Awards & Recognition


At our LIVE UNITED Celebration, held Thursday, March 23, 2017 at Baker Lofts Event Center in Holland, Greater Ottawa County United Way recognized the outstanding companies and individuals who helped advance the common good in our community by giving, advocating, and volunteering. 

The following five criteria are used to select award recipients. Some awards are given when 3 of these criteria are achieved, while others require 4 of the 5 criteria to be achieved.  When a company achieves all 5 of the following criteria, it receives the prestigious Community Builder Award.

  1. An increase of employee giving from the previous year
  2. At least $175 average employee gift
  3. 50% or more participation in campaign giving
  4. Employee volunteer involvement (with United Way internally, Day of Caring, or corporate volunteer projects)
  5. Three or more employees giving at the Lighthouse Leadership Circle level ($500+)


Recognizes top organizations that exemplify a year-round partnership with United Way, including participation in Day of Caring, Community Investment and a commitment to workplace volunteering.

The companies below met all five of the award criteria listed above:

  • Automatic Spring Products
  • Davenport University
  • Grand Haven Custom Molding
  • Greater Ottawa County United Way
  • ITW Drawform
  • Macatawa Bank
  • PNC Bank


A Gold Award is presented to major firms who meet 4 out of 5 of the award criteria.

The 2017 Gold Award recipients are:

  • Anderson Technologies
  • Bekins
  • Brilliance Audio, Inc.
  • Chemical Bank
  • Children’s Advocacy Center
  • Consumers Energy -
  • JH Campbell Complex
  • County of Ottawa
  • DeNooyer Chevrolet
  • Elzinga & Volkers Construction
  • Falcon Corporation
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Grand Haven Area Public Schools
  • Grand Haven BLP & UWUA 582
  • Haworth, Inc.
  • JSJ Corporation
  • Light Corporation
  • Mercantile Bank
  • Sekisui SPI
  • Shape Corp.
  • Stanco Metal Products
  • The Chamber of Commerce Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg
  • Trans-Matic Mfg. Co., Inc.
  • West Michigan Community Bank
  • West Michigan Molding
  • Woodward


A Silver Award is presented to major firms that meet 3 out of 5 of the award criteria.

The 2017 Silver Award Recipients are:

  • A.D. Bos Vending Services, Inc.
  • Flex
  • GHSP, a JSJ Business
  • Herrick District Library
  • Holland Hospital
  • Hope College
  • Huntington Bank
  • Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance
  • Legal Aid of Western Michigan
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • ODL, Inc.
  • Pathways, MI
  • Perrigo
  • Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital

Volunteer of the Year Award

The recipient of this award exemplifies a spirit of volunteer service to their community by giving their time and efforts to Greater Ottawa County United Way, as well as other organizations in the community.

2017 Recipient:

  • Diane Ybarra, Global Concepts Enterprises

Pinnacle of Partnership Award

The recipient of this award exemplifies a commitment to improve the quality of life for Ottawa County residents through leadership in service and education as well as a year round partnership with Greater Ottawa County United Way

2017 Recipient:

  • Good Samaritan Ministries

Out-of-the-Box Award

Recognizes the organizations who took the box, shook it up, and ran the most creative, fun and interactive campaign.

2017 Recipient:

  • Shape Corp

Joe Martella Above and Beyond Award

This person goes above and beyond what is expected of a campaign coordinator. They are constantly looking to add excitement to the campaign, help others realize the importance of United Way and encourage volunteering.

2017 Recipient:

  • Macatawa Bank campaign committee

Lynne Sherwood Lighthouse Leadership Award

This award is bestowed upon a United Way campaign company that demonstrates the greatest increase in leadership giving, or to an individual, couple or family whose community leadership sets an example for others to follow.

2017 Recipient:

  • Shape Corp

G.W. Haworth Strength of the Community Award

Recognizes the company and/or individual who most embodies United Way's leadership, spirit of volunteering, philanthropy, and decision-making in the allocation of philanthropic resources to our community.

2017 Recipient:

  • Mark Wilson

Past recipients:

  • 2001 - G.W. Haworth

  • 2002 - Patrick Thompson
2003 - Lynne Sherwood

  • 2004 - Tim Parker

  • 2005 - Edward & Nancy Hanenburg
2006 - Donna Cornwell

  • 2007 - Richard Haworth
2008 - Shape Corporation

  • 2009 - Grand Haven Area Public Schools

  • 2010 - Jeffrey W. Beswick

  • 2011 - PADNOS
2012 - JSJ Corp. and its businesses: Dake, GHSP, and izzy+

  • 2013 - The Bos Family: Thomas G. & Jane Bos, Thomas J. & Laurie Bos, David, Megan & Tommy

  • 2014 - Steve and Sandy Moreland

  • 2015 - Larry and Jeanie Koops
  • 2016 - The Verplank Family

2017 Community Investment Panel Awards

3 Year Awards:

  • Kelly Liebbe
  • William Lowery
  • Sharon Zajac
  • Michael Zambetis

10 Year Awards:

  • Sandy Huber
  • Debra Mann
  • Shawn McPherson
  • John Stempfley

THANK YOU to all those who gave your time and energy to our campaign!