Laurie Beard Elected Trustee, New Chair Named

Grand Rapids Community Foundation is pleased to announced that Laurie Beard will begin a three year team as Trustee starting in 2011. Also Carol Karr, attorney with Miller Johnson will chair the Board and Eva Aguirre Cooper, communication director of WOOD TV8 will serve as vice chair.

Laurie earned her B.S. in economics and finance from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois.  She started her career in the financial field as a Bank Examiner with the Federal Home Loan Bank Board in Chicago.

After moving to Grand Rapids in 1976, Laurie earned her MBA from Grand Valley State University.  She began her investment career with Paine Webber, and later with A.G. Edwards & Sons, specializing in financial and estate planning.  She became a charter member of the senior management team of Founders Bank & Trust when it was formed in 1991 and was instrumental in the successful capital formation of the Bank.

Laurie served as Senior Vice President and was responsible for formation and leadership of the Trust & Investment Management Department of Founders Bank & Trust.  She was promoted to President & CEO in October 2001.  Laurie has also served on the Bank’s Board of Directors since 1996. 

She currently serves as Vice Chair-Finance of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Grand Valley University Foundation Board of Trustees, and Grand Valley State University Women’s Center Advisory Board.  She also has served on the capital campaigns for both the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (UICA) and the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center. She is a member of the Downtown Rotary Club and the Economic Club of Grand Rapids. 

Founders Bank & Trust is a privately held community bank, with four branch locations in the Grand Rapids area.  With total assets of $420 million currently, the bank has grown over 250% since Laurie became President.  The bank has successfully completed 63 consecutive quarters of profitability as of 9-30-10. Founders Bank & Trust currently employs 94 people, and continues to create jobs locally.