The First Annual Triple-Bottom Line Bash

Thursday, September 11
6:30 to 10:30 pm
Bissell Tree House at John Ball Zoo


  • 20th Anniversary Celebration
  • Sustainable Business of the Year
  • Sustainable Business Hall of Fame Inductees  
  • And The Roast of Mayor George Heartwell

In 1994 a small group of like-minded companies launched an initiative that would allow local companies, colleges, governments and non-profits to share knowledge and collaborate on initiatives promoting sustainable business practices within their organizations and the region. One of the first organizations of its kind in the world, West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum has served as a support network for two generations of triple-bottom-line practitioners, playing a critical role in distinguishing West Michigan as the nation’s unofficial capital of sustainable business, helping to popularize green building, sustainable product design, beyond-compliance practices and savings-driven sustainability.

This September the forum will celebrate its 20th Anniversary through a gala event and commemorative campaign designed to increase general awareness of the organization and raise the funds necessary to position it as a community leader for the next two decades.

The forum’s new flagship fundraising event celebrates sustainability in West Michigan by bringing fun to a serious and at-times overwhelming topic. This year we incorporate the Grand Rapids skyline with a natural environment at the new Bissell Treehouse at John Ball Zoo, add great food and good drinks, while serving up the region’s foremost sustainability spokesperson for a night of laughs and schaudenfreude.

Due to space limitations at the venue, seated attendance will be strictly limited to 220 people. Individual tickets are $100 each.


The Roast of Mayor George Heartwelltumblr_mliq0mLnNf1socdkpo1_1280

Because no one has been a more public and prolific champion of sustainability in West Michigan in the recent past.  Mayor George Heartwell will be lambasted by the likes of

  • Grand Rapids City Commissioner Ruth Kelly
  • Columnist Tommy Allen
  • Comedian Dave Dyer
  • DeVos Place Assistant General Manager Eddie Tadlock
  • WGVU Morning Show Host Shelley Irwin
  • Mackinaw Power’s Rich VanderVeen
  • Pop Scholars’ Matt Sterenberg

The West Michigan Sustainable Business Hall of Fame

Will honor individual practitioners that have made the greatest contribution to sustainable business in West Michigan. A lifetime achievement award, the inaugural class of inductees includes

  • George Heartwell, City of Grand Rapids
  • Fred Keller, Cascade Engineering
  • Bill Stough, Sustainable Research Group, Founder of WMSBF
  • Paul Murray, Formerly of Herman Miller

Other nominees include Renae Hesselink, Nichols; Tom Newhouse, TJN Design; Dave Rinard, Steelcase; and Deb Steketee, Aquinas College.

The Sustainable Business of the Year Award

Will honor the company that best represents the values of the triple-bottom line. The winner will be chosen by a vote of forum members.  Through a blind vote, the WMSBF board of directors has chosen five finalists from 27 nominees for the first annual West Michigan Sustainable Business of the Year award competition.

The finalists for the 2014 Sustainable Business of the Year are:

More Event Details

Hosted bar, beer and wine.

Sustainably sourced Hors d’oeuvres, plated dinner, dessert and coffee. Entrees include Curry Spiced Roasted Root Vegetable Hash with Brown Rice, Cilantro and Mango Coulis or Marinated Sirloin Steak with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce.

Cocktail attire.

Due to space limitations at the venue, seated attendance will be strictly limited to 200 people. Individual tickets are $100 each.


Thank You to Our Sponsors!

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