I was proud and honored to accept the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 2009 Newsmaker of the Year award recently on behalf of Van Andel Institute and my colleagues who work to make our venture a success. It was especially gratifying to receive the award for a second time, especially in a year with so many worthy candidates and finalists.
This year’s award speaks volumes about the growth of the life sciences in West Michigan, and the spirit of collaboration the industry has inspired throughout the region and beyond. The award also helps to bring our effort full circle. Nearly a decade after receiving this honor the first time, it emphasizes the continuation of our vision to change the economic face of West Michigan and of our mission to find cures for the diseases that afflict our friends and loved ones.
At Van Andel Institute, we look toward the prospect of filling our new, expanded facility with an additional 500 staff dedicated to finding the causes of debilitating disease and to turning those discoveries into cures with the power to change lives.
We are proud to have been a catalyst in helping to establish the region as a viable life sciences corridor, and proud to be a continuing part of creating something of lasting worth and importance in West Michigan. However, as we all know, creating something of this magnitude requires the cooperation and commitment of an entire community, and it is important that we continue to gather as a community to further the dialogue about West Michigan’s future.
Thank you once again for this great honor.
David Van Andel
Chairman & CEO
Van Andel Institute