As the former CEO and Chairman of the Board of Perrigo Company, I know what traits are required to be a strong and effective leader, and I believe Wayman has the qualities required to effectively lead the county in which my business resides.
Wayman has broad experience. He has been a leader in the private sector before transitioning successfully to the public sector. Through his 25 years at Steelcase, he rose through the ranks serving in a variety of capacities: employee relations manager, operations superintendent, and performance consultant. He learned and implemented lean processes as well as benchmarked against best-in-class manufacturing processes, both of which he translated into an effective performance measurement system within Kent County.
Additionally, he has been a leader within the non-profit community, shepherding the creation Kent Schools Services Network, the evolution of the Grand Rapids University Prep Academy, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation Challenge Scholars program, and the development of the Grand Rapids Downtown Market.
His success in the public sector is unprecedented. Beginning with his service and leadership on the Kent County Department of Human Services (DHS) Board through his time as Assistant County Administrator, leading the effort to successfully resolve the need to replace the antiquated DHS Building with a new Human Service Complex, Wayman has worked to empower those in our community that need government services. Furthermore, he led the task force to review Alternatives to Incarceration which led to the right size, modernization of the Kent County Correctional Facility. Wayman served as the lead for Kent County during the review and establishment of the West Michigan Sports Commission. Most recently he championed the need to transform the child welfare system at a state level, which required legislative changes involving service delivery and funding, and the establishment of the West Michigan Partnership for Children. There are very few people that can speak the language of business, non-profit, and government as well as Wayman.
Wayman has strong relationships in a growing, diverse community. Whether it is the growing refugee population, a larger Latino community, or the evolving LGBT movement, Wayman builds relationships with those who are situated differently than he is.
This can be seen through his efforts with the Kent School Services Network (KSSN) and its growth beyond Grand Rapids into Kentwood and other first-ring suburbs. Specifically, as KSSN Board Chair, he has directly worked to impact learning where school systems address over 50 native languages being spoken at home. His leadership and ability to create bridges is without question. In addition, his leadership serving as president of the Gerald R. Ford Council of the Boy Scouts of America and co-chair of the Building Character Today, Lead Tomorrow campaign to help enrich and the lives of young people in West Michigan has been truly outstanding. The campaign has raised over $6.8 million.
One of Wayman’s most pronounced strengths is his communication skills. He is an excellent listener, a strong writer, and a strategic speaker that brings people together as part of a successful team. Yet Wayman also possesses a unique strength in that he is not afraid to address difficult subjects - and when he does, he does it in a manner which leaves those he confronts with respect.
I have enjoyed working with Wayman on various committees, but especially the Gerald R. Ford Council of the Boy Scouts and Kent County Population Health Consortium Vision Council.