Rachael Hoekstra 

Executive Director

The work of Great Lakes Urban is to listen, discover, and empower others to act. Jay, Wayne and the Connectors are out in the neighborhoods doing just that. As the Executive Director, my “neighbors” are the staff and stakeholders of the organization. I take great joy in listening to you all, discovering your gifts, and empowering you to act on the things that are important to you. I thank God each day for using my administrative gifts to do that. Will you tell me your stories and dreams?

I get excited when I see low income neighbors working together for the common good, when a culture of “together we can” replaces isolation, and when resiliency is the direct result of deepening relationships and gift-giving in community, when congregations are in the thick of neighborhood changes.

Jay Van Groningen
Director of 

Training Initiatives

Wayne Squires
Trainer, Coach

I find great joy in seeing people using and developing their gifts and working together to meet shared challenges. I am also delighted when individuals and organizations become adventurous and begin to discover new, grass roots possibilities for participating in needed social-cultural change(s).