Talent Summit

Talent is the top issue impacting growth and success for the West Michigan business community.

At the first of the Summit Up! Series, the Chamber connected business and community members with local, state, and national experts. Attendees left with strategic plans and innovative ideas on how to address the talent gap in their organizations and ways to develop, attract, and retain talent.

Click to read more about talent in West Michigan and what the Chamber is doing to help .

Talent Fact Sheet Small Talent Wanted Blog Article

Read about Keynote Speaker Dr. MacPhail below.

mcpahilDr. Irving Pressley McPhail Current President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME). Prior to joining NACME, Dr. McPhail founded and served as principal of The McPhail Group LLC. He served 15 years as a college president or chancellor at The Community College of Baltimore County, St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley, and LeMoyne-Owen College. Dr. McPhail also served as Chief Operating Officer of the Baltimore City Public Schools. Working at the nexus of practice, policy and research in literacy education, postsecondary student success, underrepresented minorities in STEM, and higher education leadership, Dr. McPhail is the co-editor of Teaching African American Learners to Read: Perspectives and Practices, published by the International Reading Association in 2005, and the author of more than 50 journal articles, chapters, monographs, and technical reports.

Develop Talent Breakout Session
What can businesses do to better prepare job seekers for in-demand careers in Michigan?
What opportunities exist for businesses to help craft future talent for their organization?

Panel Moderator
Kevin Stotts
Talent 2025

Bill Pink
Grand Rapids
Community College

Laura Elsner
DeWys Manufacturing

Lynn Afendoulis
Universal Forest
Products, Inc.

Roger Curtis
Michigan Department
of Talent & Economic

Attract Talent Breakout Session
How do you increase the success rate in your efforts to recruit top talent?
What collaborations exist to help you find the right people to take your business forward? 

Panel Moderator
Steve Heacock
Spectrum Health

Dr. Irving McPhail
National Action Council for Miniorities in Engineering

Christy Landrigan
Talent Solutions Lead

Kaushik Nag
Director Talent Acquisition

Cindy Brown
Executive Director
Hello West Michigan

Retain Talent Breakout Session
Business is in a race for talent. Finding the right people and onboarding them can be time consuming and costly.
How do you keep and grow the talent you have?

Panel Moderator
Megan Smith
Grand Rapids Area
Chamber of Commerce

Fred Keller
Cascade Engineering, Inc.

Mark Peters
Butterball Farms, Inc.

Denise Philips
Ranir LLC

Amber Anderson

Premier Sponsor
Blue Cross Blue Shield

Event Underwriters


Lead Supporters

Epiteclacks-enterprises-blueWest Michigan Works

Chamber Champions

Chemical BankManpower