PHOTOS: Gentex Street Performer Series Block Party celebrates community

A little wind and rain couldn’t dampen the fun of the third annual Street Performer Series Block Party in downtown Holland. Hosted by Gentex Corp. the Aug. 17 event delivered an evening of free food and fun to mark the final Street Performer Series event of the summer.

Steve Tamayo makes balloon animals for kids at the Block Party. (Downtown Holland)

Held at the Holland Civic Center Place parking lot, the block party had live music, yard games and giveaways. Gentex supplied the free hot dogs, bottled water and food trucks, while the Holland Police Department Polar Patrol provided free ice cream. 
Gentex team members took turns working the dunk tank. (Downtown Holland)
Kara de Alvare, marketing coordinator for Downtown Holland, thanked Gentex for its support.

Outlaw Roasted Corn was one of the food trucks that took part in the Block Party. (Downtown Holland)
“Gentex is a true champion of our goal of ensuring that everyone feels welcome in Downtown Holland, and they prove that year after year by creating opportunities for all members of our community to come together and have a great time,” she said. “We look forward to our continued partnership this holiday season at the Parade of Lights and at next summer’s Street Performer Series.”

The Block Party included lots of giveaways and prizes from Gentex. (Downtown Holland)
The Gentex team staffed a variety of games, from a prize wheel to a dunk tank to a plinko game, and delivered giveaways and freebies all night long. The block party also featured balloon animals provided by Steve Tamayo, face painting by Shel Bell Sullivan, and local singer and guitarist Rich Burkholer from Avalon the Band.

Rich Burkholer, a singer and guitarist from Avalon the Band, performed at the Block Party. (Downtown Holland)

Community connections

“The Gentex team really looks forward to hosting this block party each year,” says Craig Piersma, vice president of marketing and corporate communications. “We love connecting with the community and providing a lot of fun activities for families to enjoy together.”

Attendees were treated to free meals at the Block Party. (Downtown Holland)
For Gentex, community support is part of its recruiting strategy. At such events, Gentex recruiters share information on career opportunities and the work the company does in developing and manufacturing products for the automotive, aerospace, and commercial fire protection industries. In a tight labor market, those efforts appear to be paying dividends.

Shel Bell Sullivan paints the face of a young girl at the Block Party. (Gentex)

Gentex’s 5,400-person workforce is growing. The company recently announced an expansion that will create 500 new positions. Production workers are in high demand, with pay for third shifts starting at $19.50 an hour. All new hires are also eligible for $5,000 in company stock after a year of service. Other perks include quarterly bonuses, excellent benefits, air-conditioned facilities and a 10,000-square-foot wellness center. 

The prize wheel was popular at the Block Party. (Gentex)
Gentex holds walk-in interviews Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 58 E. Riley St. in Zeeland.

The the Holland Police Department Polar Patrol provided free ice cream at the Block Party. (Gentex)

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.