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Bonnie Nawara, Past Chair
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Bonnie Nawara is the CEO of Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women, a Women’s Business Center in Grand Rapids, MI. A former business owner, she is a facet in the local business community and was recognized as one of the Top Fifty Most Influential Women in West Michigan by Grand Rapids Business Journal in 2012 and 2013. 

Bonnie owned Sir Speedy printing center for fifteen years prior to joining GROW in September of 2010. Bonnie has a wealth of knowledge in business, including start-up, finance, operational growth, human resource management, and marketing. She uses her deep understanding to lead GROW in fostering the economic development and growth of our community’s women-owned businesses. 

“I was an in-the-trenches business owner, always thinking on my feet, learning as I grew and at times making critical decisions based on very few facts. I learned a lot from that experience and can transfer that knowledge to our clients. It is crucial for business owners to understand that they are not alone in making tough decisions and that they can surround themselves with experienced professionals to help them succeed.” 

In addition to small business ownership, Nawara spent six years as a Planned Giving Officer for the American Cancer Society. For five years in a row she was named Top Fundraiser for the Great Lakes Division. She also spent seven years as parts manager for Freightliner of Grand Rapids—the only female parts manager in the country at that time. 

Bonnie Nawara has a litany of further accomplishments. She was the first female board member for the Golden K. Kiwanis Club and founded a chapter of the Toastmasters. She has been a member of Grand Rapids Economic Club, Greater Lansing Estate Planning Council, West Michigan Estate Planning Council, and is a graduate of Leadership Grand Rapids. 

Bonnie has had leadership positions with West Michigan Planned Giving, of Women Entrepreneurs, Kent County Silent Observer, National Day of Philanthropy, Michigan Women’s Foundation, and Quota International. She served two years as chairperson for the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce CEO Roundtable program, and served for ten years as facilitator of the CEO Roundtable. Additionally, she is a former mentor for United Way’s FACT Program where she mentored 3rd grade students in reading comprehension. 

Bonnie is proud to serve the business community in Grand Rapids.
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