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Business Journal names Newsmakers of the Year
The Grand Rapids Business Journal handed out 17 Newsmaker awards this morning in front of a full house at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
Newsmaker of the Year awards were handed out in 16 categories, and David Hooker, president and CEO of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, was named the overall 2015 Newsmaker of the Year.
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park opened the Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden last April, during its 20th year of operations.
The garden celebrated the anniversary with the dedication and installation of Chinese artist Ai WeiWei’s “Iron Tree” sculpture.
This month, it was announced that 2015 also marked Meijer Gardens’ best year for attendance, with 775,000 guests visiting the attraction.
“I’m overwhelmed,” Hooker said. “It certainly reminds me of how fortunate I am to work at a place bearing the Meijer family name, particularly Fred and Lena. And Fred’s no longer with us, but he’s had an enormous impact on my life, and Lena continues to have an enormous impact. The inspiration that they give, their generosity, their kindness — is fantastic.”
Before a sold-out crowd, the Business Journal honored leaders, innovators and influencers in West Michigan for their efforts to help the region continue to flourish.
The Newsmaker awards recognized people across industries who made significant contributions to West Michigan in 2015.
The Newsmakers of the Year
Arts & Entertainment
David Hooker, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
Kyle Van Strien and Jon O’Conner, Long Road Distillers
Brian Ryks, Gerald R. Ford International Airport
Teresa Weatherall Neal, Grand Rapids Public Schools
Jason Wenk, FormulaFolio Investments
Stephen Herbruck, Herbruck Farms
Bill Manns, Saint Mary’s Mercy Health, and Deb Lyzenga, Michigan Works!
Doug Donnell, Mika Meyers, and John Anding, Drew Cooper Anding
Rick Demuynck, GM
Richard M. DeVos
Mike Mraz, Rockford Real Estate Development
Darla Sevok, Trader Joe’s
Matt Roberts, Grand Rapids FC
Nathan Owen, Blue Medora
Greg Northrup, Sustainable Partners
Carl Erickson, Atomic Object