Greater Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation

The Greater Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation

The Greater Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity that works with the Chamber, provides business-led research and development that will, through its projects and initiatives, support a vibrant West Michigan business community.


Housing Next partnered with the Foundation in 2022 to provide further capacity to address housing needs across the region.

Housing Next works to remove obstacles to increase housing supply across Kent & Ottawa Counties through a focus on research, data-based solutions, tools for growth, technical assistance, and community will-building to increase supply.

More than 10,000 new housing starts have been catalyzed since its inception and major updates to local zoning codes have been approved.

Minority Business Development

The Foundation is advancing the Center for Economic Inclusion to deliver holistic services and supports to assist minority entrepreneurs in growing their business in West Michigan.

The need is real. Data shows that of the 11,000 plus businesses in the Greater Grand Rapids area making $250,000 in revenue or more, only 70 (.6%) are minority-owned. This accounts for only 2% of business revenue generated in the area.

Grand Rapids finds itself at or near the top of many lists, including one of the best cities to start a business. Yet it remains near the bottom for Africans American and Hispanic entrepreneurs.

These entrepreneurs struggle to receive the capacity building expertise, connections, and capital needed to scale.

Leadership Development

Our community’s growth and success are powered by a skilled, diverse workforce. The Chamber is committed to helping West Michigan businesses to expand the depth and breadth of talent through the region’s premier talent development offerings. Programs like Emerging Leaders and Leadership Grand Rapids help leaders grow in their career and become actively engaged in the community as trustees.

The Foundation assists by raising funds to provide deserving participants scholarships for these programs.

Investors help to eliminate barriers in our community and foster impactful local leaders.

Support the foundation

Support the work of the Greater Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation by donating.

For questions regarding the Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation, please contact Andy Johnston at

Greater Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation Board of Directors

Alisha Cieslak

Chief Legal & Risk Officer

Gordon Food Service

Brad Thomas

Governance President & CEO

Progressive AE

James Byl

Founder & Owner

Multi-Automatic Tool & Supply Co.

Jeff Lumpp


Hylant LLC

Jennifer Crowley


Highland Group of Grand Rapids

Michael Davenport

President & CEO

Jireh Metal Products, Inc.

Michael Nelson

Chief Operating Officer & Chief HR Officer


Rick Baker

President & CEO

Grand Rapids Chamber