My 5 Favorite Places in Michigan: Kurt D. Dykstra, Mayor of Holland and Newly Announced President of Trinity Christian College
Today’s guest on our My 5 Favorite Places in Michigan segment is Kurt D. Dykstra. Mr. Dykstra is the current mayor of Holland, a positon he has held since he was elected the city’s 40th mayor in 2009. He has held office in the city since 2005 when he served on the city council. Dykstra announced he would not seek re-election (to be held in November 2015) and the reason why recently came to light.
Trinity Christian College, located in Illinois, announced Dykstra will serve as the eight president of the accredited liberal arts college beginning July 1st 2015. Dykstra takes over for interim Dr. Liz Rudenga, who was serving until a replacement for Dr. Steve Timmermans was found. Timmermans held the position from 2003 to 2014. The president of Trinity’s search committee said, “Kurt Dykstra is a dynamic individual who has been a leader in every organization with which he has been affiliated.”
Dykstra was born and raised in Wisconsin. He attended Northwestern College and Marquette University Law School, where he graduated first in his class. It was the background in law that brought Dykstra to our great mitten state, when he served with a law firm in Grand Rapids. Along with serving law in Grand Rapids and being the mayor of Holland, Dykstra was also part of the part time faculty at Hope College, and senior vice president of Mercantile Bank.
Dykstra will be leaving our state in July, but helped make his presence known. His background in law, economics, and banking helped transform the downtown Holland area. Dykstra and his wife Leah, along with their two daughters called Michigan home for years. Dykstra shared with us his five favorite places in the state of Michigan.
- Downtown Holland. OK, before I’m accused of being a homer (orcompletelya homer) if you haven’t visited Downtown Holland, you are really missing out on a lively and fun destination. Plus, even in the long and snowy Michigan winters, our city snowmelt system (20+ miles of “radiant floor” tubing running under the downtown streets and sidewalks) means that downtown is snow and ice free.
- Holland State Park/”Big Red” Lighthouse. One of the world’s top lighthouses sits astride a world class beach. If the weather is nice, plan to get their early…or walk/bike to the park because the parking lot will be full. Salt and shark free, too.
- Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. Where else can you see the Rosa Parks bus and presidential limousines? The Henry Ford. Enough said…though there is a nifty vehicle in the collection that holds a certain sentimental value to me. (Editor note: Dykstra is referring to the photo below of himself and Barack Obama in a Ford Focus)
- The Grand Hotel. The entirety of Mackinac Island is an experience, of course. But staying at the Grand Hotel really is a throwback to another era. It is hard to beat sitting on the porch and watching the ships pass through the straits (preferably with a beverage in hand!).
- Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor. Sure the Big House is, well, a big attraction in the Double A. But for me, a trip to Ann Arbor is complete if it is capped off with a visit to Zingerman’s. The experience is great in itself, but the business, and the model that Ari Weinzweig and Paul Saginaw have created, is incredibly admirable — and incredibly successful!
We appreciate the time Mr. Dykstra took to complete this article and hope you love seeing another post in our My 5 Favorite Places in Michigan segment. We wish Mr. Dykstra the best as he leaves our great mitten state. I think he said it best when he announced he wasn’t seeking reelection of mayor and said this, “Hopefully people will look back on these years and say he wasn’t perfect but he did a pretty good job.”