News

GRAM Hires New Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operations Officer

Dana Friis-Hansen, Director and CEO of the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM), announced the appointment of Robert L. Branch as Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operations Officer (CFO/COO) today. Branch assumed the full-time responsibilities of his position on July 17, 2017.

“I’m thrilled that Bob has accepted the position of CFO/COO at the Grand Rapids Art Museum,” stated GRAM Director and CEO Dana Friis-Hansen. “A seasoned non-profit executive, he is uniquely qualified to lead and strengthen all aspects of our financial and operational practices. A key addition to our senior management team, his knowledge and experience managing institutional growth will help expand GRAM’s impact through the Vision 2021 Strategic Plan as we begin the second decade in our acclaimed building at the center of the city.”

A Michigan native and lifelong resident of West Michigan, Branch is a senior executive with over 18 years not-for-profit and 20 years of for-profit experience. Most recently, he served as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids. As a member of the senior leadership team he was involved in strategic plan development and execution, and served as a staff liaison to the finance committee, executive committee, and the board of directors.

During his time at the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, Branch was responsible for planning, implementing, and overseeing all accounting, finance, and IT activities, with additional management of HR and association facilities during his tenure. He was also responsible for bank financing, key vendor relationships, insurance, legal, risk management, and facility construction projects. Branch brings a strong track record of success, a love of service to others, and an all-consuming desire to positively impact others.

GRAM Board President Tammy Bailey commented, “A lifelong resident of Grand Rapids, Bob brings invaluable knowledge and an enthusiasm for our great city to the Grand Rapids Art Museum. As the Museum pursues ambitious goals to connect people through art, creativity, and design, his strategic and tactical experience growing institutional strength will be an excellent addition to the GRAM team.”

“After working in downtown Grand Rapids for most of my career, I’ve experienced the Grand Rapids Art Museum grow and increasingly become a vital part of the downtown landscape and culture,” Branch noted. “They bring a strong and talented board of directors and staff, an inspiring vision, and forward-thinking strategic plan. The relocation of their building in 2007 put the Museum in an ideal location as the epicenter of all activity and growth happening in our community. This is an exciting time in the vibrant history of GRAM and I’m pleased to join their team.

Branch is a graduate of East Grand Rapids High School. He obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Management from Davenport University, and his MBA in Accounting from Grand Valley State University (GVSU). Branch is a member of multiple professional and community affiliations, including the Institute of Management Accountants, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce CFO Roundtable, and Kiwanis Club.

Branch assumes his post in the same year that the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s starts its new 5-year strategic plan, Vision 2021. His position as Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operations Officer will play a significant role in supporting and leading the Museum’s strategic initiatives.

About the Grand Rapids Art Museum

Connecting people through art, creativity, and design. Established in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, the Art Museum is internationally known for its distinguished design and LEED® Gold certified status. Established in 1910 as the Grand Rapids Art Association, GRAM has grown to include more than 5,000 works of art, including American and European 19th and 20th century painting and sculpture and more than 3,000 works on paper. Embracing the city’s legacy as a leading center of design and manufacturing, GRAM has a growing collection in the area of design and modern craft. For GRAM’s hours and admission fees, visit artmuseumgr.org or call 616.831.1000.