Nonprofit hires director of economic opportunities

Danielle Williams Courtesy Amplify GR

A nonprofit focused on improving the southeast side of Grand Rapids hired a director to help enhance entrepreneurial and employment opportunities for residents.

Amplify GR recently hired Danielle Williams as director of economic opportunities.

In the new role, she will be charged with helping to activate business ownership and employment opportunities in the nonprofit’s target service area.

“With the addition of Danielle to our team, Amplify GR is poised to continue connecting entrepreneurs with the resources needed to build their businesses,” said Jon Ippel, executive director of Amplify GR.

“Danielle’s expertise will be an asset in strengthening economic pathways for neighbors, as she has been an integral player in large corporate teams, nonprofit structures and local municipal work. Her experience working in these environments is valuable to our partnerships with businesses and community entrepreneurs.”

Williams will work with employers to ensure their business practices align with the organization’s employment goals, including employing neighborhood talent, providing at least a $15-per-hour wage with benefits, career advancement opportunities and felon-friendly hiring.

An entrepreneur herself, Williams most recently served as principal at DMWilliams Consulting, a change-management and communication firm she founded in 2017.

She brings experience in global business-to-business communication, as well as more than 20 years in the philanthropic and not-for-profit landscape.

“Amplify understands that wealth building and access to quality jobs is essential to a community’s financial stability,” Williams said. “Having grown up in this community, I am excited to leverage the many assets and programs available in Grand Rapids to spur an economic resurgence on the southeast side.”

Amplify GR

Founded in 2015, Amplify GR is a nonprofit funded by partners such as the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation and the Cheri DeVos Foundation (CDV5 Foundation) “to widen pathways so that more residents can participate and benefit from neighborhood growth in the Boston Square, Cottage Grove and surrounding areas” on Grand Rapids’ southeast side.

Through collaborations with residents, businesses, community organizations and funders, Amplify GR works in four areas of impact: jobs and entrepreneurship, housing, education and community well-being.

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