City Manager Greg Sundstrom
Gregory A. Sundstrom was selected as Grand Rapids City Manager on July 29, 2009.
Greg was born in Spokane, Washington, graduated from Jenison High School, attended the University of Michigan and graduated from Grand Valley State University. He began working with the City of Grand Rapids as a seasonal employee in 1981, then as an entry-level permanent employee in 1986. He worked in 12 jobs over the past twenty-three years, most recently as Deputy City Manager and Chief Services Officer.
Greg considers the City’s highest priority to be customer service, as he once said, "If the City were to provide only one service, it will be provided well, with courtesy and respect of our customers."
Greg said one of the City's greatest accomplishments in recent years was transforming government and breaking up bureaucracy.
"The City cannot afford the time to follow the rules at the expense of common sense," he says. "Although the end never justifies the means, the City does not deliver process, it delivers outcomes.
"The City needs to be innovative, that means taking risks and working quickly, while being held accountable. The City needs to stretch, seek new partners, form new alliances, and try new methods. City employees need to be 'MacGyver'-like. We need to try, try again, and keep trying until we make a difference, and do this quickly with few resources.
"The City will continue to make every one of its operations fully transparent to citizens and businesses, to encourage them to critique our performance and engage them in our government. It is a changing world, with different expectations. With instant communications and access to limitless information on the web, everyone expects that the City makes all public information available with easy access.
"The City must be inclusive. There is room for everyone in public decision-making. If the City thinks we know all of the answers, that we know the best way to accomplish an outcome, and that we know what our citizens really need, then we are fooling ourselves. Grand Rapids citizens and businesses have a right to be asked, to be involved, and to help make the decisions with which they must live."
Greg envisions a City that engages all of its citizens to continue to implement significant change so we can blossom into the new Grand Rapids. This affords our community an opportunity to rethink our priorities. We need to prioritize, consolidate, and benchmark our services.
“I know that this City is filled with caring people who come together to make this a community. It is the quality of life in this community that gives it vitality and appeal—to our businesses, citizens, and visitors, who drive this economy and support every aspect of our success.
“I want to engage people from across this City to move us forward for future generations. Please stay tuned to opportunities to share your concerns and suggestions with me.”
Greg and his family live on the City’s northeast side near Huff Park. Greg enjoys the company of his lovely wife Audrey Flanders-Sundstrom. She is a dental hygienist and mother of their two adult children—Courtney, who lives in Chicago, and Ben, who lives in Grand Rapids.
Greg is a 30+ year City employee. He is supported by Secretary to the City Manager, Rose Rosloniec, who can be reached at 616.456.3883