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Create Great Leaders | Deb Bailey | A Community Trustee | A Legacy  

Create Great Leaders | Deb Bailey | A Community Trustee | A Legacy   

Deb Bailey, a graduate of Leadership Grand Rapids (LGR) class of 1989, truly epitomized what it means to be a community trustee.

A community trustee, coined by the Grand Rapids Chamber Leadership Grand Rapids program, is someone who passionately works to create great community for all, through their decisions, actions and influence. They embrace the ideals of pluralism, diversity, advocacy, and the responsibility of social capital, while remaining committed to continuously learn, connect, and lead.

Deb Bailey tackled countless community leadership roles and served as founder of Gilda’s Club, which provides meeting places to those affected by cancer to build emotional and social support as a supplement to medical care. She was a member of Grand Rapids Community College Board of Directors, an active and fierce participant in ATHENA Grand Rapids at the Grand Rapids Chamber, and most importantly a mentor to the future leaders of our wonderful city. Deb’s impact was felt across both corporate and community relationships as it transcended into much more, a legacy.

Deb inspired and fueled many LGR participants with a famous “closing retreat” leadership lesson. While the oration and content of her annual talk was exceptional, the strength remained in her strong reputation and years of living the values she preached. With candor, humility and humor, Deb motivated many leaders to be more, and be extraordinary for our community.

Deb Bailey saw the best in people and gave generously in time, wisdom, and philanthropy. She was both a bold and brave leader whose legacy will live on in current, and future community trustees of Grand Rapids as they all strive to #CreateGreatCommunity.

Today, we are proud to announce the Deb Bailey Legacy Scholarship to support the future participants and community trustees of Leadership Grand Rapids.  Jeanne Englehart and Jane Gietzen along with the LGR Class of 1989 are committed to starting a scholarship in Deb’s honor. Stay tuned for a list of LGR’89 donors, videos honoring Deb and ways to contribute to her legacy. To contribute now, please click here.

A special audio tribute to community member, Deb Bailey, courtesy of WGVU and Shelley Irwin.

Mia Jankowiak Administrator
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