Congratulations to the 2016 Seeds of GROWth Award Winners:
Lee Ann Moss Service Award Winner: Kay Staszel
GROW Leadership Award Winner: Jessica Ann Tyson
GROW Business of the Year Award Winner: Michele Venegas, Joyful Sounds Music Studio
Special thanks to our keynote Speaker: Gwen Jimmere
This year’s event featured keynote speaker Gwen Jimmere, founder and CEO of Naturalicious. Jimmere is the first black woman to hold a patent for a natural hair care product, as well as the winner of the 2014 Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Competition, and one of Hello Beautiful’s 30 Under 30 Entrepreneurial Mavens.
As the founder and CEO of Naturalicious, Jimmere has grown her beauty industry start-up into one of the fastest growing hair care companies in the United States. Recently named by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the top beauty brands in the United States, the line is sold in select Whole Foods stores, all Mustard Seed Market locations, and other fine retailers and boutiques.
Jimmere also co-owns Pitch Proof, where she coaches and trains small business owners on how to prepare for, enter, and win business pitch competitions, as well as how to successfully attract equity investment opportunities. Additionally, she consults with entrepreneurs on business strategy, marketing, advertising, and distribution.
Prior to beginning Naturalicious, Jimmere held the position of global digital marketing manager at Ford Motor Company, overseeing and executing its digital marketing strategy. Later, she went to work for Uniworld, one of the world’s largest multicultural advertising firms, where she spearheaded digital strategies for clients including Ford, Home Depot, Marriott Hotels, and many more.
Thank You to Our 2016 Sponsors
Women’s Business Initiative Committee
Bonnie K Miller
Fifth Third Bank
Award Sponsor (Exclusive)
Cynthia Kay & Company
Languages International, Inc.
Old National Bank
Irwin Seating Company
Management Business Solutions
Grand River Bank
The Economic Club of Grand Rapids
Appletree & Gilden Woods Childcare
Adventure Credit Union
El Granjero Restaurant
Express Employment Professionals
Grand Valley State University
West Michigan Women’s Expo
Muller, Myers & Farran, PC
The Welch Law Firm. PLC
GRCC Bob & Alecia Woodrick Center for Equity and Inclusion
Sytsma Wealth Strategies
Danielle Rowland State Farm
Deborah A. Phillips & Associates
Baker Holtz CPAs & Advisors
Partners in Action, Inc.
Reagan Marketing + Design
IT Resources, Inc.
OnSite Wellness, LLC
Grand Rapids Urban League
Avanti Law Group
Well Mannered Dog Center
Green Giftz by Promotional Impact
DeHoek & Company
Micro Visions, Inc.