Home » Commerce Lexington taking 170 to Grand Rapids for intercity study

Commerce Lexington taking 170 to Grand Rapids for intercity study

Leadership Visits have led to creation of many Central Kentucky programs, initiatives

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Commerce Lexington’s annual Leadership Visit intercity trip presented by Central Bank & Trust Co will take a delegation of about 170 Central Kentucky business, education, government, and nonprofit leaders to Grand Rapids, Mich. (June 5-7).

Community-building intercity visits provide great opportunities to examine what other cities and regions are doing well and look inward at how we can improve Lexington and Central Kentucky.

One of the longest-running and largest intercity visits of its kind among chambers of commerce and economic development groups, the Leadership Visits have been responsible for the creation of many great programs and initiatives right here in Central Kentucky, including things like the wildly popular Thursday Night Live, the EMERGE conference for emerging leaders, Commerce Lexington’s Minority Business Development program and Access Loan small business financing initiative, the recent Courageous Conversations movement, and more.

“Our planning committee was intrigued by Grand Rapids’ job growth, combined with great educational opportunities, quality health care and housing affordability,” Commerce Lexington Board Chair Cassidy Rosenthal said.

“While the city is consistently ranked among the top cities in which to live and work, Grand Rapids community leaders have been very intentional about improving the city in areas like the medical field, the tech industry, housing, tourism, the arts, and more,” Rosenthal said.  “We are excited to learn more about the region.”

During the trip, participants will visit the Steelcase global headquarters, which features a Learning & Innovation Center where people from around the world gather to create the future of work. The group will also hear how Grand Rapids has expanded its health care industry through the growth of the Medical Mile and plans to become a major tech hub in the Midwest by growing 20,000 new tech jobs over the next 10 years.

In addition, representatives from Grand Action 2.0 will discuss how they are convening key business leaders to foster public-private collaborations to create transformational projects in Grand Rapids.

In addition to the sessions, participants will also have opportunities to experience Grand Rapids on their own or through a variety of elective tours and lunches covering topics like downtown development, diversity and inclusion, housing affordability, the area’s well-known beer culture, and more.  The morning sessions on June 7 will feature Doug DeVos, co-chairman of the Amway Board of Directors, as well as an interactive discussion to help participants craft Lexington’s future story.

Those who are not able to travel with the group can be part of the ongoing conversation and experience what others are seeing and doing in Grand Rapids from right here in Lexington through social media using the hashtag #grandrapids2023. For regular updates during the trip, follow facebook.com/CommerceLexington and twitter.com/CommerceLex. You’ll also find trip materials, an agenda and other information posted on-line at commercelexington.com/grandrapids.html.

Commerce Lexington (Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce) is a nearly 2,000-member-driven organization that promotes economic development, job creation and overall business growth regionally, while strengthening its existing businesses through its many programs and services. Commerce Lexington Inc.’s ECONOMIC FOCUS centers on promoting entrepreneurial start-ups, business expansion and retention, and new job creation; workforce development; connecting people and businesses; advocacy; community, minority, and small business development; and the cultivation of local and regional leadership.

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