Tag Archives: Spectrum Health

West Michigan PMI delivered over $5K in prizes to student project managers


How will 15 teams of talented Michigan college students solve one of the state’s most pressing educational challenges? That was the question at the heart of THE Project.

The West Michigan chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI) hosted its annual Inter-Collegiate Competition at the Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville on Monday, April 13, 2015. This year’s event was dubbed THE Project — The Higher Education Project. Student teams from 11 Michigan colleges presented proposals and plans to improve the affordability of higher education in Michigan. Area hiring managers and PMI members attended two public components of the day-long event: 1) a reverse job fair featuring student project managers and 2) an evening networking/dinner program announcing the $5,000 winner of the competition. The evening program also included a keynote address by Michigan Lieutenant Governor, Brian Calley.

Dematic North America and Spectrum Health were sponsors for the annual event. But why a project management competition and reverse career fair?

Project management skills are critical for organizations, explained Andrew Gill, head of Software Application Engineering at Dematic North America in Grand Rapids.

Dematic is a global company. We essentially live or die on project management. Everything that we do regarding how we deliver our systems to our customers — it’s all in project form. Without project managers and the art and science of project management, we really don’t survive as a business.”

THE Project showcased the importance of project management and PMI to the West Michigan business community.


“PMI supports the project management profession,” said Gill. “That’s hugely important to us. We put a lot of credence in that Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. We require all of our project managers to attain that certification. It obviously makes sense to support an organization locally that supports our project managers.”

The competition also serves to introduce a younger generation to project management as a viable career track. In his introductory address, Brian Krajewski, the Director of Enterprise Portfolio Management at Spectrum Health, said that WMPMI has developed a great learning opportunity that allows collegiate students to engage their right and left brains while developing “shovel ready” projects that will address “real opportunities” in our state. Krajewski explained that Spectrum Health chose to be THE Project sponsor to “…create a pipeline of talent streaming into our organization.  We need to expose students early in their careers to the opportunities in healthcare, in technology, in project management and in West Michigan.”





PMI member Brian Gleason, Campus Director at University of Phoenix, has played a key role in recruiting mentors for the annual competition. He sees THE Project as a way to give students needed experience and mentorship with project management.

“There is no younger generation of PMPs,” said Gleason. “If a company wants a project manager, they either go out and get an existing project manager or they don’t have one. There is no grooming of younger people to get into project management. PMI and THE Project helps fill that gap.”

Students and mentors take months to prepare for the grueling competition. Many sign up as early as September to form teams. On the day of the event, each team presented to a panel of Michigan business leaders for judgement. The first place team won $5,000, second place $3,000, third place $2,000, and fourth place $1,000.

Event coordinator Jeff Kissinger, Senior Project Manager at Grand Rapids Community College, noted that the experience of the competition remains the biggest reward for the students. Students who have this competition on their resume, he said, demonstrate that they have powerful project management and team experience.

“It’s a lot of work for students,” Kissinger said. “I have so much respect for them, because they really work to get this done and done right. The (PMI) panelists are very picky. They are following the rule book to the T. They really make the students work. And the mentors? They go out of their way to help the students.”

That’s why West Michigan companies looking for high caliber recent grads that have exposure to project management methodologies eagerly attended the reverse career fair. Over 80 students who participated in THE Project sat in booths and interviewed with hiring managers and recruiters.

“This is not only a group of high caliber students, but they’ve had at least four months of  exposure to what project management is all about,” said Gleason. “They’ve put together a portfolio of work, essentially. That’s a unique thing for a recent grad.”

And as an IT recruiter mentioned about her experience with the reverse career fair: “It’s nice to be on the other side of the table for a change.”

Beyond the excitement of a high-stakes competition and the reverse career fair, the theme of THE Project offered a strong draw for the business community.

“Last year, the theme of the competition was all about supporting the veterans,” said Andrew Gill. “That resonated very strongly with Dematic. This year, it’s all about improving higher education. Keeping our talent in Michigan. That resonates with us as well. It’s not just the chapter, it’s also the business problems that students are trying to solve as part of the competition.

The future of project management as a career track is bright. THE Project brings awareness of project management and PMI to both students and the West Michigan business community.



