Student Job and Resource Fair


CLACS Career Center and Student Employment teamed up to host a Student Job and Resource Fair April 23, 2019.

This event welcomes not only on-campus job opportunities, but also jobs in the local community, academic program offerings and summer courses, services and programming such as housing options and fun things to do in Big Rapids.

This will provide a great opportunity to convince students that Ferris is a great place to reside, learn, work, and play this summer!

If your organization would like to host a table, talk with students, gather applications and more, please sign up at the following link prior to April 14th.

More information will be provided after we receive your registration to participate.


Spaghetti Dinner to Benefit Habitat for Humanity

St. Mary’s/St. Paul’s of Big Rapids’ Social Committee will host its annual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser to benefit Mecosta County Habitat for Humanity, Wednesday, April 24th from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the St. Paul’s Catholic Chapel, located at 1 Damascus Road in Big Rapids, will help St. Mary’s continue its mission to build a world where everyone has a decent place to live.  The cost is $9 per adult, $5 for children 5-16, and children under 5 are free.

For more information, contact

April Director’s Letter

Jen 2018 2
Jennifer Heinzman, Executive Director

I am not one to brag or toot my own horn, so you probably don’t know that I received a key to the city and a Mayoral tribute for excellence when I left my previous job at the Clare Chamber. I am reminded of this now because I recently received this testimonial from the Clare Chamber President at the time of my departure and I thought it was a perfect segue into this month’s newsletter on leadership.

My previous employer wrote:

“I started working with Jennifer when I was approached to help organize and
volunteer for both the Irish Festival and the Clare 4th of July event. I was
apprehensive to give my time since it was already limited, I was assured that
my time would be minimal in nature. I started by attending committee
meetings that Jennifer sat as our support person, leading the committee to
make good decisions. She always had facts, figures and experience which
enhanced the outcome of the event. Our town enjoyed the chamber efforts,
which we were to find out would not continue without Jennifer.
I became a board member knowing that our director was skilled at not only the
personality, but all the technical skills needed. Our memberships were growing,
she had gotten us in a positive financial position (which when she started the
chamber was in jeopardy of closing) and the volunteers were growing. We
were on the map and community members were there to support the chamber
once again.
The board had several discussions on what we would do if we lost her, we knew
that her skills deserved more than we could afford and at some point, she
would need to be compensated for all her abilities. The time came when the
board offered what we could, but competition would win.
Jennifer gave and gives her all to whatever she does, she engages people she
works with, and NEVER didn’t have all the information needed to support good
board decisions. We trusted her with our town, and she earned the respect of
all her peers. She is honest, trustworthy and hardworking which is hard to find
in today’s world. I still to this day after many years served on the Clare
Chamber board look to Jennifer for insight. Our chamber was never able to
replace our director position with all the qualities Jennifer holds. She will never
be forgotten.”

I was so touched to receive this and I it got me thinking about what type of leader I am. I never thought about creating an impact on the community or having a profound effect for years to come, I was simply doing what needed to be done to make the Chamber and the community successful.
If I were to offer any advice on becoming a better leader, it would be to truly listen to what people need, let them be part of the process, give them ownership in the desired outcome, and then work together to reach your goals. My past President gave me all the credit, but the truth is that I had an amazing team of volunteers, including her, and together, we were able to do amazing things. I am eternally grateful to have that same support in this community and know that we are capable of anything we put our minds to.
I would also encourage collaboration… help each other. Consistently helping others creates a positive and supporting environment in which your team and business can thrive. Being a leader isn’t about barking a set of commands and expecting your employees to obey like a dog. Being a leader is coming up with common goals and supporting good team interaction to reach them together as a unit. Passion is a powerful tool – once you have a passionate team, the sky is the limit!
As a leader always remember to be grateful for your team, their efforts and the unique and special talents they bring to the table. Think of where you can add value to every person in your organization. Want to be the strongest, most effective leader possible? Start by being the most honest, genuine, and grateful person at the table.
As always, if there is anything we can do for you, please do not hesitate to ask.

GFWC Big Rapids Supports SLD Read

With a strong commitment to assuring that the youth of our area have the tools they

Picture – Kathy Cooper, GFWC Member, and Lori Weller and Suzanne Finney from SLD Read

need to read, GFWC Big Rapids provided a $500 donation to SLD Read.  The donation will support the many programs currently being provided to help parents evaluate the needs of their children, to provide individual instruction to students who are significantly below grade level in reading and spelling and for training for educators.


GFWC Big Rapids Shares with Women Veterans

Members of GFWC Big Rapids contacted the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans to see if there were women veterans at the Home who might need assistance. They were told that there are 17 women veterans living at the home who would appreciate personal care items that were more feminine in nature. Staff indicated many of the personal care items donated to the Home are very masculine.  Members filled bags for each one of the women with personal care items such as lotion, shampoo, and deodorant along with a scarf and bracelet. In addition to these items, nail care products were collected and donated to the salon at the Home for manicures and pedicures for these veterans. Community members are encouraged to share with the veterans at the Home, remembering that items for females may need to be a bit different than for the large number of males.

Picture – Cheryl Price, Veterans Home Representative, Melanie Henry, GFWC Big Rapids President and Pat Rossi, GFWC Member


Daddy/Daughter Hair Styling Class


The Meceola Children’s Council, in partnership with the Mecosta Osceola Intermediate School District’s Cosmetology Department, is sponsoring a Daddy and Daughter Hair Styling Class for Beginners, Thursday, April 18th from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Touch of Class Salon, located at 15760 S. Bronson in Big Rapids.

This free event gives dads the opportunity to have a fun night with their special little girl and learn some basic hair styles that they can do on their own.   Instruction will be done by the MOISD Cosmetology students.  Dinner will be provided at 5:30 p.m. in the Miller Wing, and attendees will receive hair supplies to take home in order to practice what they learn that night.

To register, call Andi at (231) 592-9605 or register online at

REBOOT Business Program For Military Veterans, Service Members and Spouses

VetBizCentral (VBOC) presents a Free Veteran Business Resource workshop:

unnamedREBOOT Business Program For Military Veterans, Service Members and Spouses
Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Location: Seidman College of Business – GVSU
50 Front Ave SW,
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

On April 17, Boots to Business Reboot is coming to the Grand Rapids area. Veterans, service members and spouses are urged to take advantage of this entrepreneurial training program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Veterans have the character, discipline and skills needed to succeed as small business owners and entrepreneurs. Boots to Business Reboot gives you the tools to get started by offering participants valuable business skills and tips. The course is taught by industry experts, top professors and officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Wondering what it takes and how you can prepare to be a small business owner? Register Now!

For more information, please contact VetBizCentral 810-767-8387.

Register here

Parking lot available: 312 Fulton, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

VetBizCentral (VBOC) provides entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling and mentoring, and referrals for eligible veterans owning or considering starting a small business.