Ben Emdin is the Executive Director of the Early Childhood Children's Commission of Kent County, Michigan. Previously, he spent three years as the Chief Operating Officer of the Grand Rapids Public Schools. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and holds a master's degree in secondary education. During the 1960s and 1970s, he served the Forest Hills Public Schools as teacher, principal, and business manager. In 1976 he left education for private business and spent 26 years owning and operating both retail stores and athletic clubs.
From the early 1980s until June 2002, he worked with the Forest Hills Public Schools as a parent volunteer and as a school board member. During those years, he chaired or co-chaired every millage and bond election that the district had. All elections were successful, with $190 million of improvements to the districts approved. Mr. Emdin served as Board president for five years.
Since his retirement from the Grand Rapids Public Schools in June, 2005, he has directed the newly created Children's Commission, which is committed to creating an early childhood system for all Kent County children. The Commission is funded by local foundations.
Mr. Emdin has served on many community boards. He is currently on the DeVos Children's Hospital board, the Frederik Meijer Botanical Gardens board, and the Hispanic Center of West Michigan board. He is also associated with the Smart Zone Financing Authority and the Grand Rapids Public Schools Student Advancement Foundation.
Mr. Emdin and his wife, Susan, have four children.