Economic Development, Human Resources, and Manufacturing

Partners producing Young Professionals of Color Conference

July 21, 2017
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Kathryn Finney
Kathryn Finney. Photo via

A local manufacturer is partnering with several area groups to host a conference on helping young professionals of color innovate and grow.

Grand Rapids-based Cascade Engineering will host the sixth annual Young Professionals of Color Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Aug. 2, at DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave. NW in Grand Rapids.

The event will be followed by a mixer hosted by the conference and Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority’s Community Inclusion Group, Business Leaders Linked to Encourage New Directions (BL²END), Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. and Experience Grand Rapids.

All of this year’s sessions during the conference will focus on the theme “Shifting the Norm: Using Your Talents and Innovation,” with the goal of helping young professionals of color adapt to an evolving workplace.

Keynote speaker

Kathryn Finney, a tech entrepreneur, social media expert, women’s advocate, investor, writer and television correspondent, will be the keynote speaker.

Finney is a past member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and founder and managing director of digitalundivided, a social enterprise that fosters economic growth through the empowerment of black and Latina women entrepreneurs using innovation as a tool.


Attendees will be able to select two of six afternoon break-out sessions. A continental breakfast, lunch and snacks will be provided. More information about the sessions is available online.


Participants may register for the conference online until Tuesday, July 25. Space is limited, and registration will close when the conference reaches capacity.

Attendees must register online separately for the social networking event.

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