The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce convened a council of CEOs and business leaders from various industries who are committing to “a thriving and prosperous West Michigan for all.”
The Grand Rapids Chamber said Wednesday that it assembled a cohort of “highly engaged” business leaders from diverse industries that have promised to act as community leaders, as well.
The council will play a key role in the development of a shared future by making meaningful connections and participating in a forum to discuss challenging issues and create opportunities to propel West Michigan on a continued trajectory of growth.
West Michigan has the fastest-growing economy in the U.S., the chamber said. Home to over 130 international companies and possessing the assets of much larger communities, Grand Rapids offers “big-city amenities with a small-town feel,” as the chamber often says. Year-over-year, the metropolitan area consistently ranks at the top of economic and quality of life measurements.
West Michigan leaders often state that the region’s success directly correlates with a historic foundation of generous trailblazers who understood their responsibility as community leaders and who demonstrated the commitment and foresight necessary to spearhead strategic community change in issues and infrastructure, taking on difficult challenges for a positive impact on many. One such example is the Grand Action and Grand Action 2.0 business-based economic development groups that have spearheaded major projects, including the development of Medical Mile, the Arena District, the riverfront restoration project and more.
“Building upon that foundation (of leadership) is crucial to the region’s future success, requiring new generations of leaders to come forward to assume this stewardship role,” said Rick Baker, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Chamber. “Ensuring the continuation of this vibrant economy cannot be provided by only a few; it must be the work of many.”
Meredith Bronk, president and CEO of OST and chair of the Grand Rapids Chamber board of directors, said she is “honored to help lead the formation of this group of executives that are committed to intentional community leadership succession.”
“We are creating a new platform to engage business leaders as community leaders,” she said.
The Grand Rapids Chamber’s West Michigan CEO Council includes the following leaders:
- Nick Adamy, managing director, Adamy Valuation
- Rick Baker, president and CEO, Grand Rapids Chamber
- Meredith Bronk, president and CEO, OST
- Joe Chamberlin, CEO, West Michigan Whitecaps
- Todd Custer, president and CEO, Custer Inc.
- Anthony Chang, founder and CEO, BAMF Health
- Krista Flynn, regional president, TCF Bank
- Rhonda Huismann, office managing partner, Crowe
- Nate Koetje, CEO, Feyen Zylstra
- Dan Meyering, CEO, Trillium Ventures
- Dierdra Mitchell, president and CEO, Waséyabek Development Company, LLC
- Mark Peters, CEO, Butterball Farms, Inc.
- Robert Roth, president and CEO, RoMan Manufacturing, Inc.
- Praveen Thadani, president, Priority Health
- Ben Wickstrom, president and CEO, Erhardt Construction
- Doug Young, president, Behler-Young
The West Michigan CEO Council will be facilitated by Barbara Rapaport, of Real-Time Perspectives.