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Leadership Grand Rapids Class of 2012 announced

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33 local leaders will participate in Leadership Grand Rapids, a class designed to explore key community issues for Grand Rapids.
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Leadership Grand Rapids applications are available every December and are due on the first Friday of May. If you are interested in participating in any of the Center for Community Leadership's programs visit for more information or contact Lizzie Williams at [email protected]!

The Center for Community Leadership (CCL), the community leadership program of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, is proud to announce the community leaders who will participate in the 2012 Leadership Grand Rapids Program.


Thirty-three individuals were selected from more than 70 applicants.  Participants represent the community as a whole - diverse in sector, gender, ethnicity and experience.  Each member demonstrated leadership qualities both personally and professionally, and a desire to serve Grand Rapids.


“This is an outstanding group of people who are committed to learning more about their community and how they and their organizations can contribute to building a community of uncommon greatness,” says Director of Center for Community Leadership, Jordan O’Neil. 


The class attended a two-day opening retreat this past weekend, and will meet monthly from October through May to explore key community issues shaping the future of Grand Rapids, including essential needs, community health, economic prosperity and talent development.


Following completion of the program, the class members will be prepared to serve Grand Rapids as a community trustee – a leader who accepts the shared responsibility on behalf of the whole community to ensure the common good.


The Leadership Grand Rapids Class of 2012 includes:

Nick Adamy, Adamy Valuation Advisors

Raul Alvarez, Grand Rapids Community College

Ryan Anderson, Steelcase Inc.

Tony Baker, Ferris State University

Rick Beerhorst, Studio Beerhorst

Ashanti Bryant, Grand Rapids Christian Schools

Mary Buikema, Habitat for Humanity of Kent County

Michael Chabot, Johnson Controls, Inc.

Michael Demos, DTE Energy

Jeremy DeRoo, LINC Community Revitalization Inc.

Steffany Dunker, Spectrum Health

Nkechy Ezeh, Aquinas College

Elizabeth Gensler, Food Security Network Coordinator

Chris Glass, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce

Deborah Guyton, Saint Mary's Health Care

Bradley Hecksel, Coldwell Banker AJS-Schmidt Realtors

Joann Hoganson, Kent County Health Department

Robert Kimball, Grand Valley State University

Kathleen Koch

Bill Luke, Amway

Brian May, Wolverine World Wide, Inc.

Joseph Novakoski, Elzinga & Volkers, Inc.

Randy Osmun, The SOURCE

Shlynn Rhodes, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Karynn Sikkema, Professional Benefit Services

Philip Skaggs, Michigan League of Conservation Voters

Angela Steele, Literacy Center of West Michigan

Michael Sytsma, The Bank of Holland

Taggart TownErhardt Construction

Steve VanWagoner, Celebration! Cinema

Lynee Wells, Williams & Works

Judy Williams, Jenison Public Schools

John Wittkowski, Grand Rapids Police Department



About the Center for Community Leadership

The Center for Community Leadership is a program of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce committed to enhancing and connecting leaders from business, non-profits and government. For more than 25 years, CCL’s diverse portfolio of programming has empowered participants with a comprehensive understanding of our community’s challenges and opportunities, preparing them for their roles as Community Trustees. 


About the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce

With more than 120 years of experience creating opportunities for business success, theGrand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce is the premier business membership organization in West Michigan. Though the area’s largest employers are among its 2,700 member businesses, more than 80% of members are small companies with 50 or fewer employees. By helping members connect, grow and succeed, the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce is a community partner that provides value for members, enhances the business climate in the area, and advocates for public policy that supports economic growth and vitality.

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