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October 20, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Jim Saalfeld, 49, is an accomplished and well-rounded attorney, company executive and small business owner, who holds numerous leadership positions within the community, his profession and the Republican Party.
Jim graduated from Northwestern Law School, and currently serves on the University’s Alumni Board for West Michigan. He is a long-time member of the Kent County GOP where he served as its Treasurer from 2006-2010. In addition to his positions with the County, Jim holds various leadership roles within the community including: Chair of the Kent Hospital Finance Authority; Board of Directors for the Arthritis Foundation of West Michigan; Board member of the Grand Rapids Township Economic Development Corporation; and Board member of the Northwestern University Alumni Club of West Michigan. Jim is a hearing panelist for the Michigan Supreme Court Attorney Discipline Board and is a Fellow of the Michigan Bar Foundation. Jim has been a precinct delegate, a delegate to numerous Republican County Conventions, and was appointed by Governor John Engler to the Michigan Higher Education Facilities Commission. Jim is a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in downtown Grand Rapids where he served as Congregational President from 2001-2009. Jim enjoys spending time with his family and friends, and is an active member of numerous community organizations. A brief bio of Jim is found below.
BISSELL HOMECARE INC. – Walker, Michigan (2013 – Present)
- Director and in-house legal counsel for the top-selling floor care brand headquartered in the Greater Grand Rapids area.
SAALFELD & STEWART PLLC – Grand Rapids, Michigan (2009 – 2013)
- Founder of law firm focused on assisting small and medium-sized companies with day-to-day legal and management issues.
MERITAGE HOSPITALITY GROUP INC. – Grand Rapids, Michigan (1996 – 2008)
- Vice President & General Counsel for company that operates 65 restaurants, employs 2,500, and serves more than ten million customers annually.
DYKEMA GOSSETT LAW FIRM – Grand Rapids, Michigan (1992 – 1996)
- Associate attorney for one of Michigan’s largest law firms. Practice in complex litigation and business matters.
Community Involvement and Affiliations
- Elected – Kent County Commissioner for District 11
- Elected – Chair of the Kent County Board of Commissioners (present)
- Elected – Vice Chair of the Kent County Board of Commissioners (2013 – 2015)
- Past Chair – Kent County Finance & Physical Resources Committee
- Past Chair – Kent County Legislative & Human Resources Committee
- Chair – Kent Hospital Finance Authority
- Member – Grand Rapids Township Economic Development Corporation Board
- Past Member – Grand Valley Metropolitan Council
- Board of Directors – Arthritis Foundation of West Michigan
- Board of Directors – Northwestern University Alumni Club of West Michigan
- Board of Directors – Michigan Lutheran Church Extension Fund (2003 – 2015)
- Interviewer – Northwestern University Law School Admissions
- Member – Immanuel Lutheran Church – Downtown Grand Rapids
- Elected – Grand Rapids Township Trustee (2007 – 2011)
- Grand Rapids Township Planning Commission (2004 – 2007)
- Appointed by Governor Engler – Michigan Higher Education Facilities Commission (2001 – 2006)
- Member – Michigan State Bar
- Member – Grand Rapids Bar Association
- Michigan Supreme Court – Attorney Discipline Board Hearing Panelist
- Member – Fellow of the Michigan Bar Foundation
- Michigan Bar – District Character and Fitness Committee (2005 – 2010)
- Michigan Bar Committee on United States Courts (1999 – 2008)
Jim Saalfeld is the Chair of the Board Kent County Commissioners, Commissioner for District 11
In 2010, 2012 and 2014, I was honored to be elected Kent County Commissioner for District 11. This District includes more than 33,000 residents living in Grand Rapids Township, East Grand Rapids, and Ada Township. In addition, I was honored to be elected by my colleagues on the Commission to serve as Chair of the Board of Commissioners beginning in 2016.
I enjoy serving our residents in this manner and believe I make a positive impact. Throughout this time, I have worked closely with the leaders of the three communities I represent to make sure issues of interest to our residents are being promptly and properly addressed.
I have worked hard to bring fiscal common sense, good judgment and integrity to the County Commission. But my work with the County is far from over – especially now that I am serving as Chair of the Board. If you ever have comments, questions or suggestions regarding either my campaign or issues impacting Kent County, please do not hesitate to contact me.