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Grand Rapids Business Journal's 2017 Newsmakers of the Year breakfast

The Grand Rapids Business Journal reporting team has determined the top news stories of 2017 — and the people behind the headlines.

On January 31, 2018, GRBJ will host a breakfast event and award 16 "Newsmakers" from the following categories. Here are the 2017 Newsmaker of the Year finalists:

Arts & Entertainment
David Hooker, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
Rich MacKeigan, SMG
Scott Sprague, Gun Lake Casino

Dave Engbers and Mike Stevens, Founders Brewing Co.
Daryn Kuipers, Boxed Water
Jon O’Connor and Kyle Van Strien, Long Road Distillers

Economic Development
Dick DeVos, Grand Action
James Gill, Gerald R. Ford International Airport
Cindy Larsen, Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce

Betsy DeVos, U.S. Department of Education
Thomas Haas, Grand Valley State University
Kevin Quinn, Aquinas College

Stephen Duarte, Kent County
Sandra Jelinski, Lake Michigan Credit Union
David Quade, Horizon Bank

Steve Cooper, Continental Dairy
Herb Herbruck, Herbruck’s Poultry
Rich Wolowski, Gordon Food Service

Health Care
Norman Beauchamp Jr., MSU Grand Rapids Research Center
Mark Eastburg, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
Kevin Lobo, Stryker Corp.

Matt Fenske, Ottawa County
Kevin Lobo, Stryker Corp.
James Saalfeld, Kent County

Marc Bitzer, Whirlpool Corp.
James Keane, Steelcase Inc.
Kevin Prindable, GE Aviation

Jon Ippel, Amplify GR
Scott Jonkhoff, Next Step
Ryan VerWys, Inner City Christian Federation

Real Estate/Construction
Adam Kramer, Switch
Mike VanGessel, Rockford Construction
John Wheeler, Orion Construction

Hank Meijer, Meijer Inc.
Phil Russo, Russo’s International Market
Robert Schermer Jr., Meritage Hospitality Group

Dan DeVos, Grand Rapids Griffins
Mike Guswiler, West Michigan Sports Commission
Steve Jbara, Grand Rapids Drive

Bob Baltera, Cirius Therapeutics
Julie Burrell, Pumpndo
Feliciano Paredes, AgHelp

Dave Koster, Holland Energy Plant
Jason Meyer, Blandford Nature Center
Mike VanGessel, Circuit West

Dan Irvin, 123Net
John Keller, Metro Health-University of Michigan Health
David Van Andel, Van Andel Research Institute

One of these Newsmaker category winners will then be elevated to the 2017 Newsmaker of the Year.

Program Timeline
7:30 - 8:30am
Registration opens; breakfast and networking

8:30 - 9:30am
Awards presentation

Business attire. Free parking available.

Grand Rapids Business Journal's 2017 Newsmakers of the Year breakfast
  • Times:  7:30 AM - 9:30 AM
  • January 31, 2018 to January 31, 2018
  • Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
  • See website for details.