Terri Lynn Land served two terms as Michigan’s 41st Secretary of State (2003-2010). With a message of improving customer service and reducing costs to the taxpayers, Land was elected in 2002 by the largest margin in an open seat race in a generation. After delivering on her campaign promises, Terri was re-elected in 2006 by historic margins.
Terri announced her campaign for United States Senate in the summer of 2013 after receiving encouragement from grassroots activists across Michigan.
“Growing up in Michigan, I watched my father, grandmother and grandfathers work tirelessly to grow their small business, learning the value of hard work at an early age. After I graduated from Hope College in Holland, MI, I continued to work for our family business and then began my tenure in public service. I took the lessons learned at the family business—the importance of hard work, balanced budgets, and customer service—and set my focus on improving government services to make government work for the people.
“Now, I am ready to take my work ethic and experience as a mother, small businesswoman and public official to Washington to show them how government should work for the hardworking taxpayers.”
GROWING UP IN A FAMILY BUSINESS
Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Terri’s early years were spent living at the family’s La’Grande Grandville Motel and Trailer Park, which was started by her grandfather and grandmother. As both the business and Terri grew, Terri worked alongside her family at the motel, cleaning rooms, changing the beds, and working various jobs around the property. In addition to helping at the motel during high school, Terri also worked at two other local small businesses and attended Grandville City Council meetings as the student representative.
Terri is a graduate of Grandville High School, and following graduation studied at Hope College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
Land’s passion to serve the people stretches back to her high school years, when she served as a “scatter blitzer” for the Gerald R. Ford for President campaign, and regularly attended Grandville City Council meetings as a student body representative of her high school. In fact, she was one of the youngest attendees at the Republican State Convention in Michigan.
GROWING HER FAMILY
Soon after college graduation, Terri met her husband, Dan Hibma. After getting married, Terri and Dan purchased a small house in Byron Center—the town they still call home today—and had two children together, Jessica and Nic. Terri continued to work at the same La’Grande Motel where she worked with grandma Jenny while growing up. She was now the manager, but still never too busy to change the beds when needed—which now included a larger hotel with more rooms.
A FAMILY TRADITION OF GIVING BACK
The Land family has always been dedicated to giving back to the community that gave them so much, and have been the backbone of several non-profit efforts throughout the years. Whether it was planting trees along the roads in Grandville to make the town a nicer place to live, or collecting donations to clothe and educate people around the world, the Land family has a deep commitment of service to the community.
GROWING A WEST MICHIGAN BUSINESS
The family business continued to grow as Terri’s husband, brother-in-law, and father worked together to develop several quality apartment communities across West Michigan. Eventually the business grew from a small motel and trailer park into apartment communities, retail, commercial and industrial space. Today, Land & Co. provides good paying job opportunities for hundreds of West Michigan residents, and quality, affordable homes to thousands more.
SERVING THE TAXPAYER IS JOB #1
Lowering costs, increasing transparency, and improving efficiency through innovation and technology drove Terri’s agenda as Secretary of State.
During her two terms, Terri made the office of the SOS more accessible to the people by expanding online service options, installing 24-hour self-service stations at every branch office, and streamlining many of the processes. She also reined in costs and avoided mandated layoffs by right-sizing the office through attrition, giving workers incentives to develop better ways to do their job, and rooting out fraudulent activity. Terri also fought to make the office more accountable to the taxpayer. She put all of the SOS office’s transactions online so the taxpayer could see where their money was being spent. Terri revolutionized the SOS office, making it possible for people to do their business online, or after office hours at the self-serve station. Her reforms worked so well and were so popular with the public, they are still in place today.
Prior to serving as Secretary of State, Terri served as Kent County Clerk (1992-2000), which was a time of tremendous change and growth in Michigan’s 4th largest county. In that position, she focused on increasing transparency, making county government more open and accessible for the public, making sure public records were as accurate as possible, and cutting the cost of the office’s daily operations.
STAYING INVOLVED IN HER COMMUNITY
Terri has always taken her commitment to the community seriously and believes that her call to service goes beyond the halls of the capitol. Terri remains involved in organizations at the local, regional, and state levels. She currently serves as a Board Member for Gift of Life of Michigan—a group that strengthens the organ donation process—she is also a co-founder of the Byron Center Community Fine Arts Council and sits on the Board of Directors of Michigan Protection and Advocacy Services, Inc. She has served on the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Board, U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society, the Grand Rapids Public Museum Foundation Board, the Women’s Resource Center of Grand Rapids, the American Heart Association, and many more.