George Heartwell serves in the part-time capacity of Community Sustainability Coordinator at Grand Valley State University following his retirement as Mayor of Grand Rapids.
During his 12-year tenure as Mayor the city was recognized by the United Nations as the country’s first Regional Center for Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development, by the US Chamber of Commerce as the nation’s most sustainable mid-sized city, and Heartwell was recognized by the US Conference of Mayors with the first place award for climate protection in the large city category. He has spoken widely throughout the globe on the subject of sustainability and is recognized as a content expert in this field.
Heartwell has received Gubernatorial appointments from both Democrat and Republican Governors of Michigan, including his current appointment as State Transportation Commissioner, and was appointed by President Obama to serve on the State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Resilience. He was credentialed by the United Nations to represent US Mayors at COP21, the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change in Paris in December 2015.
In retirement Heartwell is also producing maple syrup, raising bees gardening and spending as much time as possible fly fishing.