2017 Seeds of GROWth Award Winners Announced

Each year, GROW recognizes area business leaders and supporters who exemplify the work of the organization. This includes a Business of the Year Award, a Leadership Award, and the Lee Ann Moss Service Award, named for GROW’s founder. New this year is a GROW partner award that recognizes a GROW board member who is an active community catalyst, and steps beyond their board responsibilities to continue to promote the organization’s development and innovation.

There are over 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating over $1.4 trillion in revenues and employing nearly 7.9 million people. Locally, last year alone, GROW helped start 68 new businesses, created 251 new jobs, delivered 1,377 hours of business training to over 700 participants, and provided 806 hours of one-on-one business mentorship.

The winners of the 28th Annual Seeds of Growth Awards are:


The GROW Leadership Award

Shannon Cohen, MPA CPS, founder and principal of Shannon Cohen, Inc. (formerly Community Ventures). She is dedicated to the transformation of communities by empowering current and emerging leaders.

Business of the Year Award

Floriza Genautis, founder and CEO of Management Business Solutions, a leading employment solutions company serving not only West Michigan, but across the country. She has led the company and her management team through exceptional growth, including moving to a new, larger office space to better serve employees and clients alike.

The Lee Ann Moss Service Award

Julie Lankes, owner of BOXBOOM Creative. Julie has provided countless hours in supporting GROW clients and women business owners in developing their marketing strategies and their brands.

NEW Grow Partner Award

Jack Keller, commercial loan officer at Lake Michigan Credit Union. Jack has served on the Grow board for 3 years, and is active in the finance committee, in representing Grow at community events, and always seeking opportunities for continued development of the organization and its clients.


We look forward to honoring these recipients at the Annual Seeds of Growth Luncheon and Fundraiser!