Business Journal names Newsmaker nominees
The more, the merrier, right?
The Grand Rapids Business Journal has expanded its Newsmakers of the Year awards for 2014, adding several new categories that reflect continued economic expansion.
This year’s honorees, who are the people behind the headlines that shaped West Michigan over the past 12 months, represent this growing region.
A couple of tweaks and a few additions resulted in 16 categories for this year’s Newsmakers of the Year, with 54 nominees vying for top honors. The top selection in each category will be recognized with an industry Newsmaker award — and from those 16, The Newsmaker of the Year will be selected.
The Business Journal reporters and editors have completed their vetting process and agreed on the nominees in each of the following categories: Manufacturing, Real Estate/Construction, Retail, Health Care, Law, Technology, Arts & Entertainment, Sports, Nonprofits, Economic Development, Education, Finance, Food, Beverages, Sustainability and Startups.
Last year, Derek Coppess of 616 Development in Grand Rapids took home The Newsmaker of the Year award.
“These individuals invested in community and economic development throughout 2014 and contributed in big ways to the excitement and progress of this city and region,” said Carole Valade, editor, Grand Rapids Business Journal.
The Business Journal will celebrate all of the nominees and their accomplishments during an awards breakfast, beginning at 7 a.m., on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
The top Newsmaker in each category and the overall Newsmaker of the Year will be revealed at that time. Tickets to the event are $30.
2014 Newsmaker of the Year finalists
Jim Staargaard, Plasan Carbon Composites
Brent Willis, Electronic Cigarette International Group
Rita Woodruff/Mary Gill-Thornton, Gill Industries
Duke Suwyn, Colliers International West Michigan
Mike VanGessel, Rockford Construction
John Wheeler, Orion Construction/Real Estate Solutions
Earl Clements, Colliers (Centerpointe Mall)
Doug Meijer/Hank Meijer, Meijer
Scott Miedema, Miedema Auctions
Steve Davidson, Agility Health
Marsha Rappley, MSU College of Human Medicine
Roger Spoelman, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s
Ed Bardelli, Warner Norcross
Jeffrey O’Hara, 63rd District Court
Perrin Rynders, Varnum
Meredith Bronk, Open Systems Technologies
Keith Brophy, Ideomed
Robert Pero, Frontier Communications
Arts & Entertainment
Glenn Del Vecchio, Grand Rapids Ballet (“Nutcracker”)
Rick DeVos, ArtPrize
Kris Larson, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (Movies in the Park)
Mike Guswiler, West Michigan Sports Commission (Art Van Sports Complex)
Steve Jbara, Grand Rapids Drive
J.K. Symancyk, Meijer LPGA Classic
Darel Ross, LINC Community Revitalization
Diana Sieger, Grand Rapids Community Foundation
Peter Wege, The Wege Foundation
Birgit Klohs, The Right Place
Chris Muller/Chip Richards, Restore the Rapids
Peter Varga, The Rapid (Silver Line)
John Dunn, Western Michigan University
Steven Ender, Grand Rapids Community College
Richard Pappas, Davenport University
Laurie Beard, Founders Bank & Trust
Sandy Jelinski, Lake Michigan Credit Union
Michael Price, Mercantile Bank
Jim Gordon, Gordon Food Service
Cliff Meeuwsen, Zeeland Farm Services
Craig Smith, RedWater Restaurant Group
Chris Andrus/Max Trierweiler, Mitten Brewing Co.
Mark Sellers, BarFly (HopCat)
Brett VanderKamp, New Holland Brewing Co.
George Heartwell, Grand Rapids Solar Park
Dan Nally, Holland Board of Public Works
Kris Spaulding, Brewery Vivant
Gillian Henker/Carolyn Yarina/Katherine Kirsch, Sisu Global Health
Justin Herd, OneBowl
John Sorenson, Vestaron