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Greg Stuchell | Courtesy, City of Hillsdale

 

Greg Stuchell of Hillsdale’s Ward 1 was not only elected to the city council at the ballot booths in November, but he was quite lit­erally sent by the people.

His name wasn’t even on the ballot, but 101 people wrote in his name, giving him 42 percent of the vote in Ward 1.

Stuchell had no inten­tions to run for office, after 37 years in business with Kellogg, he stepped out of his comfort zone and made an attempt for city council after his neighbors urged him to.

“This is my time to try and do some­thing,” he said. “This is my chance to give back.”

Stuchell attended Western Michigan Uni­versity as a part time student and a full time employee. He grad­uated with a degree in product engi­neering and was hired at Kellogg soon after. He has spent most of his pro­fes­sional life there.

Over the years he held a variety of roles at Kellogg, from pro­duction manager, to inno­vation manager to quality con­trols manager. Stuchell said he was never idle. He never held a position for more than three or four years and he was always on the rise, always ready to face new chal­lenges.

With his busy career, he said he was always on the road and was never able to dive into the com­munity. He laughed as he sug­gested an interview with his wife and two daughters, all of whom he said have done more for the com­munity saying,“I just work.”

This is the first elected position Stuchell has held, and he said it was only made pos­sible by his friends and family who not only encouraged and believed in him, but requested his run for office.

As he tells the story, Stuchell walked into the house of his good friend and neighbor, Peter Jen­nings, assistant pro­fessor of man­agement at Hillsdale College, to grab a beer, when all of his neighbors bom­barded him and asked him to run for city council.  

Jen­nings claims not to remember that spe­cific inter­action, but says it doesn’t sur­prise him that Stuchell said he said that.

“In the summer evenings, Greg would be out on his back deck and I’d join him and we’d just shoot the breeze,” Jen­nings said.

Jen­nings said he shared with Stuchell his idea that in order to rebuild our country, it has to start in the fam­ilies and in little towns like Hillsdale.

“Their whole family is won­derful,” Jen­nings said. “They’re role models of cit­i­zenship and exactly the kind of people you want to be leaders in the com­munity.”

Stuchell said he remembers the request of his neighbors.

“My first thought was that write in can­di­dates don’t win, so I guess I could run,” he said.

Another issue that pushed him to run for office was that two other can­di­dates were in favor of legal­izing mar­i­juana. He wanted to offer an alter­native.

But as Stuchell con­tinued to think about running for office and his neighbors per­sisted, the idea grew on him and he rec­og­nized that his life expe­rience in business could really bring a pow­erful change to the city of Hillsdale. But, unable to add his name to the ballot because of the timing, Stuchell and his friends encouraged com­munity members to write in his name.

As Stuchell finds his footing at the decision table and takes his seat for his first term which expires 2022, com­munity members said they are enthu­si­astic for what he has to offer to the people of Hillsdale.

“Greg brings his lifelong Hillsdale area prin­ciples and a stellar business back­ground to council and I’m pos­itive he’ll prove to be a guiding force for this council,” Mayor Adam Stockford said. That expe­rience has already been a very present force at city council meetings.

Stuchell said what really con­cerns him is the amount of infor­mation they have to sort through in such little time. He said he hopes that with his fellow coun­cilmen, they can slow down the process and set agendas and pri­or­ities, in order to assure they are best serving the people of Hillsdale and encour­aging business and growth.

“My first pri­ority is public safety and then infra­structure, every­thing else takes care of itself,” Stuchell said.