3 Ways Professional Peers Help You Succeed

3 Ways A Professional Peers Group Will Help You Succeed

The best way to grow as a professional is through external support. Research shows it can take nearly 12 to 18 months to settle into your role, and keeping in line with rapid, turbulent hiring trends, maybe even longer.

The Grand Rapids Chamber’s roundtable programs group you with like-minded professionals to help build camaraderie in your local industry while shaping your professional development. Through structured discussions in a confidential setting, you’ll find the support you need to excel in your field and truly bring your work to the next level.

Take it from our current roundtable participants – here are three ways our roundtable programs have helped them find success.


1. You learn from the very best in your industry.

  • “When I started with this group, despite being with my organization for many years, I was new to HR. This group was a very valuable resource for me, especially sharing best practices in areas of leadership development, DEI and overall policy changes. In addition to best practices, shared ideas, and a sounding board, our group has provided a great sense of camaraderie and support system in the HR world.”

– Susan Dobbs, Vice President of Human Resources at Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids

  • “Every member brings a unique perspective to the table, based on the size of the company they work for, industry, and other career experiences. With DK Security having a very small marketing team, it’s interesting to hear about how things are done in bigger marketing teams, such as Haworth, AHC Hospitality, and Mercantile Bank. Often times I leave the meeting with a new marketing idea to consider for DK, based on what was shared by others.”

– Johnny Kendall, Director of Marketing & Business Development, DK Security

  • “If one of us has a question, others are almost always wondering the same thing. We all benefit from sharing past knowledge and experiences.”

– Christi Clark, Human Resources Manager, EHTC

  • “Recently, we’ve been evaluating the cultural components and benefits we are providing as a firm. It was a confirmation that we are doing things above-and-beyond the marketplace. Lots of commonalities between participants in the room provides balance and understanding of how to continue to evaluate the culture and generate potential advancements now and into the future.”

– Bjorn Green, President + CEO, TowerPinkster


2. You develop meaningful relationships.

  • “I’m in my second year leading a marketing roundtable group. It’s refreshing to find a group of colleagues who can equally empathize with and celebrate your work. The learned knowledge, stories and laughs we share show universally how good communication affects all our organizations.”

– Betsy Loeks, Vice President of Marketing, Consumers Credit Union

  • “This group allowed those of us working locally within the discipline of HR (one of the most highly impacted in the last 3 years) to network with each other, share challenges/opportunities and resources in a safe and comfortable environment.”

– Ellen Winterburn, VP of HR, Project BarFly, LLC (Brands:  HopCat, Stella’s Lounge and Grand Rapids Brewing Company

  • “I truly value and appreciate the camaraderie of this group and how they always welcome newcomers with open arms. This is a diverse group from various industries with unique roles represented. Each one brings new insight and a different perspective, and I find that has been quite rewarding. I also appreciate and value the fact this group always stepped up and offered to host, so we were constantly moving from one location to another. This is definitely a wonderful group of caring individuals.”

– Jo Carlson, Account Manager/Consultant for the EAP Department at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services.


3. You create wide-reaching community connections & awareness.

  • Most of what I gain from the roundtable is hearing best practices from other leaders. Since my industry is very different from theirs, it helps me to better understand the sales climate in Grand Rapids for other markets (banking, fuel, logistics, sports, convention, etc.). Also, my company has benefitted from both new business and additional exposure as part of my participation.

– Mindy Miller, Group Sales Director, Witte Travel

  • “Coming from larger organizations to a smaller business it has really helped get me back plugged into the local Grand Rapids business community and other small businesses in the area. I have really enjoyed and NEEDED that connection. Bringing challenges we hear about with current and potential clients and gaining insight and feedback if there are other solutions or if this is a common issue we should gain more awareness on.”

– Mike Parnacott, Vice President of Business Development, HR Collaborative


Get Involved

Roundtable groups open for registration in February 2023.

Learn more here.


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