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Create Great Policy: Breakfast with Legislators
Breakfast with Legislators events provide Chamber members and their employees the opportunity to establish relationships with key decision makers and voice opinions on issues moving forward in Lansing. Networking and facilitated question-and-answer sessions offer firsthand information on upcoming legislation and House and Senate committee activities, prompting great dialogue between legislators and Chamber members.
This month, we’re excited to be featuring a panel of local mayors and a preview of the upcoming midterm elections in November.
Monday, October 31
7:30 am – 9:00 a.m.
Amway World Headquarters
7575 Fulton Street E, Ada, Michigan 49301
Members: $30 / Non-Members: $45
Meet the Speakers
Rosalynn Bliss, Mayor, City of Grand Rapids
Mayor Rosalynn Bliss became the City of Grand Rapids’ first female Mayor when she took office on January 1, 2016. She was re-elected for a second term in November 2019. She previously served as a Second Ward City Commissioner for 10 years.
Mayor Bliss also is serving as the Frederik Meijer Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Grand Valley’s Frederik Meijer Honors College, where she teaches in the Honors College. She earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of South Alabama and a master’s in social work from Michigan State University.
Mayor Bliss is an active member of the community. She is Past President of the Michigan Municipal League and currently serves on the boards of the Downtown Development Authority, Experience Grand Rapids, Convention Arena Authority, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, Grand Rapids Promise Zone Authority, National League of Cities Council on Youth, Education, and Families, Urban Core Mayors, The Economic Club of Grand Rapids and the Interurban Transit Partnership.
Mayor Bliss has been recognized and honored locally as well as statewide for her commitment, dedication and work in the field of child abuse and neglect and for her leadership in the community. As Mayor, she is committed to supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs, working to create a cleaner, healthier and safer community and has a commitment to addressing disparities in our community to make sure that Grand Rapids is a great place for everyone.
Gary Carey, Mayor, City of Walker
Mayor Carey has been serving the City of Walker as Mayor since January of 2019. Prior to this, he represented the 2nd Ward as a City Commissioner for 6 years and has also served as Mayor Pro-Tem. As part of his mayoral role, he also serves on the board for the Rapid, Grand Valley Metro Council, Standale Downtown Development Authority, and St Anthony’s School.
In his 30+ year business career, Mayor Carey has held sales leadership roles for large, privately held, and Fortune 500 companies, and is currently a national sales director with a software company. In addition to the mayor’s role and business career, he has also served as a long-time high school football coach for both Kenowa Hills and West Catholic.
Mayor Carey has an associate degree from Grand Rapids Community College and a Bachelor of Science with an emphasis in Leadership from Grand Valley State University. He has been married to Cori for 32 years, and they have three adult children, two of whom are in law enforcement in the area and one is a dentist practicing in Walker.
Stephen Kepley, Mayor, City of Kentwood
Mayor Stephen Kepley has served the citizens of Kentwood as Mayor and Head Administrator since 2013. Mayor Kepley gained much of his valuable experience while working for Kentwood as the Director of Engineering and Inspections/City Engineer for 11 years, along with an additional 15 years in the private manufacturing design and construction sector. He holds a B.S. in Engineering from Virginia Tech and is certified by the State of Michigan in multiple vocations. Mayor Kepley has always loved working with people to solve problems, encourage growth, and serve the common good of those around him. He is married to Susan and are celebrating over 25 years together. They live in Kentwood with their three daughters.
Kyle Melinn, News Editor and Vice President, MIRS
A professional journalist for 20 years who has covered the state Capitol for the last 13, Kyle regularly appears on Off the Record, ‘The Big Show’ with Michael Patrick Shiels and radio shows across the state. He hosts a weekly podcast called MIRS Monday, available at www.mirsnews.podbean.com or iTunes. Kyle is a graduate of Michigan State University and Byron Center native.
Interested in sponsoring Breakfast with Legislators in 2022 or 2023? Please contact Omar Cuevas to learn more.