Business Journal's Newsmaker nominees shape West Michigan
Who made news in West Michigan this year?
The answer, obviously, is that a lot of people made the news. But who really shaped the region’s future? Who stepped up and did something in his or her industry that was truly noteworthy?
The answers to those questions can be found in the nominees for the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s annual Newsmaker of the Year Award.
Only this time, it’s awards. As in plural.
The Business Journal is rolling out a whole new format for its annual recognition that includes not just one winner, but a dozen that are spread out over 10 categories. The winner in each category will be recognized as an industry Newsmaker, and from those 10 winners, a Newsmaker of the Year will be selected. The twelfth honor is called the Impact Award and goes to the person or project selected by our Editorial Department to have demonstrated the most potential for long-term economic impact in the region.
The winners are based on Business Journal reporting and industry-specific accomplishments.
“The Business Journal recognizes there are many contributors to the strength of the regional economy and recognizes them in industry-specific categories,” said Carole Valade, editor of the Business Journal. “This is always a laborious task, but important as the region continues to grow. This is not a popularity contest, but recognition of industry talent and regional success.”
The Editorial Department has completed its vetting process and agreed on three nominees in each of the following categories: Manufacturing, Real Estate and Development, Retail, Health Care, Law, Technology, Sports/Arts & Entertainment, Nonprofits/Philanthropy, Government and Education. Ten people who helped improve West Michigan with their projects, leadership, innovation and ideas will emerge from these 30 nominees as Newsmaker winners, and one of those will be recognized as Newsmaker of the Year.
The Business Journal will celebrate all of the nominees and their accomplishments during a breakfast meeting, beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Tickets to the event are $30.
2013 Newsmaker of the Year nominees
Blake Krueger, Wolverine Worldwide
Joseph Papa, Perrigo
John Sammut, Firstronic
Real Estate and Development
Derek Coppess, 616 Development
Mike VanGessel, Rockford Construction
John Wheeler, Orion Construction
Dick DeVos, Regional Air Alliance West Michigan/Southwest Airlines
Dennis Eidson, SpartanNash
Dave Engbers/Mike Stevens, Founders Brewing
Rick Breon, Spectrum Health
Mike Faas, Metro Health
Kent Riddle, Mary Free Bed
Tom Kyros, Varnum Law
Don LeDuc, Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Ric Roane, Warner Norcross and Judd
Dan Behm, Open Systems Technologies
Aaron Schaap, The Factory
Ryan Vaughn, Varsity News Network
Sports/Arts & Entertainment
Bryan Baar, Elite Baseball/Softball Training
Dan DeVos, Grand Rapids Griffins
Rick DeVos, ArtPrize
Elissa Hillary, Local First
Bridget Clark Whitney, Kids’ Food Basket
Wendy Wigger, Gilda’s Club/LaughFest
Brian Harris, Downtown Development Authority
Birgit Klohs, The Right Place
Kara Wood, Economic Development Authority/Brownfield Redevelopment Authority
David Eisler, Ferris State University/Kendall College of Art and Design/UICA
Thomas Haas, Grand Valley State University
Robert Landeros, Western Michigan University/Starting Gate