City Commission Appoints Downtown Entrepreneur to DDA

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss and the City Commission tonight appointed Jermale Eddie, co-founder of Malamiah Juice Bar, to serve on the Board of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA).

“We’re thrilled to welcome Jermale Eddie to the DDA,” Mayor Bliss said. “Mr. Eddie is an entrepreneur and Downtown business owner who will provide valuable vision and insight to help inform the DDA’s work. I am confident he will serve Downtown stakeholders and the broader community with excellence and dedication.”

Jermale Eddie, co-founder of Malamiah Juice Bar
Jermale Eddie, co-founder of Malamiah Juice Bar

The DDA is a public funding tool designed to help catalyze public and private investment within the boundaries of the Downtown district. Funds go to help expedite private development projects, put underutilized property back to productive use, build streets and public infrastructure, as well as maintain and expand parks and other public amenities.

Established by the City Commission in 1980 and administered by Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., the DDA’s principal source of funding is revenue generated by increasing property values within the DDA district. The DDA is governed by a 9-member Board of Directors appointed by the Mayor with concurrence from the City Commission.

Mr. Eddie becomes the first person to ascend to the DDA Board from a volunteer post on the Alliance for Vibrancy, a citizen led council organized to advise Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. staff on projects related to special events, workforce support initiatives and other key priorities.

“I’m honored to join the DDA Board,” Mr. Eddie said. “The organization has and continues to play an important role in accelerating Downtown’s revitalization and I’m eager join these community leaders in the effort to keep moving GR forward.”

Mr. Eddie opened Malamiah Juice Bar with his wife Anissa in 2013. Malamiah, located in the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, is a family-owned business with a mission to elevate community wellness by offering healthy products such as fresh, organic juice and smoothie products.

In addition to serving as Chief Juice Innovator at Malamiah, Mr. Eddie also serves on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of Michigan. He is a founding member of BL2END (Business Leaders Linked to Encourage New Direction). He also received the Equity in Higher Education Award in 2007 from the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

With Mr. Eddie’s appointment, the DDA Board is now composed as follows:

  • Gender:
    • 44% Male (49% citywide)
    • 56% Female (51% citywide)
  • Race:
    • 78% White (59% citywide)
    • 22% Black (21% citywide)
  • Residence:
    • 89% live in City of GR
    • 11% live outside of City of GR

Mr. Eddie will join the DDA for his first meeting tomorrow, March 8, 2017 at the Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. office. The Board meets monthly on the second Wednesday.