Inside Track

Profiles of individuals who are leading West Michigan organizations.


Inside Track: Turning houses into homes

Self-taught interior designer helms growing home décor subscription box company and QVC line.

April 20, 2018
Farah Merhi’s “aha moment” came in the middle of a home improvement project. Read More

Inside Track: The circle of life

As executive director of Festival of the Arts, David Abbott looks to showcase different cultures he experienced attending the event as a child.

April 13, 2018
Jacobson’s department store was where it all started. Read More

Inside Track: For the love of nature

Darwin Baas strives to find innovative ways to make Kent County a sustainable community.

April 6, 2018
With a 25-year-long career in conservation, spanning both the public and private sectors, Darwin (Dar) Baas brings a collaborative approach to solving West Michigan’s waste management channels. Read More

Inside Track: Dedicated to human service

Kent County administrator/controller uses experiences growing up in 1960s America to better community.

March 30, 2018
For some, the 1960s may seem like a great time to have grown up, but that wasn’t necessarily the case for many. Read More

Inside Track: ‘The living American dream’

Nicaraguan native and restaurateur Tony Craig brings cuisine rooted in multicultural heritage to Grand Rapids.

March 23, 2018
Tony Craig didn’t have much money before starting his Georgina’s restaurants. But he had his mother’s creative spark and a lifetime of fusion cooking experience. Read More

Inside Track: A passion for sports

For 10 years, West Michigan Sports Commission president has helped region become a go-to destination for youth, amateur sports.

March 16, 2018
For Mike Guswiler, the 2018 Winter Olympics brought back memories. Read More

Inside Track: Crafting a better cocktail scene

Reserve’s Adam Fortuna uses bartending experience in Seattle to expand offerings in native Grand Rapids.

March 9, 2018
After eight years of exploring and gaining critical acclaim from Seattle’s bartending scene, Adam Fortuna returned to his native Grand Rapids. Read More

Inside Track: An epigenetics pioneer

Peter Jones’ early research leads to change in standard of care for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome.

March 2, 2018
Peter Jones’ entire scientific career was defined by one unexpected discovery. Read More

Inside Track: Female empowerment is Gaddy’s mission

Women’s Resource Center CEO uses diverse background to help women renew their lives.

February 23, 2018
Sandra Gaddy spent years in banking before transitioning to nonprofits, and now she’s in a place that “fits her heart.” Read More

Inside Track: A love of language

Former ballet dancer turns to sign language interpretation to help deaf students communicate.

February 16, 2018
Clinton McMurray loved ballet dancing when he was growing up. Read More