Small honored for outstanding professional achievements and leadership

Grand Rapids, Mich. – Doug Small, Experience Grand Rapids president & CEO, was selected as the 2023 Siena Heights University Outstanding Alumni Award recipient. Small received the award on October 13 at the 2023 Siena Heights Alumni Awards celebration, hosted on the university’s Adrian campus in conjunction with homecoming weekend.

The Outstanding Alumni Award recognizes outstanding professional achievements and/or volunteer contributions to promote Siena positively to the community, demonstrate strong leadership characteristics, and serve as significant role models for others. In bestowing the honor, the university noted, “He has received state and national acclaim for the work he has done and is continuing to do in a way that directly reflects the mission of Siena Heights.”

“I’m honored and humbled by this recognition,” said Small. “From setting records as a high jumper in college to setting records on the number of visitors to our amazing city of Grand Rapids, I always aim high. Thank you so much to the Experience Grand Rapids Board Directors and team members for sharing my vision. And thank you to Siena Heights for spotting that my collegiate roots still shape my life’s work and for recognizing the tremendous impact that the Experience Grand Rapids team is having on West Michigan and beyond.”

Small is a member of the Siena Heights University class of 1982. The awards given out this year were the Outstanding Alumni Award, the Sister Ann Joachim Award, the Recent Graduate Award, and the Honorary Alumni Award.

Also known as the Chief Experience Officer, Small leads day-to-day operations of Experience Grand Rapids, the area’s destination marketing organization. He and his team work to attract visitors, meetings and conventions to Grand Rapids and Kent County, and in 2022 set a record when hotel room sales and revenue in Kent County were the highest in the region’s history.

To learn more about Small’s award and other winners of the 2023 Siena Heights University Alumni Awards, visit

# # #

About Experience Grand Rapids

Established in 1927, Experience Grand Rapids (EXGR) leads the marketing of Grand Rapids/Kent County as a premier convention & visitor destination providing a significant positive impact to the West Michigan economy. Previously named the Grand Rapids/Kent County Convention & Visitors Bureau, EXGR represents the second largest city in Michigan with over one million residents.