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Grand Rapids Public Museum names Legacy Awards Gala winners

March 14, 2016
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John Kennedy
John Kennedy. Courtesy Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum announced today the honorees for its eighth-annual Jay and Betty Van Andel Legacy Awards Gala.

The awards, given at the museum’s annual fundraiser, recognize individuals for their positive impacts in the community, through their dedication and commitment to bettering the quality of life in the region.

Recipients are chosen based on community leadership and character.

The awards will be formally given to the recipients at the museum’s Legacy Awards Gala on Nov. 10.

Jay and Betty Van Andel Lifetime Achievement Award

This year, the Jay and Betty Van Andel Lifetime Achievement Award will be awarded to John Kennedy.

The award is presented to individuals who demonstrate a lifetime of dedication to the community in the philanthropic spirit of Jay and Betty Van Andel. The museum recognizes the recipient’s unwavering commitment to developing educational experiences and inspiring others to action.

Kennedy is president and CEO of Autocam Medical. Formerly, he was president and CEO of Autocam Corporation, which he founded in 1988 and sold in 2014.

He is a member of the boards of Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids University Preparatory Academy, Lacks Enterprises, Shape Corporation, Colt Manufacturing, Van Andel Institute, Acton Institute and an advisory board member of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business’ Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.

Dave and Carol Van Andel Leadership Award

This year’s Dave and Carol Van Andel Leadership Award will go to Lyman Parks Jr.

The award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated a commitment and passion for the greater West Michigan region. The honoree provides insightful guidance and support to numerous philanthropic organizations, contributing to the cultural, educational and economic health of the community.

Parks currently serves as president of the board of the Art and Museum Commissions and as an advisory board member of the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives.

He has a long history of community service: board president for Allen Manor Senior Housing; board member of the Garfield Park Neighborhood Association; Junior Achievement instructor at Jefferson Elementary School, St. Andrew’s Elementary School, North Oakview Elementary School and Grand Rapids Central High School; board of directors for Habitat for Humanity of Kent County; and volunteer organist at Clark Retirement Home and pianist for special choral performances at Riverside Middle School.

Casey Award

The Casey Award will be presented to both Dave Engbers and Mike Stevens.

The Casey Award is named after one of the museum’s most dynamic volunteers, Casey Wondergem. The award is presented in his memory to younger members of the greater West Michigan region in recognition of their action, involvement and courage in creating or furthering a cause of importance and benefit to the community. The award highlights public service and serves to inspire and encourage continued charitable activity.

Engbers and Stevens are co-founders of Founders Brewing Co. Engbers serves as the company’s president, and Stevens serves as the company’s CEO.

Both men were born and raised in Grand Rapids and attended Hope College, where they met. The pair spent their college years dreaming of opening a brewery. In 1997, they secured funding and opened the doors of Founders Brewing Co. Today, it is one of the fastest-growing craft breweries in the nation.

Tickets for the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s Legacy Awards Gala can purchased by calling 616-929-1754. 

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