2018 Award Finalists

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The finalists of the 2018 Brilliance Awards are:

Top honorees

FlameIconBrilliant Woman of the Year: 

Joan Budden, President and CEO, Priority Health
Dr. Nkechy Ekere Ezeh, Founder and CEO, Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative
Nisha McKenzie, PA-C, Founder and Director, The Center for Women's Sexual Health

FlameIconBrilliant Tenacity: 

Mary Hollebeek, Ambassador and Board Member, Mel Trotter Ministries
Melba Vélez Ortiz, Associate Professor, Grand Valley State University
Marcia Warner, Director, Grand Rapids Public Library


Brilliant Team Player: 

Megan Bylsma, Associate Director, Urban Institute for Contemporary Art
Dr. Jamie Caughran, M.D., Medical Director of the Mercy Health Comprehensive Breast Center
Cori Friar, Owner, Beer City Barre

FlameIconBrilliant Social Change Agent: 

Dr. Katie Bozek, Ph.D. Marriage and Family Therapist, Transitions Therapy, PLLC
Tessa Hessmiller, J.D., Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice
India Manns, Community Volunteer

FlameIconBrilliant Mentor: 

Nancy French, Sr. Director of Communications for Development, Grand Valley State University
Tanell Hills, Co-Founder/Assistant Executive Director, Endless Opportunities
Linda Vos-Graham, Community Volunteer


Brilliant Entrepreneur: 

Kim Bode, Founder, 8ThirtyFour Integrated Communications
Catherine Lazarock
, President and Founder, Simplicity Communications
Karen Scarpino, President and Owner, Green Giftz

FlameIconBrilliant Emerging Leader: 

CJ DeVries, Owner, GR Now
Denavvia Mojet, Strategic Communications Coordinator, LINC
Megan Sall, Assistant City Manager, City of Wyoming

FlameIconBrilliant Connector: 

Michelle Jokisch Polo, Editor, On The Ground
Jane Royer, Encore Fellow, Grand Rapids Community Foundation
Judy Welch, Executive Director, Michigan Women's Foundation-West Michigan


Brilliant Champion of Service: 

Latoya Person, Managing Partner, Management Business Solutions
Deb Verbrugge, Account Executive, Scott Group Studio
Vonnie Woodrick, Founder, i understand

FlameIconBrilliant Best Supporting Man: 

Dr. Neil Carlson, Ph.D., Director-Center for Social Research, Calvin College
Carl Erickson, CEO and Co-Founder, Atomic Object
Jim Paparella, President and CEO, D.A. Blodgett-St. John's


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