By Dana Kroll, Uptown Marketing and Communications Specialist
The Grand Rapids Business Journal has selected to award Ingrid Miller, Executive Director of Uptown Grand Rapids, Inc., a coveted seat in their 2021 ’40 Under 40 Business Leader’ class.
The annual recognition, incepted in 2002, is fiercely contended for each year. This year there were more than four hundred nominees requesting consideration. Those inducted are deemed by the Business Journal to be the top forty individuals, under the age of forty, to have made the year’s strongest positive impact in West Michigan through both significant civic contributions to their communities, as well as via their own personal successes.
Ingrid’s nomination takes into consideration an impressive resume of accomplishments thus far as well as her ongoing efforts, as the district’s first-ever Executive Director, to foster a dynamic, thriving, and equitable district within Grand Rapids. Under her leadership, the Uptown organization has implemented several innovative programs that create a direct investment into its district’s businesses, its community, and its culture, including: the founding of consultant-lead Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee; the implementation of an historical building façade improvement grant program; and an expansion of the district’s public art program which both supports local artists and enhances the pedestrian experience in Uptown.
Ingrid also helmed a comprehensive strategy to quickly pivot support and resources to the district’s more than three hundred small businesses during the lockdown and subsequent effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under her leadership, the organization was able to react immediately and thus the Uptown district not only sustained the hardship but experienced growth in various arenas as well.
Per Ted Lott, AIA, President of the Board for Uptown GR, Inc.: “We’re fortunate to have Ingrid as our Executive Director and are proud that the Grand Rapids Business Journal sees the same excellence and potential that we’ve seen in her from our first conversations. Our organization and our community are a better place because of Ingrid’s efforts.”
In addition to her contributions to the district, Ingrid is also continually active in a roster of volunteer efforts, including (but not limited to) service to the Urban Land Institute’s Women’s Leadership Initiative Planning Committee and the Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Economic Development Alliance. She is also a mother to two daughters – a thriving kindergartner, and baby, born in November of 2020.
The Grand Rapids Business Journal will honor all recipients with a celebration on October 26 as well as will feature full profiles of each in a forthcoming issue of the Journal.
Uptown consists of four business districts: Eastown, East Fulton, Wealthy Street, and East Hills. In all climates, Uptown celebrates its people, partnerships, and possibilities. Its mission is to sustain a strong and vibrant urban district through planning, coordinating, and communicating with and between all sectors of the Uptown community and beyond.
For more information about this and all things Uptown, please contact Ingrid Miller.