Hello West Michigan invites public to annual meeting

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Rachel Gray. Courtesy Hello West Michigan

A talent attraction organization will feature a leadership guru as its keynote speaker and give an update on its recent achievements at its annual meeting this week.

Hello West Michigan will host its 2022 annual meeting from 2:30-5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, at Davenport University’s Sneden Auditorium, 6191 Kraft Ave. SE in Grand Rapids, and also will offer a livestream option.

The organization will provide an update on its talent attraction and retention efforts in the past year and will welcome keynote speaker Kevin Oakes, CEO and co-founder of the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4p) and author of “Culture Renovation: 18 Leadership Actions to Build an Unshakeable Company.”

Oakes’ company offers a voice on next practices in human capital and his book, “Culture Renovation,” has been the No. 1 release in a dozen Amazon book categories. It details how high-performance organizations such as Microsoft, T-Mobile, 3M, AbbVie and Mastercard have changed organizational culture.

His presentation will address the reality that only 15% of organizations succeed at changing their culture, and he will provide a “framework any business leader can use to face the future with confidence and to build a great organization from the inside out.”

In addition to Oakes’ keynote, Hello West Michigan Executive Director Rachel Gray will give an update on the organization’s 2021 activities and impact. As the first talent attraction agency of its kind in the country that has been recognized nationally by Forbes and the International Economic Development Council, Hello West Michigan continues to help West Michigan grow. From 2010-19, the Grand Rapids metropolitan statistical area (MSA) had 28,532 in-migrants coming from other states or overseas. This accounts for 34% of the MSA’s population growth during that time, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Everyone knows West Michigan employers are struggling to fill positions,” said Ann Harten, vice president of global human resources for Haworth and board chair of Hello West Michigan. “But not everyone knows what we’re doing to fix that. Hello West Michigan is directly addressing the issue by attracting talent, educating people about the lifestyle they can have here, and connecting job seekers with employers and resources.”

At the event, Hello West Michigan also will announce its newest program offering, Rapid Roots, which the Business Journal will feature in a future report. It is a cohort-style program for executives who recently relocated to West Michigan. The pilot cohort is launching in March and is designed to “accelerate assimilation into the community and build network connections for new transplants.”

Hello West Michigan’s 2022 annual meeting is open to members, nonmembers, community organizations, and college and university representatives.

Tickets are $35 for members and $50 for nonmembers.

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