Bytwerk takes over for Larry Ritsema, who has been acting as the interim executive director for the past six months. The selection was made after an extensive regional search and selection process that generated more than 60 applicants, agency officials said.
“We had many excellent candidates to interview and consider,” Love in Action Board Chairman David Ten Cate said. “We are very excited to have Josh move into the role of executive director. He brings to the position an exceptional combination of compassion, energy and proven leadership within the organization. The board and staff are impressed with his understanding of the needs of the Tri-Cities community, as well as his heart for its residents and passion to serve.
“We expect Josh to not only continue Love in Action’s excellent ministries and programs, but to work with our church and agency partners and funders to help enhance them,” Ten Cate added.
Bytwerk has served the organization as its director of operations for the past three years. During that time, he has taken on management roles outside the scope of that position. He has been instrumental in the set-up and running of the Backpack Blessings ministry and has also overseen the furniture and medical equipment ministries, as well as many aspects of facilities management.
Bytwerk has had many speaking engagements to educate the community about the work of the organization.
“Having grown up in West Michigan, I have been privileged to see the impact of what can be done when amazing people come together to empower others,” he said. “It makes us stronger as a community. With the knowledge of this strength, I am honored to serve as executive director. I am blessed already to know the exceptional and dedicated staff, volunteers, board, partners and donors who enable us to provide the services we do. I am looking forward to seeing the work of this organization bless all who need it in our community.”
Bytwerk lives in the Tri-Cities community with his wife, Shelby, and their three children. He began his work as executive director Oct. 29.
Love in Action of the Tri-Cities is a nonprofit corporation and Christian ministry founded by the local church community to encourage, educate and empower individuals and families, serving as the hands of Jesus Christ in our community.