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EPIC Awards Gala

EPIC Awards Gala 11

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Nominations for the 2021 EPIC Awards Gala are now closed.

Create Great Business | 11th Annual EPIC Awards Gala

Entrepreneurial. Progressive. Innovative. Collaborative.

EPIC is the premier business award celebration in the region recognizing both businesses and individuals that foster community growth, demonstrate innovation, and have championed alongside others as mentors and collaborators. Award recipients are announced the night of the event, keeping finalists and attendees on the edge of their seats.

The following awards will be presented:

  • Emerging Leader of the Year
  • Creative Business of the Year
  • Woman-Owned Business of the Year
  • Minority-Owned Business of the Year
  • Veteran-Owned Business of the Year
  • Small Business of the Year
  • Non-Profit of the Year
  • Excellence in Business

Three new diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) focused recognitions will also be presented:

  • DEI Champion Recognition – Leader of the Year
  • DEI Champion Recognition – Organization of the Year
  • LGBTQIA+ Champion Recognition – Organization of the Year 

Monday, October 25, 2021
5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
JW Marriott Grand Rapids

REGISTER TO ATTEND HERE


Organizational Awards

EPIC Awards 12

EPIC Organizational Awards Criteria:

      • Has a growth mindset and supports/demonstrates equitable entrepreneurship throughout the organization’s services and programs
      • Creates an organizational culture that is progressive – not afraid to put new ideas into practice and has an intentional focus on belonging and inclusion
      • Seeks out innovative opportunities to be creative in their designated industry and community by leveraging the organization’s diversity
      • Gives back to the larger community and is actively collaborative with other organizations and initiatives to create a thriving West Michigan for all

Excellence in Business: The Excellence in Business designation is awarded to a for-profit or non-profit organization with more than 50 employees. This organization must be a GR Chamber member.

Minority-Owned Business of the Year: The Minority-Owned Business of the Year designation is awarded to a business that is 51% minority-owned. This organization must be a GR Chamber member.

Non-Profit of the Year: The Non-Profit of the Year designation is awarded to a non-profit organization with 50 or fewer employees. This organization must be a GR Chamber member.

Small Business of the Year: The Small Business of the Year designation is awarded to a for-profit organization with 50 or fewer employees. This organization must be a GR Chamber member.

Veteran-Owned Business of the Year: The Veteran-Owned Business of the Year designation is awarded to a business whose owner/operator is currently verified as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) or Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB). This organization must be a GR Chamber member.

Creative Business of the Year Award: The Creative Business of the Year Award is awarded to a business from the following creative industries: Advertising, Architecture, Art Schools, Art Agents, Creative Technology, Culture & Heritage, Design, Fashion, Garment & Textile, Film, AV & Broadcasting, Literary Publishing & Print, Music, Performing Arts or Visual Arts & Crafts, that is innovating, collaborating, and helping to showcase our region as a hub of creative talent. This organization must be a GR Chamber member.

Woman-Owned Enterprise of the Year: The Woman-Owned Business of the Year designation is awarded to a business that is 51% woman-owned. This organization must be a GR Chamber member.

LGBTQIA+ Champion – Organization of the Year: The LGBTQIA+ Champion Leader of the Year designation is awarded to an organization that works tirelessly to create an inclusive organization and serves as a champion of the LGBTQIA+ community. This organization will have consistently shown an ability to lead in EPIC ways following the criteria below. This organization must be a GR Chamber member.

    • Recognizes an organization that consistently pursues growth in being more open and affirming to its LGBTQIA+ employees and patrons and supports and/or demonstrates (equitable) entrepreneurship inside or outside of their organization.
    • Is committed to their organization’s progressive culture by being forward thinking and intentionally creating a sense of belonging and inclusivity by celebrating and supporting their LGBTQIA+ employees (celebration of LGBTQIA+ specific holidays, use of pronouns, employee resource groups, gender neutral restrooms, etc.).
    • Seeks out innovative, (inclusive) and creative opportunities to enhance their LGBTQIA+ employees’ professional development opportunities, recruiting/hiring/retaining efforts, and by elevating the voices of the LGBTQIA+ community.
    • Gives back to the larger community and is actively collaborative with other organizations, leveraging the power of diversity, supports the LGBTQIA+ community outside of your organization/business to create a more inclusive West Michigan for all.

DEI Champion Recognition – Organization of the Year: The DEI Champion Organization of the Year designation is a recognition of an organization that is committed to and working to embed DEI initiatives within their organization and the community, and who has shown an ability to lead in EPIC ways following the criteria below.*Please note that this organization will be selected from the group of companies that have engaged in the Chamber’s DEI Assessment and is not open for nomination from the public.

    • Recognizes an organization that consistently pursues growth in its DEI efforts, has committed to the DEI Journey (DEI Assessment and continual supporting services and trainings), and supports and/or demonstrates equitable entrepreneurship inside or outside of their organization
    • Is committed to their organization’s progressive culture by being forward-thinking and intentionally creating a sense of belonging and inclusivity through a top-down approach and DEI lens
    • Seeks out innovative, inclusive and creative opportunities to enhance their employee’s professional development opportunities, recruiting/hiring/retaining efforts, and supplier diversity
    • Gives back to the larger community and is actively collaborative with other organizations, leveraging the power of diversity, to create a thriving West Michigan for all

Individual Awards Descriptions

EPIC Awards 13

Emerging Leader of the Year: The Emerging Leader of the Year designation is awarded to someone age 40 or younger as of October 26, 2021, that has shown an ability to lead in EPIC ways. This person must be the employee of a GR Chamber member.

DEI Champion Recognition – Leader of the Year: The DEI Champion Leader of the Year designation is awarded to an individual who works tirelessly as a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion in their work and community, and who has shown an ability to lead in EPIC ways. This person must be the employee of a GR Chamber member.

EPIC Individual Awards Criteria:

      • Recognizes an individual who consistently pursues growth as a leader and supports and/or demonstrates equitable entrepreneurship inside or outside of their organization
      • Contributes to their organization’s progressive culture by being forward-thinking and intentionally creating a sense of belonging and inclusivity
      • Seeks out innovative, inclusive and creative opportunities to enhance their professional skills and industry as a whole
      • Gives back to the larger community and is actively collaborative with other individuals and organizations to contribute to creating a thriving West Michigan for all