Economic Club names award winners


Mike Jandernoa. Courtesy The Economic Club of Grand Rapids

The Economic Club of Grand Rapids has selected the winners of its annual awards.

The winner of the club's Business Person of the Year Award is Mike Jandernoa, a former CEO of Perrigo.

The winner of its Slykhouse Community Leadership Award is Peter Secchia, a former U.S. ambassador to Italy.

The Business Person of the Year Award was instituted in 1988, and Amway Co-founder Richard DeVos was the first recipient.

The Slykhouse Community Leadership Award was instituted in 2000, and the first recipient was George Slykhouse, an attorney for Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cummiskey and the chapter’s founder.

Mike Jandernoa

Jandernoa, a former CEO and board chair of Perrigo, is the founder of Jandernoa Entrepreneurial Mentoring, co-founder of Bridge Street Capital Partners, lead investor in the Hopen Life Science Fund, co-founder of Grand Angels and founder and chairman of the investment firm 42 North Partners.

Jandernoa serves on many boards: Lacks Enterprises, ADAC, Business Leaders for Michigan, Grand Angels, Hopen Life Science Fund, Cirius Therapeutics, Spectrum Health, University of Michigan President’s Advisory Board, Grand Valley University Foundation; Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation; and other corporate advisory boards.

Peter Secchia

Secchia, who served as U.S. ambassador to Italy from 1989 to 1993, is a former CEO and board chair for Universal Forest Products, where he helped grow the $1-million company to almost $3 billion in sales. As an ambassador, he received numerous awards from the Republic of Italy and the U.S. State Department.

Secchia’s civic activities include past involvement and leadership roles in a variety of local and statewide charities, particularly for the inner city, urban schools and young people, as well as many one-time community events.

He has chaired numerous organizations, such as The Economic Club and Youth Commonwealth, and received awards and recognition for his involvement in state government. 

Secchia was behind the MSU College of Human Medicine’s move to Grand Rapids in 2010.

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