Former Kalamazoo Mayor Receives Guido Leadership Award

Press Release


Matt Bach
Assistant Director of Strategic Communications
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073
[email protected];


Former Kalamazoo Mayor Receives Guido Leadership Award

Bobby Hopewell Honored for Outstanding Public Service Contribution

ANN ARBOR, Michigan — Former Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell has received the Michael A. Guido Leadership and Public Service Award for his outstanding contributions to his community and state.

Hopewell received the recognition this week in conjunction with the release of a tribute video and a podcast conversation about his work on behalf of Michigan’s communities. View the video here and podcast discussion here. The video celebration and podcast spotlight are being done in place of an in-person awards gala that was cancelled due to COVID-19-related safety measures. The award is one of the most prestigious individual honors given by the Michigan Municipal League.

Hopewell is a lifelong Kalamazoo resident and community advocate who has built a career in service to others. He was the longest-serving mayor in Kalamazoo city history when he opted to retire from the post in 2019. He also is one of the founders of the Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence, which has invested millions of dollars in Kalamazoo. He is the immediate past president of the Urban Core Mayors, a bipartisan, multi-regional coalition of Michigan’s 13 urban centers.

“I’m not one for awards, I believe the award is truly the work, but I am honored to receive this on behalf of my citizens and on behalf of the work that we’ve done,” Hopewell said. “I think and hope that receiving this award will support and encourage the work we need to do in Kalamazoo, Detroit, Chicago, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and all the other cities that have amazing people that need all of us to bring our best service to them. Thank you to the Municipal League and thank you to my Urban Core Mayor friends that I’ve been working with over the years, this is a great honor and I so appreciate it.”

Hopewell was first elected to the Kalamazoo City Commission in 2003 and elected mayor in 2007. Prior to his election to the City Commission, Hopewell served as a member of the city’s Planning Commission and Charter Review Committee, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation’s Investment Committee, the Learning Network, and the Douglass Community Association. He serves on two gubernatorial appointed boards, Michigan Community Corrections Board, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Hopewell also has been very active with the Michigan Municipal League over the years, including service on the MML’s Board of Trustees. He currently serves as president and CEO of Mobile Health Resources, a Lansing-based healthcare company. Hopewell said it was truly an honor to serve his community for so many years and he plans to continue doing so behind the scenes.

“Doing this work as a mayor and working for cities is so important because it’s everything that makes our country, our state, and our communities grow and move,” Hopewell said. “What I have enjoyed is having the honor of serving my hometown here in Kalamazoo and really trying to look for ways to impact and make the lives of our citizens better.”

His impact on his city and state is immense, said Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, who served with Hopewell on the League Board, and the Urban Core Mayors, and succeeded him as chair of the mayors’ organization.

“Throughout his tenure in public service, former Mayor Hopewell has made it a priority to support the city’s youth and help them to see what is possible for their futures,” Mayor Bliss said. “I’ve long been inspired by Mayor Hopewell. His leadership in his community and across our state is exceptional, and his impact will resonate for years to come.”

About the Guido Award: The Michigan Municipal League’s Michael A. Guido Leadership and Public Service Award celebrates a chief elected official who personifies professionalism and leadership, is an active League member, is dedicated to the citizens in their community, and advocates on their behalf in Lansing and Washington, D.C.
For additional information contact the League’s Matt Bach, assistant director of strategic communications, at (810) 874-1073 (cell) and [email protected].

Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at


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