Doreen Bolhuis schedules playtime at Gymco


Doreen Bolhuis

Editor’s note: Each issue of the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a profile of one of the Business Journal’s reigning 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan. The profile first appeared in the event program.

Doreen Bolhuis is determined to do battle with a child-rearing statistic she finds unacceptable: Forty-five percent of all parents feel they don’t have time to play with their children. On the positive side, 73 percent of children think it’s more fun to play with their parents than watch TV.

Bolhuis, founder and president of Gymco, a physical-literacy company geared at creating confidence in children, is convinced parents are the not-so-secret weapon to encouraging their children to get active.

Every time parents stop to play with their kids, they make memories, increase the bond between each other and increase their self-esteem, Bolhuis said.

Gymco has been a pioneer in childhood fitness and in 2008 teamed with Pontentia to bring an adult “brain fitness” club, Connections, to West Michigan. Connections is a yearlong program that’s conducted in a social group setting consisting of eight to 10 adults. 

After building a successful business that is recognized nationally and internationally, Bolhuis is now engaged in a succession plan for Gymco.

Bolhuis earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Central Michigan University.

She taught and coached at East Grand Rapids schools.

Bolhuis serves West Michigan through past and current affiliations, such as the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Inforum of West Michigan, Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center and Huntington Bank Women’s Advisory Board, which is dedicated to mentoring young female leaders in financial literacy, board, leadership and vision skills and community service.

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