Jan 27, 2011

Introducing Your Grand Rapids' Superfriendz 2011

Superfriendz 2011! 1st Row - Jeff Barrett. 2nd Row - Tommy Fitzgerald, Raquel Salas, Kelly Stecco, Jessica Ann Tyson, Julie Regan, Rosalynn Bliss, George Aquino. 3rd Row - Lisa Rose Starner, Jennifer Ederer, Michael De Meyer, Mike Mraz, Laura Velasquez, Abbey Sloan, Super Dre Wallace. 4th Row - Chad Leroux, Todd Ernst, Rob Bliss, Paul Jendrasiak, Ryan Slusarzyk. Not in Picture - Jimmy Le, Ashley Cole, Don MacKenzie, Margaux Aquino
2011 is destined to be another amazing year for Grand Rapids' street team of leaders who are committed to helping local non-profit organizations connect with our community through our network of friends, colleagues and professional
contacts. While the 2010 inaugural team of Superfriendz focused on connecting the Heart of West Michigan United Way to the next generation of donors, advocates and volunteers, the group's mission this year has been expanded to help at least 6 non-profit organizations gain support for their fundraising efforts, special events, campaigns and public relations through word-of-mouth, face-to-face interactions and social media avenues such as facebook and twitter.

The group has broadened its reach by expanding membership to cover a wider array of demographic segments including media, social media, creative, small business, marketing, non-profit, cultural, corporate, entertainment, government and strategy. Superfriendz recruited top notch experts in each particular field to fill the missing gaps in the group's strategic make-up.

Two non-profit organizations have already partnered with the Superfriendz this year - Kids Food Basket/Juice Ball and Gilda's Club/Laughfest are on board. The group is currently reviewing other potential non-profit applications to complete the campaign calendar for 2011.

The Superfriendz are also waiting on a couple more individuals who have yet to make a decision on the group's invitation to join this exclusive club of community advocates. Founding Superfriendz members welcome our new street team members:

Tommy Fitzgerald - chef, founder of Juice Ball and overall great guy.
Raquel Salas - Attorney with Avanti Law Firm and prominent leader in the Hispanic community.
Jennifer Ederer - Owner, Modern Day Floral. Lead singer, Hip Pocket.
Kelly Stecco - Director of Events and Marketing, Thousand Oaks Country Club.
Jessica Ann Tyson - President, Events by Jessica Ann. Organizer of The Legacy Ball.
Rosalynn Bliss - City of Grand Rapids City Commisioner. Director, St. John's Home
Abbey Sloan - Reporter for WXMI Fox 17
Mike Mraz - VP, Jade Pig Ventures. Organizer of the March of Dimes annual Chef's Auction and founder of Culture and Cocktails.
Chad Leroux - Executive Corporate Director of Marketing, Amway Hotel Corporation
Ashley Cole - Interior Designer, Ashley Cole Design
Lisa Rose Starner - Farm to Plate advocate. Wildcrafter & Backyard Herbalist, Burdock & Rose

The current Superfriendz would also like to thank past members Pete Brand, Laura Caprara and Josh Depenbrok for all their help and support last year. We will miss you. However, once a Superfriendz, always a Superfriendz.

The Superfriendz was awarded an Innovation Award by the Business Review West Michigan in 2010 for our innovative work in connecting the Heart of West Michigan United Way to the community.

If you have any suggestions or questions about advocacy, please send email to georgeaquino@mac.com or connect with any of the current members.

Here's to an amazing and memorable 2011!


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