Bridging the Global Business Gap

The West Michigan Global Initiative brings together business leaders, investors and public sector professionals from Michigan and the Netherlands for one simple goal: bridging the gap between global markets and the local economy. 

The West Michigan Global Initiative invites local, national and global leaders to share ideas and foster business, political and cultural relationships between the West Michigan business community and their counterparts in the Netherlands.

“It is our hope that the relationships established through the initiative will foster investment opportunities among the participants, and improve the economic vitality of West Michigan and the state.”

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (center) meets with Michigan Speaker of the House Jase Bolger (left) and Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley (right) during the WMGI Trade Mission to the Netherlands meeting.

Speaker Series

Luncheon lectures from esteemed experts, offering insight on business, public policy and cultural issues.

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Grand Galas featuring the foremost experts in political and financial fields across two continents.

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Sponsorship opportunities await for organizations with a local focus and a global perspective.

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Exchange Program

Establishing a new generation of relationships between West Michigan and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

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Advisory Committee

Jan Peter Balkenende
Former Prime Minister of the 
Netherlands (Rotterdam)

Franco Bianchi 
President and CEO, 
Haworth (Holland, MI)

William Boer
President & Founder, 
Grey Dunes (Grandville)

Jim and Donna Brooks 
The Brooks Family,
Brooks Capital Management (Holland, MI)

Jeb Burns
Chief Investment Officer,
MERS of Michigan (Lansing)
WMGI Co-founder/Past President

Randy Damstra
RDV Corporation, Senior Managing Director, 
Head of Global Private Equity, RDV Corporation (Grand Rapids)

Alexander Collot d’Escury 
Desso (Waalwijk, the Netherlands)

Volkert Doeksen 
Chairman & Managing Partner,  
AlpInvest Partners (Amsterdam)

Christopher Freeze 
Managing Director, 
The Carlyle Group (New York)

Paulus C. Heule
Eenhoorn Principal and 
Honorary Dutch Consul of 
West Michigan (Grand Rapids)

J.C. Huizenga 
Huizenga Group (Grand Rapids)

Alexandra Jankovich 
Managing Partner, 
SparkOptimus (Amsterdam)

Roel Klein 
Cormorant Energy (Fruitport, MI)

Birgit Klohs 
President and CEO, 
The Right Place, Inc. (Grand Rapids)

Pieter Kodde
Managing Director, 
Lincolnshire (New York, NY)

Brendan E. Ringlever
Michigan Legislative 
Consultants (Lansing)

Auke van Scheltinga
TFG Parnters (Pittsburg, PA)

Jim Weaver
Vice President, Managing Director
Alticor Corporate Enterprises (Ada, MI)

Cor van Zadelhof
Brouwershoff (Amsterdam)

Kurt Dykstra
Mayor, City of Holland (Holland, MI)

Founding Sponsors


  • AlpInvest Partners
  • Eenhoorn LLC
  • Haworth, Inc
  • Huizenga Group
  • MERS of Michigan
  • The Carlyle Group


  • Burke E. Porter Machinery
  • Alticor
  • RDV
  • The Windquest Group


  • Amway
  • InnerWorkings
  • Meijer
  • Effen Vodka & DeKuyper


  • Dempsey Ventures
  • Grey Dunes
  • Michigan Legislative Consultants
  • Varnum Attorneys at Law
  • Grand Valley State University



Gala Sponsors

  • Brooks Capital Investment
  • Byrne Electrical
  • Cap Trust Financial Advisors
  • DeNooyer Automotive Group
  • Ferris Coffee & Nut
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Graystone Consulting
  • Pioneer Construction
  • ProgressiveAE
  • School Zone Publishing
  • Spartan Motors
  • Wells Fargo
  • Wolverine World Wide

Sustaining Sponsor

  • Byrne Electrical

Special Thank You to:

  • The Right Place

Contact Us

231 W. Fulton Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States
Office: 616.530.5500; Fax: 616.530.0850


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