November 13, 2014
Saint Cecilia Music Center
BY: SPARKLY STELLAFLY
PHOTOS: DIANNE CARROLL BURDICK
The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Grand Rapids held their sixth annual Leadership Awards last week and brought over 200 people together to celebrate all that is great about the nonprofit sector in West Michigan. The event was made possible with the help of generous sponsors including Heart of West Michigan United Way; Hopkins Fundraising Consulting; Grand Valley State University’s School of Public, Nonprofit, and Healthcare Administration; Grand Rapids Community Foundation; Philanthropia Partners; Parrish Consulting; Hungerford Aldrin; Nichols & Carter, PC; and Beene Garter.
The evening began with a reception sponsored by Spectrum Health. Saint Cecilia’s Dexter Ballroom was full of great energy as guests enjoyed food and beverage from Martha’s Catering, desserts from Desserts by Lori, and beautiful décor provided by Modern Day Floral & Events.
The main event of the evening was the Awards Ceremony, emceed by Shelley Irwin and featuring keynote speaker Latesha Lipscomb. YNPN.GR received nearly 100 nominations that were then narrowed to 35 finalists in seven categories.
Winners were voted on by YNPN.GR members and included:
Exemplary Executive Award
Bethann Egan, In the Image
Lindsey Ruffin, Eastown Community Association
Unsung Hero Award
Kirk Eklund, West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology
Young Nonprofit Professional of the Year Award
Jenn Schaub, Dwelling Place
Congratulations to all the winners and the finalists, and kudos to all who work, lead, and volunteer in the nonprofit sector in West Michigan. You are truly making a positive impact across the region!