The Grand Rapids Business Journal has named its Newsmakers of the Year.
Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO of Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health, was honored as the overall Newsmaker of the Year at the Business Journal’s awards breakfast today at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
Sixteen category winners also were named at the event.
Freese Decker was appointed president and CEO of Spectrum in July 2018, after working for the organization since 2002. She most recently served as EVP and COO.
Pamela Ries, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Spectrum Health, accepted the award in Freese Decker’s absence.
“I’m just so proud of (Freese Decker), because she really has taken our culture to a new level,” Ries said.
Prior to Freese Decker’s new appointment, Spectrum Health announced plans to acquire St. Joseph-based Lakeland Health system in June. The system encompasses more than 40 locations and over 4,000 employees and 450 providers. The agreement was finalized in October.
Additionally, Spectrum opened a new 24,400-square-foot, two-story integrated care facility that provides primary care, pediatrics, women’s health, radiology, labs and outpatient rehabilitation.
The Newsmakers of the Year by category
Arts & Entertainment
Jori Bennett, ArtPrize
Kyle Van Strien and Jon O’Connor, Long Road Distillers
George Haga, Ada Village
Dale Nesbary, Muskegon Community College
Tom Welch, Fifth Third Bank
David Staples, SpartanNash
Tina Freese Decker, Spectrum Health
Floyd Gates Jr., Bodman PLC
Kevin Lobo, Stryker
Annemarie Valdez, First Steps Kent
John Wheeler, Orion Construction
Rick Keyes, Meijer Inc.
Russ Hines, River Bank Events and Media
Katarina Samardzija, Locker Lifestyle
Elissa Sangalli Hillary, Local First
Michael Rutherford, Rutherford and Associates