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4.13.17 – Luncheon Notes and Photos

SPOKES Notes written by Chelsea Dubey

We were privileged to have Fred Keller, chairman of Cascade Engineering Inc., speak at our luncheon this week. He opened his remarks with a very powerful statement – “As business leaders, we need to own the problems in our communities.”

According to an updated method to measure poverty, the United Way’s ALICE Project, 40 percent of households across Michigan struggle to afford the basic necessities of housing, child care, food, health care and transportation. This should alarm all of us. Additionally, Fred is concerned with the tremendous pressures in the world, specifically population growth and rapid technology advancements. He challenged us to act swiftly to meet these pressures head on.

“Grand Rapids is unique in that we’ve learned a lot of stuff in the years and a lot of this stuff we’ve learned together through collaboration.”

Fred plays an active role in Talent 2025a catalyst working to ensure an ongoing supply of world-class talent for West Michigan. Composed of over 100 CEOs from the region, Talent 2025 illuminates gaps, evaluates leading practices, and advocates for the implementation of those leading practices to make West Michigan a top 20 employment region by the year 2025. Fred believes that we need to use a business model to solve our nation’s problems – and that solution can be found right here in West Michigan.

We appreciate all that Fred has done for our community and the time he committed to speak to Rotary.

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