The year, the top prize went to the student team at Cornerstone University. Madison Drew, James Hardman, Nathan Mahoney, and Julia Martin took home the $5,000 prize.  For more details about membership and the opportunities the West Michigan Project Management Institute brings to our community, visit http://wmpmi.org. Also, be sure to LIKE them on Facebook for their latest updates!

Development Day of the Western Michigan Chapter of The Project Management Institute (WMPMI)


Manage Projects Like a Superhero!

That was the rallying cry for the 2015 Professional Development Day of the Western Michigan Chapter of The Project Management Institute (WMPMI) on Tuesday March 17 at The Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville, MI. With over 300 Project Management Professionals in attendance, this event was a marked success.
The WMPMI Professional Development Day is an annual event, staged in order to provide an educational opportunity for Professionals, a networking event for attendees, companies and sponsors, and to promote project management as a profession.



For more information on WMPMI, visit the website at www.wmpmi.org. Be sure to LIKE them on Facebook, too!

Michael Hughes, Samuel Bowles, James Snyder and keynote speaker Daniel Burrus all spoke to the group, delivering key messages on Networking, Software and Connectivity, The Past and Future of PMI, and Shaping the Future of Project Management.

Dr. Burrus crafted his remarks to fit our profession and brought in salient points from speakers earlier in the day.  He eloquently tied all the threads together and challenged attendees with tools and to use different mindsets to revolutionize the Project Management profession.




The Professional Development Day was made possible by event sponsor Experis IT ManpowerGroup, with other sponsors Initech Global, LLC, Open Systems Technologies, Select-Resources, TEKsystems, International Institute for Learning, C/D/H Technology Consulting, New Horizons Learning Centers, and 4 Pillars of Success.

Going forward, please join WMPMI for THEProject collegiate project management competition on April 13, 2015. Sponsored by Spectrum Health and Dematic, this event will feature over 70 students, representing 20 Colleges and Universities, with a reverse career fair and award ceremony.

The Project Management Institute, (PMI) represents the largest project management association in the world. They have over 700,000 members and credential holders in 185 countries. Seasoned top performing certified Project Management Professionals (PMP), provide a common methodology to efficiently manage projects earning attractive incomes and held in high regard in the community.  PMI recently released a study stating there is a need for 340,000 project management positions for the next 10 years.  Many colleges and universities have recognized this trend and have responded with several courses and degrees with a focus in Project Management.

Young Nonprofit Professionals Network 2014 Leadership Awards


November 13, 2014
Saint Cecilia Music Center

The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Grand Rapids held their sixth annual Leadership Awards last week and brought over 200 people together to celebrate all that is great about the nonprofit sector in West Michigan. The event was made possible with the help of generous sponsors including Heart of West Michigan United Way; Hopkins Fundraising Consulting; Grand Valley State University’s School of Public, Nonprofit, and Healthcare Administration; Grand Rapids Community Foundation; Philanthropia Partners; Parrish Consulting; Hungerford Aldrin; Nichols & Carter, PC; and Beene Garter.









The evening began with a reception sponsored by Spectrum Health. Saint Cecilia’s Dexter Ballroom was full of great energy as guests enjoyed food and beverage from Martha’s Catering, desserts from Desserts by Lori, and beautiful décor provided by Modern Day Floral & Events.

The main event of the evening was the Awards Ceremony, emceed by Shelley Irwin and featuring keynote speaker Latesha Lipscomb. YNPN.GR received nearly 100 nominations that were then narrowed to 35 finalists in seven categories.



Winners were voted on by YNPN.GR members and included:


Advocate Award

Benjamin Oliver, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Grand Rapids Urban Forest Project, The Rapidian





Breakthrough Award

Nicole Rodammer, Boys & Girls Club of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Young Professionals


DoGooder Award

Shelley Irwin, WGVU/Grand Valley State University, board member at multiple organizations




Exemplary Executive Award

Bethann Egan, In the Image



Good-to-Great Award

Lindsey Ruffin, Eastown Community Association




Unsung Hero Award

Kirk Eklund, West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology



Young Nonprofit Professional of the Year Award

Jenn Schaub, Dwelling Place



Congratulations to all the winners and the finalists, and kudos to all who work, lead, and volunteer in the nonprofit sector in West Michigan. You are truly making a positive impact across the region!

