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Marcia and Rich Lievense

Donor stories

Marcia and Richard Lievense

Rich and Marcia Lievense share a deep appreciation for the Holland/Zeeland area as a place to live, raise a family, and start a business. To ensure the community they love stands ready to respond to emerging needs, they donate to the Community’s Endowment. They also support the community through the establishment of the Marcia M. and Richard M. Lievense Fund
for Arts and Children and a gift in their estate plan.

Rich’s roots in West Michigan run deep, tracing back to relatives who settled here in 1854. He and Marcia met during their freshman year at Alma College and married right after graduation. Rich completed a Master’s degree at Western Michigan University, and started a career in banking in Toledo, Ohio. Over the years, his work took them to Kansas City and Grand Rapids before settling back in Holland with a position at Old Kent Bank.

Rich’s roots in West Michigan run deep, tracing back to relatives who settled here in 1854. He and Marcia met during their freshman year at Alma College and married right after graduation. Rich completed a Master’s degree at Western Michigan University, and started a career in banking in Toledo, Ohio. Over the years, his work took them to Kansas City and Grand Rapids before settling back in Holland with a position at Old Kent Bank.

Rich explained, “I didn’t really plan on staying in banking, but found it allowed me to learn about a lot of different industries. I stayed because banking gave me an opportunity to help a variety of businesses be successful.”

In 1997, Rich and Marcia took a leap and founded The Bank of Holland. “It was certainly a risk,” said Rich, “I was in my mid-forties and our daughters Jill and Anne were in high school and middle school. But we were working in a great town and saw this as our chance to create the kind of community bank we had always envisioned. We were fortunate to have so many supportive local investors, advisors and team members with us from the beginning.”

The bank grew quickly, priding itself on customer service and community impact. Investing in the community was part of the culture, which included an employee-driven giving program that encouraged employees to give financially and get involved. Rich and Marcia led by example, each holding various Board and volunteer positions with Holland Area Arts Council, Holland Hospital, Lakeshore Advantage, and Riverview development group.

In 2015, The Bank of Holland merged into Chemical Financial Corp. The Lievenses took that opportunity to focus on their charitable interest areas: the arts, children, and economic development in the Holland/Zeeland area. Working closely with various agencies who were involved with the Community Foundation led to a deepening of their relationship with CFHZ. Marcia said, “It’s the Community Foundation’s spirit of collaboration that appeals to us and offers us a chance to make real impact.”

That relationship includes support of funds held at CFHZ for the MSU Bioeconomy Institute, the Riverview Group, and Now for the Next; in addition to support of the Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarship and Community’s Endowment. “This is an opportunity for us to help the Holland/Zeeland area remain such a wonderful place for families and businesses, while also being flexible for future growth or challenges,” said Rich.

Originally featured in the Community Foundation’s 2019 Annual Report. While this was written by CFHZ’s Communications Associate Ellie Davis in 2020, we believe that stories of generosity are timeless and always relevant.

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