Born on June 6, 1972, Joel Hondorp was raised in Byron Center Michigan, a community south of Grand Rapids. After graduating from Byron Center High School in 1990, Joel enrolled at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.
As a student at Michigan State University, he was a candidate for Ingham County Commissioner in 1992 and 1994 and served on the Ingham County Republican Executive Committee from 1992 – 1995. He also was President of the Michigan State University College Republicans.
Joel graduated in 1995 with a B.A. in Political Science. He was hired by the Michigan Republican State Committee as a Regional Field Director where he led the field operations in the 4th and 5th Congressional Districts and coordinated many statewide meetings, conventions and candidate tours.
In 1996, Joel was a successful candidate for Byron Township Trustee and served as a member of the Byron Township Board and the Byron Township Zoning Board of Appeals.
Joel went to work for State Representative Joanne Voorhees in January 1999 as a Legislative Assistant and was responsible for constituent relations, developing legislation and keeping the Representative’s schedule.
At the end of 1999, he was hired by the John McCain for President Committee as Campaign Coordinator for Michigan and Ohio.
In April 2000, Joel returned to the Michigan Republican State Committee as a Regional Field Director for the 2nd and 3rd Congressional Districts. He also was assigned to staff the Michigan Delegation at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.
Joel was a successful candidate for Byron Township Clerk in 2000 and re-elected unopposed in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. In his role as Township Clerk, his duties included: Chief Election Officer for Byron Township, Accounts Payable, Payroll, management of four cemeteries, Website design and maintenance and keeper of all Township records. He also served as a paid on call member of the Byron Township Fire Department.
In April of 2018, Joel was sworn in as the Grand Rapids City Clerk. His role as the City Clerk is as one of four officials appointed by the City Commission (Clerk, Treasurer, Attorney, and City Manager). Joel leads a team of 11 employees and is responsible for a $2 million budget. The Grand Rapids City Clerk’s Office is responsible for Elections, Business Licensing, Passports, Community Records & Archives, City Commission Records, and Boards & Commissions Appointments.
He has also been involved in several professional associations. He has served as President (twice) and Secretary of the Kent County Clerks Association, and as President of the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks in 2011-2012. In 2019, he achieved the rank of Master Municipal Clerk (MMC) and was selected as Township Clerk of the Year in 2010. He also was a member of the Michigan Township Association Board of Directors representing Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon Counties. In 2015 he was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to the Michigan Fire Fighters Training Council. He also has served as a Notary Public since 1996.
Joel is the President Designate of the Grand Rapids Rotary Club, a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow and was the Charter President of the Rotary Club of South Kent. Past leadership roles include the Byron Days Festival Committee, Cutlerville Chamber of Commerce Board, a founding Board Member and Treasurer of the Byron Center Chamber of Commerce, Byron Community Ministries Board, Kent District Library Board Chairman, and Chair of Deacons and Executive Committee of Corinth Reformed Church. He also serves as an announcer on BCTV for Byron Center High School Football and Basketball.
Joel is married to Brenda who works as an Executive Assistant for the American Federation for Children, a Political Action Committee and is a proud father of Emma and Samuel.
His recreational pursuits are reading, cooking, grilling, golf, and fantasy football.