Alumni Business Directory aims to enhance Laker community

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More than 100 restaurants, consulting firms and retail stores are listed online in the new Alumni Owned Business directory.
Image Credit: courtesy photo

More than 100 restaurants, consulting firms and retail stores are listed online in the new Alumni Owned Business directory. 

Courtney Geurink, ’09, assistant director of Alumni Relations, said the directory was created to highlight the accomplishments of alumni and provide a searchable directory for the campus community to consider doing business with fellow Lakers.

Melissa Stewart, ’09, is a financial advisor with Stewart Advisory of Raymond James. Stewart, who serves on the Alumni Board of Directors, helped spearhead the idea of a directory after she attended the Alumni Leadership Circle event several years ago.

"There were all these vendors donating food and beverages and they were all Grand Valley alumni-owned businesses," Stewart said. "I thought, 'This makes me want to support these businesses more and be able to seek them out.'"

It is free for alumni to submit business information, an online form can be found here

Samuel Jones, ’10, is the founder and lead therapist at Wisdom Center Counseling Services in Grand Rapids. Jones said participating in the directory was a way to share the center's services with the Grand Valley community, including students who are interested in pursuing mental health careers.

Kurt Stauffer, ’89, is the owner of Rowster Coffee, with three Grand Rapids locations. Stauffer was glad to participate in the directory, and said his retail experience at Grand Valley and interactions with customers made a positive impact. 

Stauffer also said the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home order hit his company hard. "It has forced us to look at new ways to do business and we are pursuing partnerships with distributors, improving our infrastructure and capacity to roast and package more coffee to help us pivot," he said. "We are excited and hopeful."

Jones, too, said the spring quarantine period was difficult for Wisdom Center clients who preferred in-person appointments. Part of the center's mission is to provide space for the community's marginalized clients.

He said Seidman College of Business courses helped him establish foundational business practices that, in turn, helped the center stay afloat during the spring.