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Young Nonprofit Professionals to be Honored October 15, 2009

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

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Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Greater Grand Rapids (YNPN-GGR) will host the YNPN Leadership Awards on October 15, 2009 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Wealthy Street Theatre.  This first of its kind event is aimed at recognizing and celebrating those who have made exemplary contributions to the nonprofit sector through their volunteerism, exemplary leadership and innovation.
A total of 29 finalists are being considered for 10 awards. Finalists include:
Advocate Award
  • Cassie Truskowski, Volunteer, Crash's Landing
  • Angela Nelson, Volunteer, PROACTIVE
  • Bridget Clark Whitney, Executive Director, Kids Food Basket
Exemplary Executive Award
  • Bridget Clark Whitney, Executive Director, Kids Food Basket
  • Luisa Schumacher, Executive Director, WMCAT
Champion Award
  • Steven dePolo, Staff, University Development
  • Lucy Joswick, Brand Manager, Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore
  • DeDe Esque, Community Volunteer and Consultant
Connector Award
  • George Wietor, New Media Planner, Grand Rapids Community Media Center
  • Mike Goorhouse, Youth and Community Foundations Program Associate, Council of Michigan Foundations
  • Maxine Gray, Project Coordinator, Williams Group
DoGooder Award
  • Janelle Hill, Community Services Coordinator, Arbor Circle
  • Emily Stoddard Furrow, Partner, DVQ Studio
  • Mindi Ysasi-Castanon, Human Resource Generalist, Cascade Engineering
Good to Great Award
  • Elissa Sangalli Hillary, Executive Director, Local First
  • Matthew VanZetten, Management Anaylist Kent County Family and Children's Coordinating Council, Count of Kent Administrators
  • Jamon Alexander, Co-Chair, BL2END
Dynamic Duo Award
  • Elizabeth Goddard, Director of Expressive Arts and Education Programs, UICA and Becca Schaub, Artworks Manager, UICA 
  • Nicole Hansen, Community Outreach Operations Director, YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids and Renee Kane, Community Outreach Project Development Director, YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids
  • Mike Schavey, Associate Director, GRCC Academic Service Learning Center and Mindy Firlan, Director, GRCC Academic Service Learning Center 
Edison Award
  • Shannon Garrett, Great Lakes Field Director, The White House Project
  • Maria Gajewski, Independent Research Contractor
  • Marie Claire Camp, Executive Director, ellohay West Michigan
Resource Award
  • Grand Rapids Community Foundation
  • BL2END, Business Leaders Linked to Encourage New Directions
  • School of Public and Nonprofit Administration at Grand Valley State University
YNPN Young Nonprofit Professional of the Year
  • Lyndsy Griffis, Fund Development Manager, ACCESS of West Michigan
  • Matt Chapman, Communications Director, Alternatives in Motion
  • Janelle Hill, Community Services Coordinator, Arbor Circle  
Dustin Dwyer, Michigan Radio's West Michigan reporter will emcee the awards event, which will also include live music, drinks and dessert.

Community members are welcome to attend this event to congratulate the YNPN Leadership Award finalists and winners.  Tickets are $15 for YNPN-GGR members, $20 for non-members, $30 for couples and an organization may purchase 5 tickets for $80.  Tickets may be purchased online at


Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Greater Grand Rapids was founded two years ago to provide emerging nonprofit leaders with opportunities for professional development, education, and networking, while promoting a continuing dialogue among nonprofits in the Greater Grand Rapids region.  YNPN-GGR is a chapter of the national YNPN national organization.  Learn more at

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Congratulations to all the finalists!  I can't wait to see who the winners will be.