• James Townsend

Longtime Beacon Volunteer Robert Lathers Announces Retirement


Robert “Bob” Lathers has decided to retire… again.


I say “again” jokingly as Bob has technically been retired for a few years now. He served for 17 years as CEO for The Right Door for Hope, Recovery and Wellness (formerly known as Ionia County Community Mental Health), and started contributing for the Beacon as a volunteer after his retirement from that position.


Bob has also served as an Adjunct Professor at the GVSU Graduate School of Social Work for the past 10 plus years, teaching Public Policy and Non-Profit Administration Classes.


Originally from Ludington, Bob and his wife Krista have been Portland residents since 1998. They are the proud parents of Teaghan, a current Portland High School student, and Dan, a retired U.S. Marine.


As a volunteer contributor, Bob has been invaluable to the Beacon. He focused much of his effort on covering local government issues, as well as Portland school athletics and programs. Bob contributed hundreds of pieces to the Beacon in the past three years, some under his own name but many uncredited.


I am sure that some local officials will have a sigh of relief when they read that Bob has decided to retire from the Beacon. As an advocate for local journalism, and even more so as an advocate of the Portland community, Bob has relentlessly asked questions and attended meetings to see that the community remained well informed through the Beacon.


Through the countless hours Bob spent writing for the Beacon, he never asked for one cent. He did all of this as a true volunteer.


I wish Bob the best in his next phase or retirement, and I am immensely thankful for all he has done for me and for The Portland Beacon. Without his support and insight, the Beacon would not be what it is today.

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