Nonprofit produces Triple Bottom Line Bash


Gayle DeBruyn.

A local nonprofit will honor a handful of people and organizations for championing sustainability in the region during a special bash next week.

The West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum said this week it is hosting its annual Triple Bottom Line Bash on Wednesday at Studio D2D in Grand Rapids, at 401 Hall St. SW, from 6-9 p.m.

The West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum said it works to help to "popularize green building, sustainable product design, beyond-compliance practices and savings-driven sustainability."


Each year, the nonprofit honors a set of sustainable business practitioners who have "made the greatest contribution to sustainable business in West Michigan over the course of their careers" by inducting them into its hall of fame.

This year’s halll of fame class includes three members: Guy Bazzani, president and CEO, Bazzani Associates in Grand Rapids, and founder of Local First in Grand Rapids; Deb Steketee, professor of sustainable business at Aquinas College; and Gayle DeBruyn, associate professor and chief sustainability officer at Kendall College of Art and Design.

Eric Saigeon, the locally based sustainability manager for the U.S. and Canadian operations of worldwide testing lab Intertek, will be honored with the Future Hall of Fame Award, given to an emerging professional.


Two organizations will also be recognized with special honors as part of the forum's Sustainable Business of the Year Awards.

Steelcase will receive the Champion Award for its "legacy of sustainability leadership," and Barfly Ventures will receive the Change Agent Award for its "aggressive recent efforts to become a sustainability leader in its industry and the region."

Voting is currently underway for the event’s top prize, the Sustainable Business of the Year Award.

Selected by the forum’s membership, the award honors the organization that best represents the values of the triple bottom line.

A number of organizations are finalists for the award: Amway, Aquinas College, Catalyst Partners, City of Grand Rapids, Disher Design & Development, Grand Valley State University, Herman Miller, Kent County Department of Public Works and Rockford Construction.


Tickets to the Triple Bottom Line Bash are $100 and can be purchased online.

Hall of fame inductees

Guy Bazzani has “led” West Michigan with his expertise in sustainable business practices through his firm’s architectural design, construction and real estate services for commercial and residential development.

As founder of Local First and a member of the Social Venture Network, he has helped “set the direction for positive social and economic growth, while respecting the environment in West Michigan.”

Deb Steketee joined the Aquinas College Sustainable Business Program in the fall of 2005, bringing an interest and expertise related to innovation, strategy and the social dimensions of sustainability.

From 2006-2013, she served as executive director of the Center for Sustainability at Aquinas and continues to contribute to Aquinas’ “momentum toward sustainability.”

Gayle DeBruyn is a designer and sustainability professional who founded Wege Prize, the interdisciplinary competition on circular economy design for students.

She is currently or has been in leadership positions with various organizations: West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum; GreenHome Institute; U.S. Green Building Council West Michigan Chapter; Grand Rapids Community Sustainability Partnership; UNU Regional Center of Expertise; and Design West Michigan.

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