Inside Track

Profiles of individuals who are leading West Michigan organizations.

ARTICLES

Inside Track: Judo inspires Grand Rapids lawyer in and out of court

Eric Richards went to law school by default after being unable to get a job with a history degree.

September 19, 2014
Whether he’s defending a client inside a courtroom or slamming an opponent on a judo mat, one thing about Eric Richards remains consistent. Read More

Inside Track: Ball bounces right way for D-League president Jbara

A young man’s unlikely path leads to becoming the face of the Grand Rapids Drive.

September 12, 2014
In early 2012, Steve Jbara was sitting in his seat at The Palace of Auburn Hills as a season ticketholder for the Detroit Pistons when an usher approached him. Read More

Inside Track: Buikema has overseen a sea change at Habitat

Habitat for Humanity of Kent County’s new model involves neighborhood stabilization and revitalization.

September 5, 2014
Mary Buikema knows owning a house can be a transformational experience for a family, which is why she is so passionate about her job at Habitat for Humanity of Kent County. Read More

Inside Track: Rahinsky is a Type A executive in uniform

The new Grand Rapids police chief says the job has many similarities to managing a business.

August 29, 2014
David Rahinsky is not one of those executives who doesn’t always answer his phone. Read More

Inside Track: Sprague lives out the pro-life journey he endorses

The local Pregnancy Resource Center is one of the largest in the country with an annual budget of $2 million.

August 22, 2014
Displayed inside Jim Sprague’s office are photos of his three children: Jacob, Madison and Kevin, ages 20, 14 and 11, respectively. Read More

Inside Track: Millennial entrepreneur rides the wave of GR’s renaissance

Andrew Montpetit’s start-up, Thoughts You Can See, draws on his talent of expressing ideas visually.

August 15, 2014
Even though Andrew Montpetit loved to draw as a kid, he was always told that “the starving artist” path was too financially risky. Read More

Inside Track: Brewery Vivant is a good business and a good neighbor

Jason Spaulding learned from his experience and travels in Europe that there’s more to a brewery than making good beer.

August 8, 2014
The idea of making a career of beer has become an accepted premise in Grand Rapids, and few have done it better than Jason Spaulding. Read More

Inside Track: Keeping aspiring entrepreneurs on track

Linda Johnson Otterbridge’s Hook a Sista Up organization provides support and teaches accountability.

August 1, 2014
First-time entrepreneurs are a lot of fun to work with, according to Linda Johnson Otterbridge, because “you never know what they’re going to come up with.” Read More

Inside Track: Walker chief marks 40 years in law enforcement this year

For Catherine Garcia-Lindstrom, becoming a police officer in the 1970s meant overcoming a series of obstacles.

July 25, 2014
Catherine Garcia-Lindstrom stands as a much-needed example of how law enforcement can be an accepting and viable career path for women and members of minority communities. Read More

Inside Track: Munger gives men a chance to leave their past behind

The founder of the five-year-old Exodus Place strives to help residents find their purpose in life.

July 18, 2014
Robb Munger was nearly killed when a mortar shell knocked him off of his feet in Honduras, but he was rattled even more when the final payment of a property tax bill came knocking on his door. Read More