Grand Rapids Chamber names Leadership Grand Rapids class


The Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce selected its 2021 cohort for Leadership Grand Rapids.

The chamber program, also known as LGR, provides intensive daylong classes occurring monthly for nine months to help “deepen (participants’) understanding of the Grand Rapids landscape and develop the broad and inclusive mindset needed for community stewardship,” according to the chamber.

Key components and topics addressed include community connections, leadership skills, diversity and systems thinking.

LGR is designed to cultivate the development and network of a “community trustee” — someone who “passionately works to create a great community for all, through their decisions, actions and influence.”

“They embrace the ideals of pluralism, diversity, advocacy and the responsibility of social capital while remaining committed to continuously learn, connect and lead,” the chamber said on its blog on Aug. 4.

“LGR has proudly been operating in the Grand Rapids community for over 30 years and, in that time, has created a strong group of alumni who work toward improving our community at all levels. These alumni are change-makers both in and out of the workplace,” the chamber said.

The blog post went on to say that the class of 2021 will face unprecedented uncertainties amid COVID-19, but the chamber expects its 1,100 LGR alumni will support this class as it works to achieve “a fierce resiliency.”

2021 LGR class

Ciarra Adkins Courtesy Ciarra Adkins

Ciarra Adkins, city of Grand Rapids and Law Office of Ciarra C. Adkins

Angela Burke, Palladian West

Veverly Austin, Veverly Austin Enterprises & Confident Wear

Emily Babson, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital

Dr. Rhae-Ann Booker, Metro Health-University of Michigan Health

Carol Bremer-Bennett, World Renew

Jamie Carnes Courtesy Jamie Carnes

Jamie Carnes, Special Occasions Event Rental & Design

Matthew Cook, Lake Michigan Credit Union

Charles Dewitt, Kent County Sheriff’s Office

Loic Dimithe, Miller Johnson

Jamie Dionne, MLive Media Group

Tiffany Ewigleben, Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan

Angelica Ferrer, Kent County

Linda Gellasch, Community Media Center

Shaquanda Gordon, SS Consulting & Services

Wafa Haddad Courtesy Noor’s Heaven of West Michigan Services

Wafa Haddad, Noor’s Heaven of West Michigan Services

Pamela Hoekwater, Legal Aid of Western Michigan

Derrel Jackson, Entrepreneurial Executive

Kenneth James, Grand Rapids Chamber

LaKiya Jenkins, LINC Up

Jessica Johns, The StoreHouse of Community Resources

Kenneth James Courtesy GR Chamber

Matthew Johnson, Warner Norcross + Judd

Brianna Johnson, HR Collaborative

Heidi Kattula, East Grand Rapids Public Schools

Jason Loepp, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Admir Lugonjic, Baird

Lyndsay Martin, The Martin Group at Greenridge Realty

Paola Mendivil, El Granjero Mexican Grill

Starr Morgan, Grand Rapids Early Discovery Center

Paola Mendivil Courtesy Paola Mendivil

Carrie Mull, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s

Dormica Oppenhuizen, Meijer

Angela Paasche, Saint Mary’s Foundation at Mercy Health

Robert Poel, Steelcase

Thomas Renner, Pennell CPA

Calli Schmid, Meijer

Mike Soltis, Priority Health

Lindsey Tilley, Amway

Dhaka Timsina, Bhutanese Community of Michigan, Farmers Insurance

Eric Van Duren, Spectrum Health

Matt Visser, Design Group International

Craig Wieschhorster, Grand Valley State University

Sarah Zuidema, The Children’s Advocacy Center of Kent County

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