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Developer produces Community Conversations

May 14, 2015
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Monica Steimle
Monica Steimle. Courtesy 616 Development

There are some things that Grand Rapids needs to talk about.

Which is why Grand Rapids-based developer 616 Development is launching a new monthly speaker series.

The series is free and open to the public and will be called 616 Community Conversations.

616 Development said the aim of the public events is to “encourage dialogue among city and business leaders with the public on a variety of topics influencing local communities.”

“We wanted to create opportunities where people could learn about and discuss issues that impact their communities, schools and families, in a relaxed, open environment,” said Monica Steimle, 616 director of development and facilitator of the series.

Steimle added that the series will give residents "an opportunity to connect with local leaders and to create an engaging dialogue."

Initial dates and speakers

The first event will be held in Grand Rapids on May 19 at 4 p.m. at Osteria Rossa, located at 16 Monroe Center St. NE.

Elissa Hillary, executive director of the nonprofit Local First, will serve as the first speaker.

After a moderated discussion, guests can ask questions.

Questions can also be asked beforehand via social media on each event’s Facebook page or by tweeting at @616lofts, using the hashtag #616communityconversations.

The next 616 Community Conversations event will be with Tami VandenBerg, who's the owner of The Meanwhile, The Pyramid Scheme and executive director of the nonprofit Well House.

VandenBerg will speak on June 16 at 4 p.m. at Osteria Rossa.

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