The 2013-14 Wheelhouse Talks feature cross-disciplinary, local leaders who are eager to share their philosophy and experience. Leaders of today and tomorrow will come together to evoke stories of triumph and tragedy, tradition and innovation, conflict and collaboration, career-pathing and serendipity. Throughout the series, shared leadership values — responsibility, energy, community, and authenticity — will be center stage. Watch the 2011 – 2012 and the 2012 – 2013 Series.

2013 – 2014 Speakers

September 11 – Mary Buikema

Driven by the moving and life-changing experiences of creating affordable home ownership opportunities for families. Executive Director at Habitat for Humanity of Kent County. Core values: hope, integrity, collaboration, faith in action, and sustainability. Chicago native turned West Michigander while getting her BFA from Calvin.

October 9 – Ann Vidro & Menda Wright

Vibrant, energetic founders and co-owners of Creative Studio Promotions. Finalists in Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 2013 “Top Women Owned Businesses.” Clients: Priority Health, Nurture by Steelcase, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Grand Rapids Triathlon, Aquinas College.

November 13 – Michael DeWilde

Director of the Business Ethics Center at the Seidman College of Business. Teaches multiple courses devoted to ethics and philosophy and the Community Working Classics Seminar. TEDx on Sustainability. Consultant to students, young professionals, and businesses that seek change to suit their own definition of “better.”



Monthly | Free | Open to the Public

January 8 – Mayor George Heartwell

Innovative, progressive, third-term mayor of Grand Rapids with a passion for the well being of the environment and community. Previous positions: President and CEO of Pilgrim Manor Retirement Community, Director of the Community Leadership Institute at Aquinas, and ordained minister for the United Church of Christ at Heartside Ministry.


February 12 – Kelly LeCoy

Observant entrepreneur who spotted a gap between food entrepreneurs in Grand Rapids and spaces for them to create their product. Founder and owner of Uptown Kitchen, Grand Rapids’ first kitchen incubator. Entered her venture idea into Calvin College’s Business Competition and 5X5 Night, winning both.


March 12 – Michael Hyacinthe

The Hauenstein Center’s March Wheelhouse Talk features Michael Hyacinthe, a New York entrepreneur in Grand Rapids. Creator of several start-up ventures already under way. Top-5 Art Prize contender with Fashion Has Heart, a non-profit organization that provides wounded veterans with creative opportunities to become entrepreneurs. Eight years of prior military service in the U.S. Navy. Pastimes: spoken word, rap legend Nas, and movies with his wife.





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