Health Care, Human Resources, and Nonprofits

Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids announces new president

June 20, 2013
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Gilda's Club Grand Rapids announces new president
Wendy Wigger is president of Gilda's Club Grand Rapids. Photo courtesy Gilda's Club Grand Rapids

Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids announced Thursday that Wendy Wigger will become the organization’s next president.

Wigger will replace Leann Arkema, who announced recently that she was moving to San Francisco and would be taking on the role of internal consultant to the organization and Gilda’s LaughFest.

Wigger most recently served as GCGR’s vice president of community relations and program development. As vice president, she was actively engaged in building relationships, partnerships and program opportunities between GCGR, a variety of organizations and businesses, the medical community and developing programs that serve those on a cancer or grief journey. She also provided oversight for media relations, marketing and promotions for LaughFest.

“We are thrilled to appoint Wendy to the role of president, and know she will do a fantastic job of carrying on our vision for delivering emotional health care to the region for those living with cancer or grief,” said Robert Prevette, GCGR board chair. “Along with three-and-a-half years as our vice president of community relations and program development, Wendy brings a considerable professional background and deep knowledge of our vision, mission, program and community partnerships.”

Wigger has more than 25 years of experience and leadership in the health and wellness field, as well as extensive experience in marketing and communications.

Prior to joining the staff at GCGR, she served as Priority Health’s wellness director where she led the charge to improve the health and lifestyle behaviors of members and developed partnerships with employer groups to reduce health costs. Her work experience also includes Holland Hospital, where she served in many roles including director of wellness, director of marketing and public relations.

“I am honored to be chosen to serve as the president for Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids,” Wigger said. “During my tenure with Gilda’s Club, I have had the opportunity to watch and learn from Leann and participate in increasing the impact of one of the most active Gilda’s Clubs in the nation. It’s also been exciting to be part of the original team that helped deliver LaughFest to the community. I know I have big shoes to fill, and I am up for the challenge of creating sustainable emotional support programming for all individuals dealing with cancer, or grief for any reason.”

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