Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission welcomes Kate Harmon

Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission welcomes new member, Kate Harmon

Kate Harmon has lived in Ottawa County for over fifteen years while working at Grand Valley State University. Currently serving as the Director of Recreation and Wellness, Harmon’s role includes program evaluation and assessment, budgeting and financial oversight, strategic planning and project management, and facility oversight and risk mitigation. She has over twelve years of experience overseeing recreation facilities and has also served on a Master Planning committee for the Allendale campus. Her work experience prior to GVSU included fitness and wellness promotion, personal training, group fitness instruction, and coaching soccer at youth and collegiate levels.

Harmon earned her M.A. in Sports Administration from Central Michigan University in 2000 after completing a B.S. in Sports Science from Northern Michigan University in 1998. To enhance her skillset, Harmon recently completed an Educational Specialist degree in Leadership in 2019 from GVSU.

Implementing positive change with a systematic approach has been Harmon’s standard. During the last three years, she has been particularly interested in addressing barriers that individuals have in participating in recreation programs and services. As a proud resident of Ottawa County, a MI master angler, and avid user of our county parks and trails, Harmon believes in being an active citizen. Harmon said, “I look forward to positively contributing to the well-being of our community through involvement on the commission.”

Kate Harmon and Lukas Hill began their three-year term on the Parks & Recreation Commission this January. Hill was welcomed onto the commission in October 2020 to complete a term (ending in December 2020), left vacant by the passing of David VanGinhoven.

The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners re-appointed Greg DeJong, Phil Kuyers, and James Holtvluwer to the Parks & Recreation Commission at their regular meeting on January 4, 2021

The Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 3:00 pm. Meetings and public comment are available via Zoom. Visit to join the Parks & Recreation Commission for their upcoming meeting on February 3, 2020.

Meeting agendas and minutes can be found online.

As of January 2021, the Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission Roster is as follows:

  • Kelly N. Rice, President  (Public)
  • Jane Longstreet, Vice President  (Public)
  • Phil Kuyers, Secretary (County Commissioner)
  • Joe Bush (Water Resources Commissioner Statutory)
  • Tom Elhart  (Road Commission Designee)
  • Greg J. DeJong  (County Commissioner / Regional Planning Commission Representative)
  • Kate Harmon (Public)
  • Lukas Hill  (Public)
  • James Holtvluwer  (County Commissioner)
  • Linda McAffrey  (Public)