Emcee: Mike Goorhouse

Mike Goorhouse is President/CEO of the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area. Mike has championed local affordable housing efforts as Co-Chair of the Housing Next Leadership Council. His board service includes: Association for a More Just Society, Bread for the World, Holland Christian Foundation, Learning to Give and Movement West Michigan. He also serves on the Project Clarity Advisory Board and Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance CEO Advisory Council. Mike is a member of the American Enterprise Institute Leadership Network and was named one of the top 30 Civic Leaders under the age of 30 in the nation in 2011 by the National Conference on Citizenship. In 2016, Mike was given the inaugural Young Executive Award by MiBiz at their Best Managed Nonprofit Awards and has been recognized as one of the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Business Leaders for the past five consecutive years.

Cameron Versluis

Talk: Life Recipes to Hack Social Validation Needs

Cameron is an entrepreneur from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He currently owns a UX-based web development company called Emberly Digital, and spends most of his time trying to figure out how human psychology melds with the digital.
Having been keenly aware of mental health issues from a young age, Cameron is passionate about the deeper questions in life. What makes human beings do the things they do? What do we really want? What really makes a fulfilled life? These questions drive the way he speaks.

Jordan Vanhemert

Talk: Lessons in Leadership from Jazz

Quickly gaining recognition as a diversely-skilled emerging artist, Dr. Jordan VanHemert is a woodwind specialist, composer, and educator. VanHemert’s performing career has taken him to venues around the United States. He has also been invited to perform his compositions at North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial and Regional Conferences. An in-demand educator and clinician, VanHemert has presented masterclasses and clinics at high schools and colleges around the country. Currently, Dr. VanHemert is the Artistic Director of the Holland Concert Jazz Orchestra. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Central Michigan University. VanHemert is a member of the North American Saxophone Alliance, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), Pi Kappa Lambda, and The International Society of Jazz Composers and Arrangers.

Madi Hammond

Talk: Living as Gen Z: from Fear to Positive Change

Madi Hammond is a ninth grade student at NorthPointe Christian. Her academic pursuits have included the summer program at the Van Andel Education Institute Science Academy. She received the GATE award from MSU. Hammond also began a nonprofit with her friends in 5th grade, raising over $1,000. A few years later, she started a summer-time business selling cakes called Cakeberries.  Hammond is part of the varsity cheer team and spends her free time at practice, painting, and hanging out with friends.

Saleem Usmani

Talk: Perception vs Reality and it’s impact on our decision making

Saleem Usmani is an enthusiastic servant leader who focuses on continuous improvement, utilizing his people and analytical skills to empower others. He has over 30 years of experience working in diverse organizations and environments including Sales, Purchasing, Health Care, Finance, Real Estate, Small Business investments, Operations, Marketing and Information Technology. Saleem currently works as an IT Professional and leads the Asian Inclusiveness Resource Team (IRT) at Herman Miller, an innovative furniture company with a legacy of Inclusiveness and Diversity. Saleem spent his childhood in India, moving to the U.S. in 1984. Having lived in California for 18 years, he currently resides in West Michigan with his wife and three children and enjoys Cooking, Traveling, listening to music and Volunteering his time in area non-profits.

Veronica Kirin

Talk: Your Grandmother Uses Technology Better Than You

Veronica Kirin is a Forbes notable graduate of Grand Valley State University and a 40 Under 40 Business Leader. An Anthropologist turned Serial Entrepreneur, her career has taken her from Disaster Relief through the Startup world. She is the founder of the award-winning GreenCup Website Services and Entrepreneur Coach to Audacious business owners looking to scale their businesses.

Kirin is also the author of Amazon best seller, Stories Of Elders:  What the Greatest Generation Knows About Technology that You Don’t. She interviewed 100 elders, all born before 1945, to glean their thoughts and memories on technology. Readers of her book will have a fuller picture of modern technology’s positive and negative affects and begin to become more intentionally minded with regard to their use of modern tech. 

Tom Guarr

Talk: Unlocking the Full Potential of Renewable Energy with Grid-Scale Energy Storage

Tom is a native of Kansas, but headed east for graduate school, earning a PhD in chemistry from the University of Rochester.  After a postdoctoral stint at the California Institute of Technology, he accepted a faculty position at the University of Kentuck yand was later promoted to Associate Professor.  A small company in Michigan called Gentex Corporation managed to lure him into the industrial world, where he served in various roles for the rapidly growing company, eventually becoming their Vice President for Chemical Research and Aerospace Technology. In 2012, Tom became the Director of R & D at the Michigan State University Bioeconomy Institute, and in 2015, he co-founded a tech startup, Jolt Energy Storage Technologies, LLC.

Tom has over 20 years of experience in designing organic materials that are sufficiently robust to meet the demanding requirements of real-world applications. He helped develop the chemistry that now forms the basis for millions of self-dimming rearview mirrors sold each year as well as the electrochromic windows on all Boeing 787 Dreamliners.  He has coauthored approximately 40 scientific publications and is currently listed as an inventor on over 65 US patents.

Bob VandePol

Talk: Differences Between Survivors and Thrivers Through Challenge and Trauma

Bob VandePol serves as Executive Director of Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services’ Employee Assistance Program. Prior to joining the Pine Rest team, he was President of Crisis Care Network, helping to lead it from a startup to the world’s largest provider of Critical Incident Response services to the workplace. He managed CCN’s Command Center in Manhattan after the 2001 terrorist attacks and led teams in response to high-profile tragedies including the Boston Marathon bombing; Aurora, Sandy Hook, and Las Vegas shootings; natural disasters, and our nation’s prominent university-based tragedies. Active as a keynote speaker, Mr. VandePol has published and been quoted in business and clinical journals, co-authored book chapters addressing workplace response to tragedy, and has been featured as subject matter expert in numerous video training series. He frequently consults with businesses, universities, schools, and churches regarding how leaders can accelerate organizational recovery following crises.  

Jeff Stout

Talk: The Unseen Opportunities and Consequences of Autonomous Vehicles

What's It Like?

Good Question. Take a look at videos from our past three recorded events to get a flavor for TEDx Macatawa.