In 2012, a friend of r.o.i. Design, Tim Chester, introduced us to the Grand Valley State University’s development office project- the Bill Seidman Timeline.
GVSU has had a busy year, with the opening the new library (Mary Idema Pew Learning Commons) on the Allendale campus, and the L. William Seidman Center (School of Business) in downtown Grand Rapids.
As part of the L. William Seidman Center’s presentation, a prominent 20 feet section of wall space in the lounge was dedicated to honor the life and achievements of Bill Seidman. While GVSU has thousands of curated works of art, a complete in-house marketing department, expert public relations and communication experts, their experience in creating a museum quality exhibit was more limited than they were comfortable with for this important assignment.
r.o.i. Design, Mary Witte, was hired to manage the process of hiring the designer, managing scope, budget and timeline. Through this process r.o.i. was very pleased to meet Larry Hutchinson, Hutchinson Studio, who designed the exhibit, (casework and graphics) and (along with r.o.i.) researched the content.
To support the process, r.o.i.’s Ryan Bright provided graphic design for the media presentation that Springthrough (local media and marketing company) compiled to create a multimedia touchscreen experience.
Visitors can learn more about the exhibit, scroll through a timeline of Bill’s life, and watch vide0s of Bill speaking.
Pioneer Construction, who built the L. William Seidman Center building, built the casegoods that house the exhibit.
The exhibit itself is in contrast to the otherwise very business like interior of the center. It features pine paneling and a colorful arrangement of quotes and anecdotes about Bill. The goal is to engage and inspire the students who study and pass through the building.
From the exhibit-
Bill Seidman- Grand Rapids native Lewis William “Bill” Seidman was the 14th chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and chairman of the Resolution Trust Corporation; a key presidential advisor; a popular and respected financial commentator on CNBC; and a longtime supporter of Grand Valley State University.
As a CPA, Bill helped bring the Seidman and Seidman accounting firm to national prominence. In Washington, he worked with presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush—and successfully navigated the nation through the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s. And in Michigan, he was a vibrant part of the Grand Rapids community, and driving force in the founding of Grand Valley.
But Bill’s life was more than a list of accomplishments. To family, friends and colleagues, he was authentic, warm and fun—with a well-honed sense of humor. He pursued a wide range of interests, from art and athletics to writing, teaching and fishing. Along the way, he developed a reputation for integrity, for straight talk, and for being a steadfast friend to the people around him, to Grand Valley, and to the nation.
About the exhibit design-The back wall of the Bill Seidman exhibit at the L. William Seidman Center offers quotes, anecdotes and images selected to convey the essence and nature of Bill Seidman. Friends and family interviewed for this exhibit described him as fearless, a “do-er,” down to earth, honest, a straightforward, simple-speaking, “tell-it-like-it-is” kind of guy, driven to find the facts and act on the facts. Entertaining and fun loving, too. He could explain complicated things in ways that made them easy to understand and that made doing the “right thing” as obvious as possible.
The selections included are far from an exhaustive history of Bill Seidman’s life and career, but they illustrate who he was at heart: Bill Seidman, the man.
We are grateful for the opportunity to learn about Bill and to serve GVSU in this way. This project now joins the list of assignments we have had with GVSU which includes graphics and marketing for the GVSU Opera Theater, interior design and retail consulting for the new GVSU Marketplace to open in 2015