- change ups
Kathleen Stewart Ponitz sustains community
Editor’s note: Each issue of the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a profile of one of the Business Journal’s reigning 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan. The profile first appeared in the event program.
As a principal with Progressive AE, Kathleen Stewart Ponitz led a corporate initiative to become the first architectural/engineering firm in North America to earn CarbonNeutral Company status.
Progressive AE also was the first architectural and engineering firm in West Michigan to be an Energy Star Partner, to be a part of the Mayor’s Community Sustainability Partnership and to earn a Sustainable Merit Award for Aquinas College’s Jarecki Center for Advanced Learning from AIA Grand Valley.
Ponitz is founder and principal of The Stewart-Ponitz Group, a consulting practice dedicated to the development of robust learning organizations. An accomplished business executive and community leader, Ponitz excels at aligning people and resources determined to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.
A catalyst for change in the West Michigan community, Ponitz launched the Holland and Grand Rapids chamber of commerce leadership initiatives and established Leadership West Michigan — the first regional leadership program.
Ponitz played a key role in diversifying marketing and membership in the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, as well as launching its first strategic plan and re-branding initiatives.
She generated marketing and client strategies to build customer share for National City Bank and has served as governance chair for Priority Health’s board.
Ponitz’s community work has included serving on Experience Grand Rapids, helping to integrate its new president and director into the community, while supporting the efforts of attracting conferences, conventions and events to West Michigan.
She’s also served on Grand Rapids Symphony’s Development Committee, Michigan Women’s Foundation, Circle of Red, part of the Women’s Heart Association, and West Michigan Sports Commission.