2019 Award Recipients

United Bank

Good for Employees

United Bank is a community bank that believes in the value of local, independent banking. For multiple years, they have been recognized as one of West Michigan’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For. Their employees truly make the difference. With a focus on building stronger communities, United Bankers are empowered to get involved in local efforts they’re passionate about. The bank operates 12 full-service banking locations throughout West Michigan, as well as wealth management and insurance service divisions. A leading business lender, United Bank offers a comprehensive suite of personal and business banking products that blend cutting-edge technology with personalized hometown service. United Bank is “Good for Michigan” because of their commitment to finding real solutions for the needs of the community. Their culture and values are rooted in service and they genuinely believe in their responsibility as a local business to help their neighbors in need.

United Bank is Good For Employees because they offer healthcare and above living wage compensation as well as a comprehensive employee review process that includes achievable goals and career development guidance, which has led to a high rate of employee satisfaction and low turnover.

2019 Award Recipients

Array of Engineers

Good for Governance

Array of Engineers is a women-owned engineering company located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They provide engineering services to aerospace, medical, automotive, and other high tech industries, as well as doing internal R&D. Their success is based on their engineers operating as a unified team, producing creative and efficient solutions, continually learning and utilizing cutting edge technologies, and applying these skills to both their internal and external projects. Their most important priorities are customer focused partnerships, high-quality standards, promotion of innovation and creativity, and to help each employee reach their highest potential. Array of Engineers also makes it a priority to give back to their community by promoting STEM in younger generations.

Array of Engineers is Good For Governance because of their code of ethics that is part of their training program for all employees. They practice transparent finances, which are communicated to staff quarterly and mandate a performance review with management that sets social and environmental goals.

2019 Award Recipients

Supermercado Mexico

Good for the Environment

Supermercado Mexico is a local chain of stores that are dedicated to bringing high-quality products in the Mexican tradition to customers of Michigan. They are devoted to reaching the complete satisfaction of their clients, investing in the personal development of their staff, and one of their core beliefs is actively participating in the development of their community. They fulfill a cultural need in providing food and other goods in the Mexican tradition and have grown from a single store with 12 employees to having multiple businesses with over 75 full and part-time employees, hiring from all sectors of the business world and being a great asset to the local economy.

Supermercado Mexico is Good For Environment because they have made significant improvements to an existing space including Energy Star appliances, programmable thermostats, motion sensors, and new windows and lighting.

2019 Award Recipients

The Sunday Dinner Group

Good for the Community

​The Sunday Dinner Group, led by real estate agent Bryant Mitchell, can easily help you find your next home, but to them, real estate is more than that. The Sunday Dinner Group has a primary focus of creating long term relationships through the growth and development of local communities and organizations. They feel it is their responsibility to aid their community through “consciously contributing” 10% of their commission. This policy came about when during the early days of their work they were overcome by the needs they were seeing in Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas. Now they, in their own words, “utilize our time, talents, and treasure as a group.”

The Sunday Dinner Group is Good For Community because they donate a high percentage of their profits to charity, have intentional community investment practices, and report on the outcomes of these efforts.

2019 Award Recipients

Creston Brewery

Good for Employees

​Creston Brewery is a microbrewery, restaurant, live music venue, and private event space located in the heart of the historic Creston neighborhood. Their taproom is located in a former furniture showroom which offers natural light, a retro & artful vibe, and an eclectic menu of house-made beers and food dishes. Creston Brewery takes pride in giving back to the community through volunteerism and fundraising events, and they believe it is their duty to connect community members through art, music, and conversation (over beers, of course!). All of their to-go containers are compostable, and their brewing system was built with water conservation technologies. To truly live their local values, they source the majority of our brewing ingredients from West Michigan hop and grain farmers.

Creston Brewery is Good For Employees because they pay a living wage, offer flexible scheduling, and have a low disparity between its highest and lowest paid employee.

2019 Award Recipients

Forty Acres

Good for Governance

​Forty Acres Soul Kitchen is a restaurant located in the uptown section of Grand Rapids. As they themselves put it, Forty Acres is unapologetic in focusing first on the people they serve and the community. The soul food they make is more than just a meal, it is a heritage, and one that they openly celebrate. They hope to bring a superior dining experience to all ethnicities of Grand Rapids, while also honoring the rich and authentically American history, resilience, and success of the local black community.

Forty Acres is Good For Governance because they are dedicated to having a diverse staff and have created both a mission statement and corporate governing documents that include a commitment to a positive social and environmental impact.

2019 Award Recipients

Public Thread

Good for the Environment

​Public Thread is a local manufacturer in Grand Rapids, Michigan that specializes in textiles and the small-batch production of goods. Through creative partnerships with numerous industries such as automotive, fashion, and furniture manufacturers, they are able to recycle and repurpose materials in a way that saves thousands of pounds of material from landfills each year. Additionally, they are committed to honoring the contributions and creativity of their employees, and living wages are a tenet of their business model.

Public Thread is Good For Environment because they source a high percentage of raw materials from local suppliers, are certified in one or more green building programs, and have implemented energy conservation practices in their space.

2019 Award Recipients

San Chez Bistro

Good for the Community

San Chez Bistro has been serving the Grand Rapids community high-quality meals for the past 27 years. They are extremely committed to being an environmentally responsible restaurant, which in their words, goes beyond the “three Rs” – reduce, reuse, recycle. They work hard to support local businesses by incorporating locally produced ingredients and organic products into their culinary creations. As Cindy Lotterman-Schneider, the owner of the San Chez Bistro puts it, “The unpredictability of Mother Nature, the changing seasons and the demands of a high-volume restaurant require us to partner with our local producers and work together on a sustainable plan of action. Not only does this offer our guests the best possible quality, but it also helps them feel good about their dining experience at San Chez.”

San Chez is Good for Community because they purchase from small and neighborhood businesses and implement volunteering incentives for their staff. ​

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