Who are the people behind the headlines that shaped West Michigan over the past 12 months?
They are the people who continue to push the region in the right direction when it comes to most every business sector from making products and providing services to tourism.
Grand Rapids Business Journal will honor those decision makers Wednesday, Jan. 27, at its annual Newsmakers of the Year breakfast at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. Tickets for the event, which begins at 7:30 a.m., are $30 and are available here.
The Business Journal reporters and editors have completed the vetting process and agreed on the nominees in each of the following 16 categories: Arts and Entertainment, Beverages, Economic Development, Education, Finance, Food, Health Care, Law, Manufacturing, Nonprofits/Philanthropy, Real Estate/Construction, Retail, Sports, Startups, Sustainability and Technology.
The top selection from each category will be recognized with an industry Newsmaker award — and from those 16, the Newsmaker of the Year will be selected.
Last year, Peter Varga, CEO of The Rapid, took home the Newsmaker of the Year Award.
The top Newsmaker in each category and the overall Newsmaker of the Year will be announced during the event.
2015 Newsmaker of the Year finalists
Arts & Entertainment
David Hooker, Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park
Lorain Smalligan, LowellArts!
Rick DeVos, ArtPrize
Michael Brower, Pigeon Hill
Kyle Van Strien and Jon O’Connor, Long Road Distillers
Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers, Founders Brewing Co.
Cindy Larsen, Muskegon Chamber of Commerce, Jonathan Seyferth, Downtown Muskegon, and Ed Garner, Muskegon Area First
Jennifer Owens, Lakeshore Advantage
Brian Ryks, Gerald R. Ford International Airport
Teresa Weatherall Neal, Grand Rapids Public Schools
John Dunn, Western Michigan University
Thomas Haas, Grand Valley State University
Sandy Jelinski, Lake Michigan Credit Union
Jason Wenk, FormulaFolio Investments
Dave Ramaker, Chemical Financial Corp.
Rick Scalise, Hearthside
Stephen Herbruck, Herbruck Poultry Ranch
John Bryant, Kellogg Co.
Bill Manns, Saint Mary’s Mercy Health, and Deb Lyzenga, Michigan Works!
Rick Breon, Spectrum Health
Kent Riddle, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital
Stephanie Hoffer and Sheila Eddy, Smith Haughey
Doug Donnell, Mika Meyers, and John Anding, Drew Cooper Anding
Gaetan Gerville-Reach, Warner Norcross
Keith Rayborn, Plasan North America
Steve Van Andel and Doug DeVos, Amway Corp.
Rick Demuynck, General Motors Corp.
Tami VandenBerg, Well House
Kathy Crosby, Goodwill Industries
Richard M. DeVos
Mike Mraz, Rockford Real Estate Development
Derek Coppess, 616 Development
David Levitt, Third Coast Development
Darla Sevok, Trader Joe’s
Steven Tanger, Tanger Family Outlet Centers
Scott Wierda, CWD Real Estate Investment
Lew Chamberlin, West Michigan Whitecaps
Bruce Israel, Muskegon Lumberjacks
Matt Roberts, Grand Rapids Football Club
Ryan Vaughn, Varsity News Network
Nathan Owen, Blue Medora
Jeff Courter, Sportsman Tracker
Greg Northrup, Sustainable Partners LLC
Kristen Wieland, Kent County Department of Public Works
Seth Yon, Greener Grads
Mat Nguyen, Worksighted
Meredith Bronk, Open Systems Technologies
Carl Erickson, Atomic Object