Throughout the academic year, Leadership Fellows gather monthly for an exclusive “Luncheons with Leaders” lecture series. At each luncheon, a local, state, or national leader meets privately with fellows and invited guests to share experiences and insights into leadership.
William Noakes, September 8
Ed Dobson, October 20
Chuck Wilbur, November 10
Bing Goei, December 8
Mary Dailey Brown, January 12, 2011
Jonathan White, February 9
Noreen Myers, March 16
Christina Keller, April 6
All luncheons take place from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm in Grand Valley’s Meijer Regency Room, 102E DeVos, 401 Fulton Street West, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Watch past presentations.
Mary Dailey Brown is founding president and CEO of SowHope, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping poor and oppressed women around the world by promoting wellness, education, and economic opportunities. She received her bachelor’s degree in photography and psychology from Southern Illinois University and her master’s degree in nonprofit management and leadership from Grand Valley State University. Brown worked for a year as a presidential photographer in the Jimmy Carter White House before running a successful photography business for ten years. In 1988, she began volunteering to lead teams annually to northern Mexico to build homes for impoverished families, a service she has repeated every summer since. In 1993, Brown became the founding executive director of Love INC, which collaborated with local social agencies and churches to serve the working poor. In 1998, Brown became the director of missions at Bella Vista Church. It was during her missions to the Middle East and the Third World that she became keenly aware of the plight of women in these countries. In January 2006, she formed SowHope. Brown was a 2009-10 Peter Cook Leadership Fellow at the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies.
To learn more, read “Rockford Woman Founder of Female-Oriented Charity.”
Reverend Ed Dobson is pastor emeritus of Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, and author of a dozen books including, most recently, The Year of Living Like Jesus. Since his 2001 diagnosis, Dobson has lived with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Dobson moved to the United States from his home in Northern Ireland in 1964. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, and his doctorate in higher education from the University of Virginia. In his 20s, Dobson was first dean of men and then vice president for student life at Liberty University, and associate pastor at Jerry Falwell’s Thomas Road Baptist Church. In his 30s, Dobson was a leader of the Moral Majority and senior editor of the movement’s journal. Through his experience, Dobson came to believe that cultural problems can not be tackled through the political process. He left the Moral Majority to become pastor at Calvary Church, where he served for 18 years, and later vice president for spiritual formation at Cornerstone University. In 2008, while writing of The Year of Living Like Jesus, Dobson caused a national stir when he announced his vote for President Barack Obama, the candidate he judged closest to Jesus’s teachings.
To learn more, visit “Ed’s Story.”
Bing Goei is president and CEO of Eastern Floral, a $6 million company with seven stores and more than 100 employees. In 2009, he made headlines for converting the abandoned 80,000 square-foot Kindel Furniture Factory into his company’s dynamic, new headquarters. The building contains a 10,000 square-foot, non-profit business incubator — the International Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence — for woman- and minority-owned start-up companies. Goei is former chairman of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, and he serves on the Grand Rapids Civil Service Commission, the Asian Professionals Organization board of directors, and the Diversity Advisory Council of Leadership West Michigan. In 2005, he was named Entrepreneur of the Year for West Michigan by Ernst and Young. In 2008, he was inducted into the Junior Achievement West Michigan Business Hall of Fame. Goei was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, and he immigrated to Grand Rapids, Michigan, as a child with the sponsorship of the Fuller Avenue Christian Reform Church. He is a Republican candidate for the 75th district of the Michigan House of Representatives.
To learn more, visit “Bing Goei for State Representative.”
Christina Keller is an expert in sustainable global enterprises and a project manager at Cascade Engineering. She is responsible for the company’s HydrAid BioSand Water Filter — a product designed to relieve 4 million people in the developing world who lack clean water. Formerly, Ms. Keller was a senior consultant at Polaris Management Partners, a midsized management consulting firm in New York City. She was also a project manager at Environmental Resources Trust, where she worked on LED renewable energy and green house gas emission reduction. Ms. Keller has traveled to Uganda on multiple occasions to work with the nation’s first lady, Janet Museveni, and the international nonprofit Solar Light for Africa to install solar panels on schools and hospitals. She has helped develop a micro-enterprise in Peru and taught micro-business classes. Her international experience also includes work in Costa Rica and Chile. Ms. Keller earned her B.A. in international development and environmental studies from Boston College in 2003. She holds an M.B.A. with an emphasis in sustainable global enterprise from the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.
