“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” is an African proverb that encapsulates Roya’s work and leadership style and speaks directly to one of her core principles: collaboration. It’s why, as a lifelong athlete who has played everything from basketball to tennis to volleyball, track and softball, her favorite sports have always been team oriented. Roya knows she is at her best when working with others.
Originally from San Diego, California, Roya moved to Grand Rapids in 2013. Her professional experiences include a first job working at a radio station, followed by 15 years in marketing, communications and sales with a telecommunications company. The last 10 years have been in the contract furniture industry, and she is currently chief of staff to the Steelcase CEO.
Roya just seems to end up in in leadership roles – both with internal employee organizations and within her community. She currently serves as chair of the Board of the Women’s Resource Center and coached girls’ varsity basketball at Ottawa Hills. She has volunteered with Girl Scouts of West Michigan, partnered with student panels and development organizations at Hope College and served as lead of the women’s employee resource group at her last organization. She is a member of the Pride employee resource group at Steelcase. In all of these activities, Roya strives to provide transformative leadership by driving performance, improving processes, and making people feel seen, supported and valued…part of a team.
Roya has three children and lives with her wife and their young son. They enjoy camping, paddleboarding and game nights. She is also an avid pickleball player and reader.