CEO Summit to Focus on Innovation, Sustainability - Keller’s Keynote Outlines Importance of Social Responsibility

Some of Grand Rapids’ most influential CEOs will convene to discuss innovative practices that could alter the way employees are hired, trained, and promoted.  The Pathways to Prosperity Employer Business Summit will be held Thursday, June 2, from 8:00 a.m. – noon.

According to the event organizers, the summit will have two different audiences: CEOs and human resources professionals. Anyone interested in the use of sustainable practices to drive innovation in community and business development is also welcome to attend.

Attendees will hear from Mayor George Heartwell and GRCC President, Dr. Steven C. Ender, followed by the keynote address by Fred Keller, CEO of Cascade Engineering.

Mr. Keller is well known locally – and recognized internationally - for his innovative approaches to manufacturing, education, and investing in employees.  In his address, “Facing the New Reality: Business’ Role in Driving Positive Change,” Keller will call on each CEO to accept social responsibility, in addition to their own business goals, as a critical objective.

“Each of us has human capital we can invest in this community,” said Keller.  “Thinking long-term about how we are cultivating our workforce to its greatest potential and focusing on the sustainability of our actions is key to our collective future.”

Following the keynote, there will be a workshop to learn how businesses can engage in a community development strategy and also make it a good business strategy.

The event, to be held at Cascade Country Club, is free, but seating is limited and registration is required. Register online at or by phone, 616.234.3400.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 32,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.