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Renwick Brutus

Renwick Brutus from Achievement Resources LLC speaking to GRAPE in February 2015

What does GRAPE do?

GRAPE hosts speakers who are local thought-leaders from a particular industry each month. In addition, GRAPE recognizes industry-specific professionals with its LEAD (Leadership, Excellence, And Development) Award.  LEAD Award winners are  peer-nominated and selected by American Society of Quality members. We seek to create a “community of excellence” for Grand Rapids area professionals. By doing so, we intend to hold up our community’s best as shining examples for others to aspire to.

How did GRAPE start?

GRAPE was founded in February 2009 by Dan Banta and John Potter in an effort to combine daytime networking with presentations by local thought leaders. John M Potter assumed leadership of the group in September 2013. GRAPE became a state-sanctioned nonprofit in May, 2014 and a formal 501c(3) nonprofit in May, 2015.

Does GRAPE require membership?

GRAPE does not currently require formal membership.  The organization communicates to the community through LinkedIn via the social network’s group and company pages.

How can I participate?

Besides attending or sponsoring an event, volunteers are occasionally needed. If interested in volunteering, contact John M Potter.  Along with marketing, programming and community outreach committees, we have additional opportunities to participate as well. GRAPE runs completely on volunteers.

When and Where are GRAPE events held?

GRAPE events are typically held on the third Thursday of the month between 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. We currently host our venues at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation and similar venues downtown. Please check our schedule for specific event locations.

Who are some past speakers?

Dr. Thomas Haas – Craig Clark – Lynn Jarman Johnson – Mark Custer – Kevin Budelmann – Marcia Vandewoude – Jennifer Puplava -Jeshua Lauka – Bob VandePol – Renwick Brutus – Kathy Crosby – Dan Barcheski – Christopher Wilson – Lorraine Medici – Tamara Rosier -Lola Audu – Shelley Irwin – Dan Gaydou – Ted Kallman – Bing Goei – Shelly Irwin – Ashley Petkus – Paul Jendrasiak – Gwen Auwerda – Shawn Miller – Don Beery – Mike Yoder – Max Friar – Kristen Hartnagel – Kris Mathis – Tony Rubleski – Monica Sparks – Bill Van Steenis – Seth Getz – Tom Hanley – Rod Kackley – Austin Langois – Pete Brand – Kim Gleason – Deb Richmond – Ken Fortier – Keith Brophy – Jessica Puchala – Maureen Heaphy – Greg Smith – Laura Bergalls – Jennifer V. Miller – Gene Pryor – Marylu Dykstra – Cindy Brown – Randy Sherwood – Amanda Lewis – Linda Chamberlain – Bob Taylor – Carolyn Joy Schaut – Tim Mroz – Stelios Alvarez – Kristina Evey – Tim Penning

Not finding what you want? Reach out directly  Contact@GraprGR.org 


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GRAPE is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping businesses and organizations grow through education and networking. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, GRAPE has been operating since 2009.


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