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  • Rick Baker, President/CEO, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce
  • Elissa Hillary, Executive Director, Local First

I chat with Rick and Elissa about the mission of their respective organizations, the benefits to their members, the current climate for business here in Grand Rapids, businesses in town that have caught their eye, the recent bus trips they have been on to Detroit and what the two cities can learn from each other, what similar size cities can learn from Grand Rapids.

Rick and I also chat about his recent relocation to Grand Rapids from the Quad Cities area and his first impressions of our city, the advocacy work the Chamber does in Lansing, and some of his first year goals at the Chamber.

Elissa and I also chat about the great growth Local First has experienced since 2007, the recent Balle (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) Conference that took place here in Grand Rapids, and more.

Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce http://
On Facebook GrandRapidsAreaChamber

Local First of West Michigan
On Facebook






I'm really looking forward to introducing you to folks around West Michigan every week who are helping to positively shape our area with their music, their art, their bold business ideas, and the causes they're passionate about!

~Paul Jendrasiak

Tom and Jake Scheidel also join me to chat about the 8th annual Jake's Music Festival to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. We talk about the eclectic group of musicians that will be performing, about some of the important things people should understand about Juvenile Diabetes, and those who help make Jake's Music Festival possible.

You can learn more about Jake's Music Festival at: