CEO Summit Series: Part 1

On June 14, 2022, the Grand Rapids Chamber hosted the West Michigan CEO Summit, inviting leaders from area organizations and businesses to come together for a day of networking and learning. Our team also spent the day interviewing top West Michigan leaders. Over the next few weeks, we will be releasing these episodes each weekday at 7am. This week, we released interviews with 5 West Michigan leaders:


CEO Summit Series: Part 1 3

Dr. Bill Pink, President of Grand Rapids Community College & Future President of Ferris State University

Dr. Bill Pink is the President of Grand Rapids Community College, and soon to be President of Ferris State University. We had a chance to discuss Dr Pink’s time with GRCC and what he’s looking forward to as he begins his time at Ferris. Dr. Pink’s work at GRCC and Ferris are helping to educate and train members of our community to help fill the talent gap.



Beth Kelly, Founder & President, HR Collaborative CEO Summit Series: Part 1 4

Beth Kelly is the Founder & President of HR Collaborative. Kelly is an expert in the talent space, and our conversation focuses on the current talent environment and the search for workers. She’s also the founder of HR Collaborative, so we discussed what went into founding her company and how she’s continuing to grow her company in today’s world.

CEO Summit Series: Part 1 1Deb Prato, Chief Executive Officer, The Rapid

Deb Prato is the Chief Executive Officer of The Rapid. She has been working in the transportation industry for most of her career, including for the nation’s largest public transportation authority in New York City. We had a chance to ask Deb how she’s leading the Rapid through top issues like the talent crisis, inflation and looking towards a green future for public transportation.



Carlos Sanchez, Director, Latino Business & Economic Development Center, Ferris State University CEO Summit Series: Part 1 2

Carlos Sanchez oversees Ferris State’s Latino Business & Economic Development Center in Grand Rapids, whose mission is to develop high-performing Latinx leaders and entrepreneurs in West Michigan. We had to learn more about the program and what Carlos is seeing in Latino Business scene, as they overcome top issues like the talent crisis and inflation.




Arick Davis, Co-Founder & Head of Operations, Last Mile Cafe CEO Summit Series: Part 1

Last Mile Cafe is a new coffee venture that Arick helped start in Grand Rapids in 2018. They do coffee differently. From compostable bags to making sure it’s ethically sourced, Arick has his hands full most days. He’s also looking to expand the company and add a retail location in Grand Rapids. Arick also shares his insights on Grand Rapids’ growth as he works with people from around the world.




CEO Summit Series: Part 1 5The Back to Business CEO Summit Series is sponsored by Davenport University.


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