Julie VanGessel

Membership Engagement Manager

(616) 771-0331


About Me

Julie VanGessel is a dedicated advocate for community empowerment and development in West Michigan, particularly in Grand Rapids. Originally from St. Joseph, Michigan, Julie’s love for Grand Rapids was cultivated during her formative years at Grand Valley State University, where she discovered the potential of community engagement.

With a background in sales and non-profit work, Julie is driven by her passion for youth development, social justice, and economic progress. She stands as a lifelong advocate for community development and empowerment. Her belief in nurturing robust business relationships extends beyond individual enterprise success; it encompasses a broader vision of contributing to regional economic growth and overall well-being.

Julie actively contributes to the community by serving on various boards, including the Mary Free Bed YMCA. She resides in East Grand Rapids with her husband John, a Special Education teacher and high school football coach, their four children aged 16 to 26, and their 3-year-old Goldendoodle, Lou Holtz. The VanGessel family’s deep ties to the community are evident in their engagement in diverse activities, often centered around sports and community work.

Fun Facts:

  1. Most Friday Happy Hours Julie can be found supporting one of her favorite local restaurants gathered with a large group of friends.
  2. Favorite Chamber event: Athena. It is truly inspiring to be part of a community with such a strong presence of female leaders.