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Business Journal selects 50 Most Influential Women

January 8, 2020
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2020 MIW Cover

From a record 248 applicants, the Grand Rapids Business Journal selected the 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan for 2020.

The biennial event celebrates West Michigan women who are making a difference in the community in a variety of ways. They will be honored at a luncheon on March 4 at the JW Marriott International Ballroom. Tickets to the luncheon are available here.

The 248 completed applications, all of which were reviewed by the Journal’s editorial staff, represented an increase of 93 from the previous cycle two years ago. The 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan event alternates annually with the Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business event.

This year’s honorees cover the gamut of industries in West Michigan.

Editorial staffers considered nominees’ impact on the business community, leadership traits, involvement in organizations other than their own and a host of other factors when making the selections.

Here are the 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan for 2020:

Shorouq Almallah, Grand Valley State University

Stacie Behler, Meijer Foundation

Hannah Berry, Lions & Rabbits

Tasha Blackmon, Cherry Health

Rosalynn Bliss, city of Grand Rapids

Julie Brinks, WOOD TV8

Meredith Bronk, Open Systems Technologies

Lynn Chen-Zhang, Zhang Financial

Jane Clark, Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce

Bridget Clark Whitney, Kids’ Food Basket

Lori “Maranda” Cook, WOOD TV8

Jamie Cooper, Cannabiz Connection

Shannon Cohen, Shannon Cohen Inc.

Sandra Dettmann, Addiction Medicine Specialist/Mercy Health

Betsy DeVos, U.S. Department of Education

Doris Drain, United Bank

Katie Ferris, BDO

Amanda Fielder, Warner Norcross + Judd

Krista Flynn, Chemical Bank/TCF

Tina Freese Decker, Spectrum Health

Ellie Frey Zagel, Successful Generations

Sandra Gaddy, Women’s Resource Center

Emma Garcia, Access of West Michigan

Floriza Genautis, Management Business Solutions

Linsey Gleason, Varnum

Rhonda Huismann, Crowe LLP

Holly Johnson, Frey Foundation

Christina Keller, Cascade Engineering

Birgit Klohs, The Right Place

Michelle LaJoye-Young, Kent County

Cindy Larsen, Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce

Diane Maher, DP Fox Ventures

Minerva Morey, West Michigan Asian American Association

Rachel Mraz, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Jean Nagelkerk, Grand Valley State University

Bonnie Nawara, Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women

Jennifer Owens, Lakeshore Advantage

Jennifer Remondino, Warner Norcross + Judd

Amy Ruis, Art of the Table/Aperitivo

Elissa Sangalli, Local First

Wendy Sellers, Author/Puberty: The Wonder Years

Diana Sieger, Grand Rapids Community Foundation

Monica Steimle-App, Rockford Construction

Sue Tellier, JetCo Federal

Annemarie Valdez, First  Steps Kent

Tami VandenBerg, The Meanwhile/The Pyramid Scheme

Michelle Van Dyke, Heart of United Way West Michigan

Rachel VerWys, Solutions to End Exploitation

Ashley Ward, Hire for Hope

Milinda Ysasi, The SOURCE/city of Grand Rapids

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