Bonnie Nawara, CEO
Bonnie ran a successful business for over 20 years, and she also spent six years in the area of non-profit fund development. Bonnie has been with GROW since September 2010. As CEO, Bonnie is responsible for overseeing all GROW operations including community involvement and outreach, business coaching and consulting, programming, funding for microlending and other financial programs, and much more.
Bonnie is also a board member of the Association of Women Business Centers (AWBC). GROW is one of just over 100 Women’s Business Centers in the country, and one of only three in Michigan. She represents GROW throughout the West Michigan community and beyond.
Kelli Smith, Director of Lending
Kelli comes to us from the Ludington area where she owned and operated her own business successfully for more than a decade. She has over 20 years of experience in business operations and client services as well as cost control strategies and finance. Kelli has been a long-time advisor for youth services, coordinating internships and mentoring both high school and college students. Her commitment to community development has led her to serve on the board of directors at Safe Harbor Credit Union, West Shore Community College and Memorial Medical Center Benefit Committee.
As an experienced entrepreneur, Kelli’s focus at GROW is to provide business services for loan clients. She works closely with each client to cultivate relationships and ensure their current and future business success as well as assisting them through the microloan process.
Karen Benson, Business Development Officer, West Michigan Lakeshore
Karen is originally from the Detroit area and has been in West Michigan since 1985. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Cornerstone University.
Karen has extensive experience in business and economic development with businesses and organizations in West Michigan including ONU Graduate Studies/Campus in Grand Rapids, The Right Place, Muskegon Area First, Grand Haven Bank, The Chamber: Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg and NEIDEC.
Past certifications include Certified Economic Development Professional and Certified Small Business Development Counselor. Her experience includes grant writing, small business counseling for the SBDC network and SBA 504 Loan Portfolio management for 16+ years. She thrives on developing strategic partnerships, collaborating and facilitating conversations and projects among regional partners, and connecting people and organizations to key resources, which will be extremely beneficial to GROW clients on the lakeshore and beyond.
Amy Deel, Operations Manager
Amy is originally from the Flint area and fell in love with Grand Rapids, which she has called home for the past 18 years.
She has just over 14 years of experience in the non-profit sector and 8 years of experience working closely with West Michigan businesses through her work with Local First West Michigan. It was there that she worked in many facets of the non-profit as Membership Coordinator, Fund Development Director and finally as Operations Manager. She is passionate about economic development and knows how deeply businesses can impact a community.
With her experience in operations and non-profit work, Amy will focus on helping things run smoothly for staff and clients alike.
Danielle Guinsler, Coordinator of Fund Development and Volunteer Support
Danielle has nearly 10 years of experience in fundraising and volunteer management. She has a master’s degree in public service with a concentration in nonprofit administration from DePaul University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Michigan State University. Previous to joining GROW, Danielle served as Assistant Director, Special Initiatives at Ohio University.
With substantial experience in grant writing, event planning, volunteer support, and community partnerships, Danielle’s focus at GROW is to expand our ability to serve our clients and better impact the West Michigan community.
Danielle (Dani) Flood, Financial Administrator
Dani is a Grand Rapids business woman specializing in Executive Accounting for over 10 years. Starting at Grand Rapids Community College and continuing her credits at Davenport University, Dani holds degrees in both Accounting and Legal Studies. She has a variety of experience in many industries and company dynamics. Dani is joining us from the private sector and is excited to begin her contributions to non-profit work. She is very active in her community – participating in different athletic programs and interest in a City Council seat with her locality.
As a business owner herself, she is passionate about the work GROW does, and seeks to be a part of the growth this organization stands for.
Rosie Orchanian, Administrative Assistant
Rosie comes to us from the Kalamazoo area where she grew up and attended Western Michigan University. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing and is currently working on her Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Western Michigan University.
She has experience working in the non-profit sector as well as in higher education management and she is dedicated to providing the best service and assistance to the clients and staff at GROW.
When she is not at work or studying, you can find Rosie spending time with her family and friends, working on a house project, arranging flower bouquets or traveling.