Press Release: Holland's Fifelski Honored with Excellence in Equity Award

Ottawa Update

October 20, 2020

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Holland's Fifelski Honored with Excellence in Equity Award

Esther Fifelski, the City of Holland's Director of Human Relations, has been named the 2020 Excellence in Equity Award recipient. The news was announced today at the Ottawa County Diversity Forum. Because the forum was held virtually this year, the Award Decision Committee surprised Fifelski with the announcement on Monday, October 12. Watch the video of Esther Fifelski receiving her award.

The Excellence in Equity Award recognizes individuals who impact the public sector field in Ottawa County and focus on the importance of equity through their practices, programs, policies and decision making.  

“We are very proud of Esther and the work she does in our organization on behalf of the residents of Holland,” said Keith Van Beek City Manager of Holland. "Esther personifies so well the City commitment to equity and inclusion work; being approachable and kind to citizens and yet committed and persistent in pursuing work to make our community a great place for everyone.”

As the Human Relations Director, a position she has held for the past seven years due to her exceptional work, Esther has led and participated in a number of cross-cultural activities to promote the awareness of the Hispanic and Latinx people, heritage and culture. The work of the Department also encompasses civil rights and fair housing matters, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Esther says that all communities should plan. Meaning, they should pay attention to the local and national landscape, they should create a plan for a racial or bias incident and should look for better ways to serve their community. Currently, she is working on a racial equity toolkit for the City, the goal will be to have elements in place that will help the City factor racial equity into decision-making processes.

She advocates for the underserved in the work that she does; normalizes the conversation of race, equity, and inclusion, and conveys community concerns to City leaders.

Learn more about the award at

Equity Award