Investor Spotlight with Rich Lievense

Posted in News on July 22, 2021

Investor Spotlight with Rich Lievense
 

Rich was the principal founder and chairman of Lake Michigan Financial Corporation which started and owned The Bank of Holland and InSite Capital. InSite Capital helped to develop affordable and workforce housing. Rich was involved in the West Michigan charitable community, was Chairman of Grand Angels (an angel investing organization) for ten years, and was an active member of Riverview Development, focusing on downtown Holland development. 
 
Questions:
 
Rich, you have years of Senior Executive leadership experience. What has been a lesson learned that you have been able to pass along? 
Success in any organization depends on finding and developing the best people for the current and future needs. Everything depends on having and keeping the best talent. 
 
Talk to us about company culture. What are some values that you and your team live by? 
Culture is not a statement-it is how you run the business or organization each day. Values are set at the very top of the organization and everyone watches what you do as opposed to what you say. 
 
What is your biggest insight from the last year and the disruption that has been navigated? 
The last year underscored the importance of building resiliency in organizations and in our personal affairs. We proved that we could build efficient systems that proved not to be resilient. It showed up in supply chains, staffing models, financial structure, and personal investments. We need to improve in this as an organization, society, and individually. 
 
You partner with a variety of mentorship and investment organizations. Why is it important to you to give back?
When we started the bank, we had wonderful partners- directors, investors, advisors. They helped me become a better leader and manager. By giving back, I feel like I am paying back the wonderful assistance these people gave me. This willingness to help other businesspeople is a hallmark of the Holland/Zeeland community and directly contributes to its’ success. 
  
Can you share why it is a priority to you to invest in economic development?  
This area is an economic miracle and is unique in many respects. I have worked in markets that do not have our success and without it, everything else is much more difficult. Economic vitality drives housing, education, social progress, and other areas of community development.