Senita Lenear moved to Grand Rapids from Chicago as a child. She has lived in the Third Ward for more than 30 years. The Grand Rapids Creston High School alumna graduated summa cum laude from Cornerstone University with a bachelor’s in business management and a minor in ministry leadership. She is a mother, community volunteer and member of New Hope Baptist Church, where her husband, Dallas Lenear, serves as Executive Pastor.
Senita has more than 20 years of business experience, which includes a variety of leadership positions at the largest healthcare insurance provider in the state and owning an event planning and business consulting firm. She was appointed to the Grand Rapids Public Schools Board of Education in October 2007. Two years later, she was elected by Grand Rapids citizens to serve a four-year term on the Michigan Board of Education.
Education is one of Senita's passions, along with serving the community in a variety of ways. She has served as President of the Kent Intermediate Association of School Boards and as a member of the Student Advancement Foundation and Varnum’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council. She also has served as avolunteer at New Hope Baptist Church.
Senita has been honored with a number of community awards, including Cornerstone University’s 2014 Alumna of the Year, a YWCA Tribute Award for community service, Zeta Phi Beta Woman of the Year and NAACP Presidential and Legacy awards, among many others.
Senita was elected as a Third Ward City Commissioner in August 2013, and she joined the City Commission in January 2014. Since joining the Commission, she has served as chairwoman of the Mayor’s Safe Alliance for Everyone (SAFE) Task Force, which developed a violence-reduction strategy for the City. She also has served on the Great Housing Strategies committee, along with Commissioners Ruth Kelly and EliasLumpkins, which has provided recommendations for addressing our community’s housing needs.
She looks forward to continuing to serve the Third Ward – and the City. She is committed to making informed decisions on behalf of the community and encourages comments from the public.