John Helmholdt


About Me

John Helmholdt is president of SeyferthPR, a leading public relations and strategic communications firm based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Helmholdt served as Executive Director of Communications and External Affairs for Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) for nearly 15 years where he was responsible for internal/external communications, media relations, crisis communications, marketing and advertising, government affairs, community relations, designated foundations and partnerships, and special projects.

Prior to his service with GRPS, Helmholdt co-owned Strategic Communications Group LLC (formerly Jones, Gavan, & Helmholdt), a Grand Rapids-based public relations firm and one of the leading political consulting firms in Michigan.


Helmholdt also served as a lobbyist and political affairs manager for the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, legislative aide for State Representatives Scott Shackleton and Michelle McManus, and finance director for the McManus for Congress Committee. He is a graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University, majoring in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy.

In November 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2014, Helmholdt was named among the “Top 40 Under Forty Business Leaders” by the Grand Rapids Business Journal. In 2016, he was named the PR Professional of the Year by the West Michigan Public Relations Society of America. In 2022 and 2023, he was named among the 200 Most Powerful Business Leaders in West Michigan by Crain’s Grand Rapids Business.