The Rapidian

Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women recognizes outstanding women in business

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

GROW recognized three business women for excellence in leadership, small business, and volunteer service.
Susan Johnson, Peggy Murphy, Kay Staszel

Susan Johnson, Peggy Murphy, Kay Staszel /Rose Hendershot, Photographic Memory

Underwriting support from:

Sparkle! Celebration

GROW is about to glow even brighter.

Save the Date! Sparkle Celebration 2013

A holiday shopping and networking event celebrating women entrepreneurs.

Tuesday, December 3

5:00 – 7:30 pm

Cascade Hills Country Club

3725 Cascade Road SE, Grand Rapids

Something’s shimmering just below the surface at GROW – and we want you to be the first to know! Please join us for an exclusive first look at these dazzling new developments … and enjoy a glittering gala of fun and free enterprise!

• Display and silent auction tables

• Networking with women business owners

• Wine and heavy hors d’oeuvres

• Cash bar

Early Registration $35; $45 late registration

For more information and to register, visit

Susan Johnson, Marnie Johnson, Kay Staszel

Susan Johnson, Marnie Johnson, Kay Staszel /Rose Hendershot, Photographic Memory

Susan Johnson, Rebecca Dutcher, Kay Staszel

Susan Johnson, Rebecca Dutcher, Kay Staszel /Rose Hendershot, Photographic Memory

Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW), a Small Business Administration Women’s Business Center, recently held their annual Seeds of GROWth Conference and Luncheon with an awards ceremony at the JW Marriott in Downtown Grand Rapids on October 17, 2013. The award winners spoke at the event and shared the stories of how they became successful business owners.

Every year, GROW opens nominations for their awards, with the winners recognized at the Seeds of GROWth Conference and Luncheon. This year, the winners were:

Rebecca Dutcher – LeAnne Moss Service Award

Marnie Johnson – GROW Business of the Year

Peggy Murphy – AWE Leader of the Year

Rebecca Dutcher has been a GROW volunteer for three years and is a facilitator for the Small Business Growth and Planning series. She has been a valued mentor with our Business Wellness Checkup program as well.

 “I chose GROW and stay involved because I see the passion of these entrepreneurs in starting their own businesses,” said Dutcher. “They are excited about what they are doing and dedicated to their own success because they are going through these classes, and many others, to learn things they don’t know, and find mentors to help them along the way.”

Infusion Communications Group, owned by Marnie Johnson, was chosen as the GROW Business of the Year. Infusion Communications Group works with the businesses to help them navigate through the ever-changing needs of carrier services (local calling, long distance, and internet). Marnie explained, “We decided we wanted to separate ourselves from the typical Carrier Agent and help the customer during the changeover.” In order to support that, Marnie is constantly involved with market research.

Marnie Johnson is active on the GROW board and served on the AWE Board when GROW and the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) merged. She has also been involved with AWE through the committees and served as a GROW board member for the past two years.

Peggy Murphy has been a member of the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) for 28 years, and has held a number of board positions. During her active years on the board, AWE created the EXCEL training program and hired Executive Director Carol Lopucki, who later propelled the program to become what is now the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC). During Peggy’s time on the board, she was also actively involved in bringing the ATHENA award to Grand Rapids.

Involvement with AWE helped Peggy become a better CPA, business advisor, and mentor. She is heavily involved with the community and holds various volunteer positions at present. Peggy said, “I have a passion for helping these business owners meet their personal and business goals in the most tax-efficient manner possible.”

We would like thank all our nominees for their participation. Seeds of GROWth could not have been successful without the enormous support from our community.

For more information about GROW, visit

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