Human Resources Director Desireé Frugé announces retirement

Published on December 05, 2022

Photo of HR Director Desireé Frugé

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Following a distinguished 19-year career with the City of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Human Resources Director Desireé A. Frugé has formally announced her retirement effective August 2.

For nearly two decades, Frugé has worked for the City in a variety of management roles including human resources analyst, senior human resources analyst, labor relations specialist and human resources director. As director, Frugé has led a team of HR professionals in areas of recruitment and retention, risk management, benefits, wellness, labor relations, and training and organizational development.

Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington said that Frugé has been instrumental in enhancing the culture of the organization by having her team concentrate on “Grow Our Own” and local recruitment programs.

“Our organization has benefited greatly from Frugé’s hard work and dedication to the City of Grand Rapids,” Washington said. “She has helped attract top national talent to our City, she’s revamped the human resources department through a reorganization and has helped maintain staffing levels during the great resignation by spearheading wage and benefit studies, implementing a popular wellness program and adopting better work-life balance programs for employees throughout our organization.”

Frugé said she is most proud of leading the HR team to great success in its strategic hiring efforts and renewed dedication to employee growth. Under her leadership the municipal government workforce has become more reflective of the community it serves, and new investments were made in organizational development and employee wellness. In 2022, more than half of all new hires in to the City were comprised of women and people of color.

She has also played a major role in shaping the City’s current leadership team. During her tenure, the City hired key executive staff as well as a new police chief and nearly a dozen department leaders now responsible for executing the City’s strategic objectives.

“Within the City of Grand Rapids, we have seen our workforce grow and diversify,” Frugé said. “We’ve done that over the past few years during a challenging time for employers and employees. We were able to pivot quickly to recruit qualified new talent and support existing employees throughout the pandemic with leave time, remote work, and health and enhanced safety protocols within the workplace. I know our employees are at the center of our success as an organization and have helped us in our mission to elevate quality of life through excellent City services.”

Washington said he will launch a national search in the coming months to fill the human resources director position.

Tagged as: