Grand Rapids Chamber makes leadership changes

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The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce completed a partial restructuring of its leadership team.

The Grand Rapids Chamber said Wednesday, Feb. 9, it made four key leadership changes involving title changes, promotions and new responsibilities. Omar Cuevas now is vice president of investor and corporate relations, Andy Johnston is senior VP of advocacy and strategic engagement, Josh Lunger is VP of government affairs and Mark Allen is senior director of business services.

“The new structure we’ve developed puts the chamber in an excellent position for our next phase of growth as we work to lead and support our dynamic business community,” said Rick Baker, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Chamber. “It is truly an honor serving West Michigan with such a talented team of highly regarded professionals.”

Cuevas

In his new role, Cuevas will develop and execute strategies to grow revenue through new sales and enhanced engagement for chamber members and investors. As a member of the Grand Rapids Chamber’s executive leadership team, he already has influenced organizational priorities to support an inclusive economy and prosperous West Michigan for all, the chamber said.

Cuevas has been recognized in the past by the State of Michigan Hispanic Caucus as Hispanic Advocate of the Year. He currently serves on the board of Literacy Center of West Michigan, the Grand Rapids Promise Zone Authority Board, the Michigan State Police Bridge to Blue Citizen’s Advisory Board, Grand Rapids Sister Cities, City of Grand Rapids Local Officers Compensation Commission, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Alliance 4 Committee, Grand Rapids Community Foundation Latinx Advisory Committee and the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Membership Division Board.

He also is part of the leadership team driving the work of the Kent County/city of Grand Rapids Welcome Plan for New Americans and teaches entrepreneurship through the Ferris State University Emprende program at the Hispanic Center.

Johnston

Johnston joined the chamber in 2005 and formerly served as the VP of government affairs. In his new role, he now oversees the Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation, in addition to the chamber’s work in public policy, marketing and events. His responsibilities include identifying broad trends in the public policy arena that might impact business and leading the organization’s content strategies, communications and public relations.

Johnston serves as a member of the chamber’s executive leadership team. He is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute of Management and has been designated as a Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE). He recently was selected to serve as chair of the ACCE Government Affairs Division and serve on the ACCE board of directors. The ACCE and the Business Journal previously named him a 40 Under 40 honoree.

Lunger

In his new role, Lunger will lead the chamber’s public policy efforts on behalf of over 2,400 members. He already has experience in the areas of housing, transportation and local government.

Among other volunteer positions, he serves on the boards of Housing Kent, Mobile GR & Parking Services Commission, Kent County Housing Commission and the Wellspring Preparatory High School Board of Education.

He is a combat veteran and former paratrooper in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. Lunger was recognized as a 40 Under 40 Business Leader by the Business Journal in 2018 and was named a 40 Under 40 honoree by ACCE in 2020.

Allen

A 13-year Grand Rapids Chamber employee who previously was director of business services, Allen is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Organizational Management and received two recognitions as a designated chamber professional from the Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals (MACP), has served as the MACP’s program committee chair multiple times and is currently co-chair. The Grand Rapids Chamber will host the MACP’s annual convention in Grand Rapids later this year.

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