Interview with LEAD Award Winner Becky Puckett-Wood


What are your five favorite pointers for career success? 1) Find a mentor, someone you can trust to be honest with you as you progress in your career 2) In all situations have a positive attitude, you always get further thinking the glass is half full versus half empty 3) Have the mindset [...]

Interview with Lisa Armstrong, New Owner at Eat Local West Michigan


What did you exactly do in Sacramento? I created a start up culinary tourism company, Local Roots Food Tours 7 years ago.  My company offered culinary walking tours in 3 different cities and different neighborhoods within those cities.  Each tour consisted of 6 to 7 stops on a 3 hour walking [...]

Lean Thinking Remains a Critical Business Concept


In today’s competitive economy maximizing customer value and minimizing operational waste is a necessity. The working term for this is lean. Organizations that are lean recognize what customers value and the ways in which to increase that value. Whether a product or service provider, they aim to do this with [...]

Incorporate Your Elevator Pitch Into Conversation


In Liz Lynch’s Networking Smart: Attract A Following In Person and Online, Liz explains how to incorporate your elevator pitch into a longer introduction sequence when networking. By relaying your “pitch” through one-on-one conversation, it becomes “a set of blocks that you can configure in different ways depending on the situation”. [...]

3 Questions to Employ When Networking


For inexperienced networkers, attending a networking event to achieve certain business outcomes may seem like an uphill battle. They may circulate the room after brief introductions, distribute their business card to many, and still wonder what they accomplished in the end.  However, creating worthwhile business relationships takes time and effort. [...]

The Best Business Coffee Venues in Grand Rapids


As Executive Director of GRAPE, I make it a point to meet with a variety of people from the Grand Rapids area nearly every day. Not surprisingly, this has necessitated getting to know the best places for casual business meetings. A variety of good places to have “business coffee” exist, [...]

It’s Not Just About Money: Starting a Philanthropic Conversation with Your Client


In Grand Rapids, be sure to check out "It's Not Just About Money: Starting a Philanthropic Conversation with Your Client” on Wed, March 9 from 1-5pm at The Gillette Auditorium (@ the lower level of the Fifth Third Bank Building). The event features Scott Farnsworth,President of SunBridge, Inc and Co-Founder [...]

The Art of Coin Collecting


"In coin dealing, a company’s integrity and honesty will drive a business’s success. If you don’t treat people right, if you’re not fair in what you’re doing, it will catch up with you, and you won’t have a business. (Mullen Coins) approach is simple, in that we try to look at coins and let people know what we would pay for them, what they’re worth to us as a dealer, and what we would expect to sell them for (what they’re worth on the retail market.)"

Tax and Record-Keeping Tips for Your Small Business


Small business owners face a great deal of challenges, but taxes always appears at the top of the list. Small business owners need to make sure they are paying what they should and taking the appropriate deductions to reduce their taxes.

A Jewelry Store with a Soul


Paul Medawar Fine Jewelry store on Plainfield Avenue exemplifies a jeweler with an effective marketing strategy. This includes all the elements a good marketer ought to offer: a defined target market, excellent products, interesting packaging, and superior customer service.

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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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