Beginning in 2006, Gavan was Vice President of Communications and Development at Van Andel Institute. In early 2010, he added governmental affairs and community relations to this list of responsibilities and his title became Vice President, Communications & External Relations. In this role, Mr. Gavan led an integrated communications and brand-strategy team for VAI's research and education institutes. As a member of the Institute's executive team, he worked with the organization's key constituencies to establish long-term plans for fund development and to build visibility as a world-class institution. Mr. Gavan was also responsible for public relations, state and federal lobbying, publications, and web site content management.
Mr. Gavan has more than 20 years of professional experience including strong leadership in communications, fund raising, business development and marketing. Prior to joining VAI, he served as Vice President of Corporate Development and Marketing for Goshen Health System in Indiana. Previously, Mr. Gavan served as Business Manager and consultant for The Greystone Companies and was a partner in Jones, Gavan & Helmholdt, LLC, a Grand Rapids-based strategic communications firm specializing in public relations, crisis communications, and fund development.
Mr. Gavan earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and a Master of Management degree from Aquinas College. He sits on the boards of the Boys & Girls Club, the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, the Alliance for Health, and the University Club of Grand Rapids.