To learn more, read “Triple Quest Partnership.”
Noreen Myers is a private practice attorney at law in Lowell, Michigan, specializing in employment law and workers compensation. Governor Jennifer Granholm appointed Noreen Myers to the Grand Valley State University Board of Trustees in 2005. Myers currently serves as the Board’s vice chair and also serves on the Academic and Student Affairs Committee. For two decades, Myers has been a leader in numerous political campaigns at the local, state, and national levels. She is a founding member of the Progressive Women’s Alliance’s Board of Directors. Myers is a Grand Valley State University alumnae with a B.A. in political science, and she holds a J.D. from Thomas Cooley Law School. She has also completed graduate work in political philosophy at Loyola University Chicago and Georgetown University.
To learn more, see “Board of Trustees” at Grand Valley State University
Professor William Noakes is managing partner at Noakes Group, “advisors to the enlightened and innovative c-suite,” and he is adjunct professor of management in Grand Valley’s Seidman College of Business, where he teaches leadership. Noakes earned his bachelor’s degree in government and German language and literature from the University of Notre Dame, and he earned his master’s degree in public policy and his juris doctorate from the University of Chicago. Noakes served five years as a captain in the United States Air Force in Illinois, South Korea, Belgium, Germany, and the Pentagon, and one year as an attorney for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He has been a counselor for General Motors, Wayne County, and Wesley International. Most recently, he was shareholder and litigator at Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer, and Weiss; executive vice president for legal affairs at Meijer, Inc.; and lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. Noakes speaks on leadership and coaches executives all over the country. He attributes his diverse career experience to his wide-ranging interests and to inspiration he found at the age of seven in a biography about the polymath president, Thomas Jefferson.
To learn more, read “Life’s Not a Straight Line.”
Professor Jonathan White is one of the world’s foremost authorities on Middle Eastern extremism and religious terrorism. Formerly dean of social science and director of the School of Criminal Justice at Grand Valley State University, Professor White currently serves as professor and chair of liberal studies and as executive director of the Homeland Defense Initiative. He has also won university awards for courses in history and criminal justice. Professor White is author of Terrorism and Homeland Security (2006) and Defending the Homeland (2004), but his writings on extremism and terrorism date back to the mid-1980s. Professor White earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in multi-disciplinary social science. He holds an M.Div. from Western Theological Seminary, and an M.A. and B.A. in history from Western Michigan University. In a former career he served in the Jackson (Michigan) police force as a member of the SWAT team. Today, Professor White consults widely on terrorism using his predictive models, and since 9/11 he has been a frequent advisor to thousands of police departments, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service, and the U.S. Departments of Justice, State, and Homeland Security. He received several awards — from the DOJ, FBI, and the Michigan House of Representatives — for his work after 9/11 directing State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training for the Institute of Intergovernmental Research.
To learn more, read “Q & A with Jonathan White.”
Chuck Wilbur is senior policy consultant with Public Policy Associates in Lansing, Michigan, where he focuses on education and Michigan’s Promise Zones. He is also a lecturer at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Wilbur served as Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s senior advisor for education and communication from January 2003 to March 2010. In that position, Wilbur worked to formulate state policy on a range of issues, from early childhood to higher education, and worked on each of the governor’s state of the state addresses. Wilbur earned his bachelor’s degree in history and master’s degree in educational media from the University of Michigan. He worked as a Media Specialist in Westwood Community Schools in Wayne County; a community organizer with low income advocacy organizations in Detroit; and a broadcast journalist with Detroit’s public radio station WDET; all before serving a decade as an aide to United States Senator Carl Levin. Wilbur was Senator Levin’s chief of staff in Washington, D.C., his state director in Michigan, and his campaign manager for the 1996 and 2002 elections.
To learn more, read “Chuck Wilbur Joins PPA.”