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Cultural Intelligence Committee

Vision Statement

Enrichment through Diversity

Mission Statement

Promoting a culturally diverse environment where all employees, residents, and visitors are valued and welcomed.


  • To educate Ottawa County employees and community members on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • To create a workplace where all employees can fully contribute and thrive.
  • To cultivate a community where everyone belongs and every person's voice adds value.

In 2011 after evaluating the areas of strengths and needed growth, the Four C’s Initiative (Customer Service, Communication, Creativity and Culture) was born. By establishing common goals and procedures, inclusive to all County entities, employees obtain additional tools to use when expediting County services to the community.

Disclaimer: The resources provided here are intended for use by the community. The views and opinions presented on this page do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the Ottawa County Commissioners or Ottawa County employees.


In May of 2013 the Human Resources Department provided all Ottawa County employees the opportunity to apply for consideration to become part of a Cultural Change Team (now known as the Cultural Intelligence Committee or CIC). This committee was formed to work towards providing cultural change input and direction, and promote communications with stakeholders along with internal departments. Another directive for this team is to focus on completing research and recommending cultural change best practices and initiatives.

What is "Cultural Intelligence"?

Cultural intelligence is the ability to relate and work effectively with people from different cultural backgrounds and it goes beyond existing notions of cultural sensitivity and awareness (Cited from the Cultural Intelligence Center). With cultural intelligence, employees learn how to strategically use cultural differences to come up with more innovative solutions.

Benefits of Cultural Intelligence for Government

  • Enhanced communication across cultures
  • Security and readiness for personnel and citizens
  • Equitable opportunities for underrepresented groups
  • Meeting regulatory requirements
  • Cost savings and efficiencies
  • Multicultural team effectiveness
  • Global team effectiveness
Cultural Intelligence Graph

History of the Cultural Intelligence Committee

  1. 2006
    Board of Commissioners shows an interest in the impact of cultural intelligence
  2. 2009
    Al Vanderberg joins the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance Advisory Committee
  3. 2012
    Ottawa County forms the 4 C’s (Communication, Customer Service, Creativity and Cultural Intelligence) Initiative
  4. 2013
    Ottawa County forms the Cultural Intelligence Committee (CIC) as an internal committee
  5. 2018
    Board of Commissioners establish the creation of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office
  6. 2019
    Board of Commissioners approve the staffing plan for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office

The Cultural Intelligence Committee is comprised of the following members:

  • Sarah Allen - Human Resources Manager
  • Abraham Gonzalez - Public Defenders Office
  • Jessica Irwin - Community Mental Health
  • Alicia Jett - District Court
  • Elizabeth Kennicott - Circuit Court
  • Judy Kettring - Public Health
  • Glorie Orozco - Public Health
  • Emily Renkema - GIS
  • Sierra Schuetz - Community Mental Health
  • Jamie Talbot - Community Mental Health
  • Michael Tamminga - Sheriff’s Department
  • Lynelle Voght - Public Health
  • Anna White - Public Defenders Office
  • Cade Young - Sheriff’s Department