Grand Rapids Business Journal honors newsmakers of the year

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The Grand Rapids Business Journal is honoring the people behind the headlines of the last year.

On January 31, GRBJ is hosting a breakfast to celebrate those who are making a positive impact on the West Michigan community. At the breakfast, 16 people will be selected as a Newsmaker of the Year. 

Here are the finalists in each of the 16 categories:

Arts & Entertainment
David Hooker, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
Rich MacKeigan, SMG
Scott Sprague, Gun Lake Casino

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Beverages
Dave Engbers and Mike Stevens, Founders Brewing Co.
Daryn Kuipers, Boxed Water
Jon O’Connor and Kyle Van Strien, Long Road Distillers

Economic Development
Dick DeVos, Grand Action
James Gill, Gerald R. Ford International Airport
Cindy Larsen, Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce

Education
Betsy DeVos, U.S. Department of Education
Thomas Haas, Grand Valley State University
Kevin Quinn, Aquinas College

Finance
Stephen Duarte, Kent County
Sandra Jelinski, Lake Michigan Credit Union
David Quade, Horizon Bank

Food
Steve Cooper, Continental Dairy
Herb Herbruck, Herbruck’s Poultry
Rich Wolowski, Gordon Food Service

Health Care
Norman Beauchamp Jr., MSU Grand Rapids Research Center
Mark Eastburg, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
Kevin Lobo, Stryker Corp.

Law
Matt Fenske, Ottawa County
Kevin Lobo, Stryker Corp.
James Saalfeld, Kent County

Manufacturing
Marc Bitzer, Whirlpool Corp.
James Keane, Steelcase Inc.
Kevin Prindable, GE Aviation

Nonprofits/Philanthropy
Jon Ippel, Amplify GR
Scott Jonkhoff, Next Step
Ryan VerWys, Inner City Christian Federation

Real Estate/Construction
Adam Kramer, Switch
Mike VanGessel, Rockford Construction
John Wheeler, Orion Construction

Retail
Hank Meijer, Meijer Inc.
Phil Russo, Russo’s International Market
Robert Schermer Jr., Meritage Hospitality Group

Sports
Dan DeVos, Grand Rapids Griffins
Mike Guswiler, West Michigan Sports Commission
Steve Jbara, Grand Rapids Drive

Startups
Bob Baltera, Cirius Therapeutics
Julie Burrell, Pumpndo
Feliciano Paredes, AgHelp

Sustainability
Dave Koster, Holland Energy Park
Jason Meyer, Blandford Nature Center
Mike VanGessel, Circuit West

Technology
Dan Irvin, 123Net
John Keller, Metro Health-University of Michigan Health
David Van Andel, Van Andel Research Institute

The event starts at 7:30 a.m. at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park on Wednesday. 

You can learn more about the event and get a ticket by following this link

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