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Matt Bach, Director of Media Relations              
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073;


Former Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell Receives Guido Leadership Award

LANSING, Michigan — The Michigan Municipal League has honored former Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell as the 2016 recipient of the Michael A. Guido Leadership and Public Service Award. The award was formally presented to Heartwell during the League’s annual Capital Conference Awards Gala March 22 in Lansing.

Heartwell was Grand Rapids mayor for 12 years before leaving at the end of 2015 due to term limits. He ties the record for the longest-serving Grand Rapids mayor. He now serves in a part-time capacity as community sustainability coordinator at Grand Valley State University.

“For Mayor George Heartwell, authentic leadership isn’t simply a catchphrase—it’s a way of life. His commitment to collaboration has helped to make the City of Grand Rapids a leader, not only in the state, but also in the country,” said Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, who nominated Heartwell for the honor. “His commitment to environmental sustainability has given Grand Rapids wide recognition as one of the most sustainable cities in the U.S.”

During Heartwell’s time as mayor, the city was recognized by the United Nations as the country’s first Regional Center for Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as the nation’s most sustainable mid-sized city, and Heartwell was recognized by the U.S. Conference of Mayors with the first place award for climate protection in the large city category. He has spoken widely throughout the globe on the subject of sustainability and is recognized as a content expert in this field. 

For photos of Heartwell receiving the award, go to this Michigan Municipal League “Award Recipients” album on flickr: Photos can be downloaded from the League’s flickr page for free. We just ask that the following photo credit be given: Photo Courtesy of the Michigan Municipal League/

Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services.





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