Downtown hosting Great Lakes Capital Connection


Blake Krueger. Courtesy Wolverine Worldwide

Several local business leaders will keynote the Great Lakes Capital Connection in downtown Grand Rapids next month.

Michigan State University men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo, Alticor President Doug DeVos and Wolverine Worldwide President and CEO Blake Krueger will give keynote addresses at the two-day conference by the Association for Corporate Growth Western Michigan.

The association's annual regional event, being hosted by the Grand Rapids-based chapter for the first time, will be held Sept. 6 and 7 at the Amway Grand Plaza.

The event has already set a record for the number of registered attendees.

Each year, the GLCC brings more than 1,000 private equity, finance and M&A professionals to learn and network in the selected host city. Grand Rapids was chosen among the seven Great Lakes region ACG chapters, which include Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Indiana and Pittsburgh.

As the keynote breakfast speaker on Sept. 7, Izzo will speak about leadership and producing results. The three-time Big Ten coach of the year’s presentation is sponsored by Honigman.

DeVos and Krueger will present their “Fireside chat with keynotes” after lunch, where some of the topics the pair will discuss include the growth in today’s global economy, how multi-national brands are built and how cross-cultural acquisitions are made.

In addition to the keynote addresses, GLCC will feature three panel discussions and programming put on by ACGWM’s Women in Finance and Young Professionals groups. Girls Who Invest CEO Kathleen Powers Dunlap will present on the under-representation of women in asset management on behalf of ACGWM Women in Finance.

ACGWM Young Professionals will host a panel discussion led by Ottawa Avenue Private Capital, which will explore the ins and outs of private equity buyouts.

The three panel discussions will focus on mergers and acquisitions, investment banking and private equity in the region:

  • M&A Trends in the Craft Brewing Industry , in which a panel of Michigan craft brewers and industry experts, includings Founders’ Mike Stevens, share their perspectives on the current market.
  • State of the Capital Markets, a panel of equity, sub-debt, unitranche and senior debt experts discuss the state of capital markets and what to expect in the future
  • International M&A, a panel moderated by Plante Moran’s Lou Longo discussing the current geopolitical landscape’s effect on transactions and unique due diligence issues that come up in cross-border M&As

ACG members can register for the event for $375, and non-members can register for $525 at

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