Grand Rapids, Michigan / January 13, 2021 — The Grand Rapids Chamber welcomes Emily Smith to the Talent Development team in the newly created role of Inclusion Manager. She is responsible for supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion events and programming including the Institute for Healing Racism, OutPro, and the Diversity & Talent Series and Summit. Emily’s addition also expands the Chamber’s capacity to deliver diversity, equity, and inclusion training to the business community.

Born in California, raised in New Mexico and college-educated in Colorado and France, Emily has been a West Michigan resident for 19 years. Globally focused yet locally engaged, she has always been inspired to further cross-cultural understanding through Cultural Intelligence training, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, and local educational engagement.

“Having always been interested in cross-cultural communication, language, culture, and a global perspective, I naturally embrace the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Smith explains. “This past year’s events, along with being part of the Leadership Grand Rapids cohort of 2020, has only served to inspire me to engage more locally to help make Grand Rapids an even more inclusive community. I’m grateful, humbled, and thrilled to be a part of this important work with such an incredible organization.”

“As the Grand Rapids Chamber continues expanding its diversity, equity, and inclusion services, we are delighted to add Emily’s expertise to our team,” said Ken James, Director of Inclusion. “Her background as a strategic systems thinker and certifications in both Cultural Intelligence and Unconscious Bias facilitation will be an asset to our organization and the greater community.”

Quick facts about Emily include:

  • Fluent French speaker and aspiring Spanish speaker
  • Loves hiking, biking (gravel and mountain), walking, snowshoeing, yoga and skiing
  • Proud wife of an adventure junkie, proud mother of two amazing high schoolers, and best friend to her furry family member, Sadie

 The Grand Rapids Chamber is currently accepting applications for the Institute for Healing Racism and clients for diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings.

For questions or to send a welcome, please contact Emily Smith at

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About the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce 

The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce leads the business community in creating a dynamic, top-of-mind West Michigan region. Together with over 2,500 member businesses (80% of which are small businesses with fewer than 50 employees), we work to expand the influence, access, and information required to actively encourage entrepreneurial growth and community leadership. We offer the connections, resources, and insights needed to develop strong leaders, engage a diverse workforce, foster an inclusive and welcoming community, and advance a vibrant business environment that nurtures economic prosperity for all. Learn more at


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