Ribbon of Hope: A Betty Ford Breast Care Services Event


Ah-Nab-Awen Park

Downtown Grand Rapids

October 14, 2013


I raised a pink umbrella for my friend Beth today. It has been almost a year since her breast cancer diagnosis, which she faced with incredible strength and a phenomenal attitude, and had the support of many friends and family. All of that combined with great doctors led to her not only beating the cancer, but completely kicking its ass. Today I was proud to honor her at a very special event sponsored by Betty Ford Breast Care Services at Spectrum Health.






On a perfectly sunny October afternoon, nearly 2,000 people gathered in Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids for the Ribbon of Hope. As everyone arrived, they were given a hot pink umbrella and were entertained by DJ Internio from 104.5 FM. It was a sea of pink, from pink clothes to pink shoes to a particularly sparkly pair of pink socks that I spotted while waiting for the event to begin.

As the group gathered on the lawn in the shape of a pink ribbon, Susan Ford Bales—daughter of President Gerald R. Ford and First Lady Betty Ford—took the stage to welcome everyone and ask them to raise their umbrellas in honor of her mom and the special people in their life who had survived breast cancer. First Lady Betty Ford was a pioneer in raising awareness about breast cancer when she announced her diagnosis in 1974, and because of her openness, women across the United States saw the importance of the self-exam, and it was no longer a taboo topic.




As we continue along through Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and throughout the rest of the year, let’s continue the conversations that were had today. According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 women will face invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. Thanks to increased education, earlier detection, and improved treatment, there are now 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. If you have questions about breast health, Spectrum Health’s Betty Ford Breast Care Services (link: http://www.spectrumhealth.org/bettyford) offers a full range of services.

To all those who are fighting the good fight, and to those who are survivors, Stellafly salutes you.



14th Annual Latino Youth Conference – Culture, Education & Dreams


March 4, 3013, Grand Rapids MI — The 14th Annual Latino Youth Conference celebrating Latino culture, higher education, and the power of dreams was held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at the GRCC Bob & Aleicia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center. The conference hosted nearly 780 8th-grade students from a variety of middle schools throughout Kent County.







The event was organized by Grand Rapids Community College’s Bob & Aleicia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center with the assistance of a steering committee comprised of various businesses, non-profits and school districts. Over the past thirteen years, 13,000 students have attended this annual conference and $30,000 in scholarships has been awarded.

The event began with breakfast and a welcome from Master of Ceremonies, Quentin Florido. Welcome remarks were made by Dr. Steven Ender, President, Grand Rapids Community College; Dr. Mayda Bahamonde-Gunnell, Executive Director for Leadership Middle Schools/K-8/ELL, Grand Rapids Public Schools.






City High 11th grader, Daniel Lopez was recognized for taking 1st place in the Art Contest for this year’s conference Poster design. Two students received $1000 scholarships to the college of their choice: Allison Arnold, Academic Achievement Award, City High SchoolMonzzerat Ayala, Academic Progress, Ottawa Hills High SchoolThe Latino Youth Committee has awarded over 35 scholarships since 2000.

The keynote speaker this year was Gabe Salazar, recognized as Americas #1 Latino Youth Speaker by Popular Hispanics Magazine. Gabe’s motivational message challenges teens to make positive choices and to dream big. Salazar’s energy, tenacity, and positive spirit led him to become a successful motivational speaker after overcoming extreme poverty and gang influence to become the first in his family to attend college.




Following the keynote students participated in various workshops in education, youth leadership, career preparation and self-esteem.

“The true dedication of the committee, and the generous support and resources of KISD, GRCC and GRPS, along with so many community businesses have made this the premier conference for 8th grade students in the state of Michigan,” said Chris Arnold, director of the GRCC Bob & Aleicia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center. “The ability to make this a sustainable reality over the past thirteen years is an indication of the commitment to our youth by these institutions and the West Michigan community.”

The Latino Youth Conference is supported by Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Kent Intermediate School District, Grand Valley State University, Spectrum Health, City of Grand Rapids/Our Community’s Children, and more. 

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.