Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW) Announces 2021 Board Members

West Michigan non-profit organization, Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW), welcomes many new members to the 2021 Board of Directors to further provide strategic direction for the development of the organization.

  • Janis Petrini, Owner and Operator, Express Employment Professionals
  • Tracey Burke, Healthcare Consultant
  • Catherine Kloska, Retired CFO, Muskegon Public Schools
  • Zara Smith, Senior Project Manager, Emergent Holdings, Inc.
  • Katy Felver, Business Advisor, Hungerford Nichols CPA’s + Advisors
  • Veverly Austin, Owner/Founder, Confidentwear Boutique / Rock the Runway GR / Veverly Austin Enterprises
  • Damian Ciavattone, Branch Manager, Assistant Vice President, PNC Bank
  • McKenzie Jackson, Program Manager, Access of West Michigan


These new members above join the returning Board Officers and previous board members listed below.

  • Deborah Phillips, Consultant and Chief People Strategist of Deborah Phillips & Associates, LLC, is Board Chair.
  • Rebecca Dutcher, President of RED66 Marketing, is Board Vice Chair
  • Debra Van Hevele, Senior Vice President, Comerica Bank, is Board Treasurer
  • Kim Suarez, Community Member, is Board Secretary
  • Shannon Cohen, Tough Skin Soft Heart by Shannon Cohen
  • Floriza Genautis, CEO, Management Business Solutions
  • Jack Keller, Commercial Loan Officer, Lake Michigan Credit Union
  • Jason Reep, President, The Employer’s Association
  • LaChaun Steverson, Owner, Fibrenew

The Board of Directors plays an integral role in providing the resources and expertise needed for GROW to effectively serve thousands of entrepreneurs in West Michigan as well as support growth in the Muskegon and Lakeshore area, especially as small businesses continue to recover from Covid’s impact.

More than half the clients GROW serves are low to moderate income individuals who want to start or build their business.  “The addition of these new board members to our talented board will aid in the organization’s growth and governance, providing a more diverse range of expertise and experiences to support the staff at GROW,” shared Deborah Phillips, Board Chair.

GROW is one of only 110 certified Women’s Business Centers in the nation, and one of three in Michigan, all in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration. They were also recently designated as a CDFI (Community Development Fund Institution).