PRESS RELEASE —The Grand Rapids Chamber celebrated the 10th Year of EPIC (Entrepreneurial, Progressive, Innovative, Collaborative), the premier business award celebration that recognizes both the businesses and the individuals that foster community growth, demonstrate innovation, and have championed alongside others as mentors and collaborators in our region at 20 Monroe Live! Wednesday evening.
Each award category recognizes those who are leading in growth and innovation, strengthening the business community, enabling collaboration and connections, and accomplishing incredible endeavors with a focus on the future.
“These are the businesses and organizations that are making Grand Rapids a destination – a great place to live, work and thrive,” said Dante Villarreal, Vice President of Business Services for the Grand Rapids Chamber. “New to EPIC this year, we are celebrating a Creative Business of the Year and 4 organizations that are making organizational strides in diversity, equity and inclusion. It speaks volumes to the evolving business community in Grand Rapids.”
This year, over 150 nominations were submitted for consideration. After the selection committee comprised of Grand Rapids business leaders studied the nominees’ newest initiatives, collaborative efforts, impact in the community, and philanthropic vision, 40 finalists were announced in September, and 9 recipients were honored at the EPIC Awards Celebration on Wednesday, October 30 at 20 Monroe Live!
The 10th Annual EPIC Award Recipients in all award categories are:
- Creative Business of the Year: Green Giftz
- Emerging Leader: Kevin Patterson, BDO USA, LLP
- Excellence in Business (For-Profit): Feyen Zylstra
- Excellence in Business (Non-Profit): John Ball Zoo
- Minority-Owned Business of the Year: R&R Mechanical Services, LLC
- Non-Profit of the Year: Affinity Mentoring
- Small Business of the Year: Gordon Water Systems
- Veteran-Owned Business of the Year: Alliant Enterprises, LLC
- Woman-Owned Business of the Year: Pack Elephant
In addition to the EPIC Awards, the Chamber also recognized four employers who are making organizational strides in diversity, equity and inclusion. The Diversity Visionary Award measures five criteria: Leadership Commitment, Policies and Practices, Diverse Talent, Supplier Diversity, and Community Engagement. The recipients of the Diversity Visionary Award (DVA) include
- Gentex Corporation
- Praxis Packaging Solutions
- Spectrum Health
- WMCAT – The West Michigan Center for Arts & Technology
Over 500 community leaders, corporate businesses, and small business professionals came together to celebrate the honorees.