Business Journal recognizes Newsmaker finalists

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Preston Sain. Courtesy 616 Media

Shaking off the effects of a worldwide pandemic, the West Michigan business community moved ahead on firmer footing last year as plans that were dormant for several months finally came to fruition.

Grand Rapids Business Journal will recognize those people and projects that made news in 2022 at its annual Newsmakers of the Year breakfast from 7:30-9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9, at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.

Tickets to the annual event are available here.

The Business Journal separates the honorees into 16 categories with three finalists in each group. This year, there are 52 people represented among those categories. One Newsmaker of the Year will be recognized in each of the 16 categories, and then one of those 16 winners will be honored with the overall Newsmaker of the Year Award for 2022.

A printed supplement profiling the finalists in each category will be included in the Feb. 6 issue of the Grand Rapids Business Journal.

For now, though, here is the first look at the finalists in each of the categories for Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 2022 Newsmakers of the Year.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Peter D’Arienzo, John Ball Zoo

Marcel Price, The Diatribe

Sal Semola, Gun Lake Casino

BEVERAGES

Dave Engbers, Founders Brewing, and Brett VanderKamp, New Holland Brewing

Jessica Stricklen, Brewery Nyx

Steve Vander Pol and Brandon Voorhees, Eastern Kille

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Deidra Mitchell, Waseyabek Development

Preston Sain, Black Wallstreet Grand Rapids

Kara Wood, Grand Action 2.0

EDUCATION

Philomena Mantella, Grand Valley State University

Juan Olivarez, Grand Rapids Community College

Richard Pappas, Davenport University

FINANCE

Jeff Helminski, Auxo Investment Partners

Martin Stein, Blackford Capital

Greg Williams, Acrisure

FOOD

Brian Doyle and James Doyle, King Milling

Dennis Ellens, Hudsonville Ice Cream

Gary Schuler, GTF Technologies

HEALTH CARE

Anthony Chang, BAMF Health

Tina Freese Decker, Corewell Health

Dale Sowders, Holland Hospital

LAW

Eva Alexander, New Americans Legal Clinic

Brandon Davis, City of Grand Rapids

Ron DeWaard, Varnum LLP

MANUFACTURING

Steve Downing, Gentex

Murray Kessler, Perrigo

Bonchul Koo, LG Energy Solution

NONPROFITS/PHILANTHROPY

Salvador Lopez, Housing Kent/KConnect

Dale Robertson, Grand Rapids Public Museum

Don Wilkinson, Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity

REAL ESTATE/CONSTRUCTION

Vishal Arora, Magnus Capital Partners

Dan Henrickson, Henrickson Architects and Planners

Jen Schottke, West Michigan Construction Institute

RETAIL

Richard App, City of Grand Rapids

Diane Maher, DP Fox Ventures

Elizabeth Morse, Village of Sparta DDA

SPORTS

George Aquino, Amway Grand Plaza

Mike Guswiler, West Michigan Sports Commission

Steve Jbara, Grand Rapids Gold

STARTUPS

Mitch Dennison, Rapid Control Service

James Mikrut, Payload CMS

Attah Obande, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce

SUSTAINABILITY

Erik Petrovskis, Meijer

Bev Thiel, Habitat for Humanity of Kent County

Mark White, Shape Corp.

TECHNOLOGY

Tyler Adams, Thomas Cronkright and Lawrence Duthler, CertifID

Tory Richardson, Gerald R. Ford International Airport

Alex Taylor, Orb Aerospace