John Wheeler has roots firmly planted in the Grand Rapids community.
Although the iLabs Innovation Index from the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research rose by over 5 points in the first quarter of 2012, the post-recession recovery has been volatile at best.
Orville Crain had what he believed was a great idea, but he needed some help.
Read MiBiz: 2012 MI-SBTDC SectionPublishing Software from YUDU
Read MiBiz: ACG Western Michigan 2012 Outstanding Growth AwardDigital Publishing with YUDU
Through his efforts to guide the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding out of financial hardship, Jeff Agar has helped bring more alternative therapy options to children and adults with disabilities in West Michigan.
Sustainability isn't just some esoteric concept for Rob McCarty. It's a philosophy by which he runs his business, and he believes in it so strongly that he focuses his volunteer efforts around it as well.
The new satellite patent office in Detroit is the first of four new locations planned around the nation to spur innovation and creativity.
Corporate clients might be singing the blues when they approach attorney Mark Smith for legal counsel, but they might not know that he can be found on the radio spinning blues tracks as a volunteer programmer on WYCE.
When Erhardt Construction Co. set out to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the company's management team wanted to do something other than throw a big party. Instead, what Ben Wickstrom and the team developed was a plan to make a statement of gratitude to the community that has supported the company in its five decades of growth.
"Rather than talk about ourselves, we want to celebrate the community," Wickstrom said.
Chase Lee, a 21-year-old University of Michigan student from Grand Rapids, co-developed an ideas marketplace where entrepreneurs could buy and sell ideas. But he and his business partner Alex Schiff, 21, another U-M student, decided that their original concept wasn't working because everyone wanted to sell and no one wanted to buy.
For Gazelle Sports co-founder Chris Lampen-Crowell, giving back is all about advocating for a healthier, more active community.
Lampen-Crowell co-founded the small West Michigan-based chain of running and fitness stores in 1985. From the beginning, the retailer focused on building a community of health and fitness conscious individuals.
For Lara Kitts, paying it forward is steadily becoming a full-time job.
Kitts chairs the board of the Family Hope Foundation, a growing all-volunteer organization launched in 2010. The organization works across West Michigan to unburden families that have special needs children.