkable staff will do phenomenal work and keep Dwelling Place headed in the right direction.”
Dwelling Place improves the lives of people by creating quality affordable housing, providing essential support services, and serving as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization, as one of the largest and most effective community development corporations in the state of Michigan. The organization owns and manages more than 1,400 affordable housing units across West Michigan with over 80 staff. Dwelling Place also partners with other CDCs in five large affordable housing projects (1,500 units) spread across the state of Michigan. Extending from the Heartside Neighborhood of Grand Rapids, where Dwelling Place was founded, the organization has properties in nine other Grand Rapids neighborhoods and 9 communities throughout Kent, Muskegon, Oceana, and Ottawa Counties.
For More Information Contact:
Joe Jones – The Hekima Group
Phone (616) 340-1014 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org