Grand Rapids Chamber Expands Executive Leadership Team

The Chamber welcomed four new hires to the team last week including two new members to the Executive Leadership Team. Together, the group boasts more than 60 years of professional experience in their respective fields.

Rodney Savage and Jenny Waugh joined the Executive Leadership Team as the Vice President of Talent and Inclusion and the Vice President of Economic Growth, which were created to meet the growing demands for increased Chamber capacity. Along with them, Jessica Jones was hired as the Director of Marketing and Events, and Claribel Ortiz joins the team as a Membership Engagement Manager.

“We decided to add two new positions to our leadership team in order to better structure the Chamber for continued growth and deeper impact,” said Chamber President and CEO Rick Baker. “Rodney and Jenny both come to us with twenty plus years of experience in their respective fields, which will help us grow the potential of our programs, sharpen our focus on diversifying our members, and broaden our reach throughout West Michigan.”


Vice President of Talent and Inclusion: Rodney Savage

Rodney Savage headshotRodney is responsible for providing strategic direction and oversight of the Chamber’s talent and inclusion services to the regional business community. This includes the Chamber’s leadership programming and internal and external diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. In this role, Savage is responsible for addressing business talent challenges, leadership development and creating a positive organizational culture to make the Grand Rapids Chamber an employer of choice.

Contact Rodney at or 616-771-0352



Vice President of Economic Growth: Jenny Waugh 

Jenny Waugh headshotJenny’s experience in sales, strategy, and marketing will help her to develop innovative strategies and resources to foster the growth of all businesses, especially those entrepreneurs who have traditionally been underserved. Waugh has twice been honored as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan. She was awarded the Honorary Allied Award 2021 from the American Institute of Architects, Grand Rapids Chapter for rendering distinguished service to the architectural profession. Most recently, Waugh was named Volunteer of the Year by Disability Advocates of Kent County.

Contact Jenny at or 616-771-0314



Director of Marketing and Events: Jess Jones

Jess Jones headshotJess is a dynamic communicator who loves the art of telling a good story. She comes to the Chamber with eight years of integrated communications experience in the nonprofit sector. As the Director of Marketing and Events, she strives to elevate the narrative and experiences for the Chamber and its members. She leads a rockstar team that helps bring the Chamber’s 160 events and programs to life while driving the Chamber’s benefits to better serve the community.

Contact Jess at or 616-771-0349



Membership Engagement Manager: Claribel Ortiz

Claribel works alongside current and future Chamber members, helping them build connections, find resources, and advance their business. With more than five years of experience in relationship building and business development, Claribel enjoys learning more about the drivers of businesses and how they contribute to our thriving community.

Contact Claribel at or 616-771-0332


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