Today, the Grand Rapids Chamber announced key staff changes to advance the organization’s mission of building a thriving and prosperous West Michigan for all.
The organization has announced the promotion of Monica Mendez to Director of Talent & Leadership Programs, Megan Steenwyk to Senior Business Services Manager, and Olivia Koster to Senior Event Project Manager. Additionally, the Grand Rapids Chamber has welcomed Amari Brown to the team as new Inclusion Program Manager.
Monica Mendez joined the Chamber team as Talent Development Manager in December 2020. In her time at the Chamber, Monica has been key to the success and intentional expansion of our leadership development programming. Among the programs she oversees, Monica introduced Latina Connect to the Chamber. Presented in Spanish, this program brings together Latina professionals and community members to grow as leaders. Monica is passionate about community impact, leadership development, open communication, and personal wellness. She believes our community thrives when people continuously challenge themselves – physically, ideologically, personally, and professionally. As Director of Talent & Leadership Programs, Monica will lead the Chamber’s efforts to provide support and connections to the business community and their various talent needs.
Megan Steenwyk has been with the Chamber since September 2019, and has served on both the Talent Development and Business Services teams. Passionate about helping individuals utilize their professional talents, as well as improving organizational processes and community systems, Megan has been actively implementing the Chamber’s programs for equitable business growth and member celebration. These include West Michigan Minority Contractors, ribbon cutting celebrations, and the annual EPIC Awards Gala. In her role as Senior Business Services Manager, Megan will continue to connect members to the people and resources needed for success, with a focus on expanding consultative services for scaling businesses.
Olivia Koster joined the Chamber team as Event Project Manager in June 2021. In her time at the Chamber, Olivia has been an instrumental member of the Marketing & Events team, working to create exceptional member experiences at the Chamber’s 160 events and programs a year. With a collaborative attitude and high attention to detail, Olivia goes above and beyond to elevate many of the Chamber’s signature events, including the EPIC Awards Gala, the West Michigan CEO Summit, the Grand Rapids Policy Conference, and more.
Amari Brown has been welcomed to the Chamber team as the Inclusion Program Manager. In this role, Amari is responsible for supporting the Chamber’s diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, offering data-driven guidance to support an inclusive and equitable business environment. Amari received her bachelor’s degree from Hope College, and recently received her master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan. Amari has DEI experience in academic and business spaces and has done work in racial justice and policy advocacy at non-profits and grassroots organizations. Amari is passionate about people, social justice, and making our community a place where everyone can thrive.