Senita Lenear was elected as the Third Ward City Commissioner in the August primary
2013. She officially took office in Jan. 2014. She was re-elected in 2017 for her second
term that was extended through December 2022.
Since joining the Commission, she has served as chairwoman of the Mayor’s Safe
Alliance for Everyone (SAFE) Task Force, established by Mayor George Heartwell,
which developed a violence-reduction strategy in 2015 and continues to fund grassroot
organizations and individuals who have interest in pitching creative ideas to reduce
violence in their community.
She also served on the Great Housing Strategies committee, along with Commissioners
Ruth Kelly and Elias Lumpkins, which provided recommendations for addressing our
community’s housing needs.
Additionally, she served on the Kent County’s Friend of the Court and Lead Abatement
Task Forces; both were designed to research and making recommendations that
positively impacted the community and elevated the services being provided.
Commissioner Lenear spearheaded the efforts to expand Madison Square Corridor
District Authority to Southtown, which spans across six business districts on the south
side of the city. After the expansion, she worked diligently, alongside community
members, to draft the city’s only “Business” area specific plan, which is designed to
guide investments and interest within those six business districts. Commissioner Lenear
helped with facilitation of the MARCH Committee’s efforts for the street naming of both
Martin Luther King Jr Street and César E. Chávez Ave – the committee was co-chaired
by Commissioner Robert Womack and State School board member, Lupe Ramos-
Montigny. The street renaming efforts expanded across two cities, when Comm. Lenear
formally asked East Grand Rapids to join in the effort.
Commissioner Lenear’s unmatched passion for the establishment and longevity of the
Third Ward Equity Fund preceded the City’s economic development report that outlines
the inequities in investments in the Third Ward. The initiatives funded included “keeping
people in their homes, business façade improvements to non-Southtown businesses, MLK
Park lodge renovations, lead abatement awareness initiatives.
During her tenure, she launched a work group to study human trafficking and has been
journeying with community members and organizations to bring awareness to this
growing problem in our city, only slowed by the COVID pandemic.
Commissioner Lenear has more than 25 years of business experience, which includes a
variety of leadership positions at the largest healthcare insurance provider in the state of
Michigan and co-owning an event planning and business consulting firm. She is the
owner of her own business, Genesis Consulting Group, a premiere event planning and
business/non-profit consulting firm. She co-owns a commercial building that is the home
of many thriving small businesses and non-profits. Her background and experience allow
her to feel comfortable sitting at any and every table with people from all walks of life. It
also plays out in her no-nonsense approach to serving the citizens of Grand Rapids. She’s
been an advocate for community engagement, increased customer service, and reducing
the red tape that sometimes exists between government and the people they serve.
Commissioner Lenear has been honored with a number of community awards, including
Cornerstone University’s 2014 Alumna of the Year, Grand Rapids Community College’s
GIANT Award, Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 50 Most Influential Women, YWCA’s
Tribute Award, Urban League of West Michigan’s Leadership Award, Zeta Phi Beta’s
Woman of the Year and GRCC’s Alumna of the year among many others.
In addition to her public service as City Commissioner, Senita was appointed to the
Grand Rapids Public Schools Board of Education in October 2007. Two years later, she
was elected by Grand Rapids citizens to serve a four-year term on the GRPS Board of
Education and served over 2 years as the board president.
She’s a proud Creston Polar Bear and Cornerstone Alum, mother, wife of the Reverend
Dallas Lenear and respected friend to the Grand Rapids community, which she moved
into at the tender age of 9.
The community applauded her service as commissioner and there have been many
excited about her candidacy for Mayor in the City of Grand Rapids.