Editor’s note: Each issue of the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a profile of one of the Business Journal’s reigning 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan. The profile first appeared in the event program.
Rachel Hood, executive director for the West Michigan Environmental Action Council since 2007, is an unapologetic “greenie.”
She leads the way to protect the environment in West Michigan by inspiring action.
Hood brings experience in fund development, strategic planning and program design and management to WMEAC.
She is a diligent advocate for environmental sustainability, connecting environmentally concerned citizens with resources and with each other, informing residents of the best in global environmental thinking, innovating sustainable practices that apply the best in global environmental solutions to West Michigan problems and creating positive change by staying focused on a limited number of priorities.
Hood has focused on implementing sustainable development concepts in greater Grand Rapids throughout her career.
She was influential in the program design and funding for the Turner Gateway Project, a Michigan Cool Cities project. She was key in launching Local First, an initiative to educate greater Grand Rapids about the value of locally owned businesses. Working with The Rapid public transit system, she increased participation in the Great Transit Grand Tomorrows study, which enjoyed a 500 percent increase in public participation.
Hood has also served on a number of boards: the West Michigan Strategic Alliance Green Infrastructure Task Force, Lower Grand River Organization of Watershed’s Development Team, West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum Board, Green Grand Rapids Advisory Committee, Grand Rapids Community College Sustainability Team, Greater Grand Rapids Children’s Environmental Health Steering Committee, Grand Rapids Youth Boxing Foundation, Progressive Women’s Alliance Candidate Committee and Michigan Clean Water Fund PAC.