Young Professionals Succeeding in Michigan

October 24, 2013

For young professional Nicole Rodammer, the decision to live in Michigan and build a future here was an easy one.

"West Michigan has so many things going on. You can really find your niche. It's so eclectic. You can really find a home," she said.

Rodammer serves as director of development at Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth. She was one of the honorees last week in the Grand Rapids Business Journal "40 Under Forty" event -- an annual awards ceremony that recognizes 40 of the region's top young business leaders.

Governor Rick Snyder spoke at the event and had a call to action for those in attendance.

"We're a family of 10 million people that has made a decision that looking in the rear view mirror, looking to the old days, fighting and arguing and bickering, talking about problems is not the solution. The solution is being positive, believing our best days are ahead of us, being forward looking.

"For those of you that are the 40 under Forty, you are the forefront of that next generation. I won't call this obligation, but what I'll tell you is, you have a fabulous opportunity "

Justin Swan, a 40 Under Forty honoree and vice president of development for Organicycle, sees that opportunity first hand. "What keeps me in Michigan is this idea that we're rebuilding Michigan in a certain way that's attractive for young individuals like myself who are really persevering and trying to grow new industries and aren't afraid of new ideas," Swan said.

And honoree Michael Lomonaco, marketing manager at Open Systems Technologies, sees a bright future for his state. "You have the backing of so many great folks here in West Michigan who are dedicated and who will ensure that there will be jobs and opportunities for anyone who wants to stay in Grand Rapids, who wants to stay in West Michigan."

Watch Governor Snyder's remarks below: