West Coast Chamber appoints new board members

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The Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce said this week it appointed a new board chair and three new board members.

The West Coast Chamber welcomed Mike Novakoski as incoming board chair and appointed Rebekah Bakker, Jim Eickhoff and Gloria Lara as board members.

Each will serve a three-year term.

“We are delighted to have such a strong group of decision-makers that will provide insight that will support and guide us through this year,” said Jane Clark, president of the West Coast Chamber.

Novakoski is president and CEO of EV Construction in Holland and also a founding partner of the training and consulting firm Become Unmistakable. He is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and holds a bachelor’s degree in construction management from Ferris State University and a Master of Business Administration in finance from Grand Valley State University.

Bakker is business development manager at Custer. She joined Custer in 2020, pivoting her career into the public sector. Her prior experience includes roles with nonprofits including the American Red Cross, the Holland Museum, Safe Haven Ministries and Greater Ottawa County United Way. Most recently, she served as director of development and diversity for the Children’s Advocacy Center. In 2020, Bakker was named the Holland/Zeeland Young Professionals Young Professional of the Year. She holds a Bachelor of Science in political science and international relations from Grand Valley State University.

Eickhoff is president and CEO at Creative Dining Services. He joined Creative Dining in 2015 after 35 years of senior executive leadership experience from his time at Fortune 200 companies across the U.S., including the University of Phoenix/Apollo Education Group, Sallie Mae, HOSTS Learning and The ServiceMaster Company. He is the first nonfounder serving as president and CEO at Creative Dining and is focused on excellent client experiences. Jim received his Bachelor of Arts in English and secondary education from Hope College.

Lara is executive director of the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance. She was appointed to the role in 2019, continuing a career of leadership in the corporate and nonprofit sectors. She received a Bachelor of Arts in business administration (accounting) from California State University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. In addition to her 20-year career in the automotive industry, she served as CEO of Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore, CEO of the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and executive director of Michigan Career Hub.

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