GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) – The Grand Rapids Business Journal recently selected a list of 50 extraordinary women for the Most Influential Women in West Michigan for 2020. This list represents women who are making a difference in their community in a number of ways. The decision was made based on the woman’s impact on the business community, leadership traits, involvement in organizations other than their own, and more.
WOOD TV8’s very own Maranda and Julie Brinks, General Manager, were among the list and recognized as two of West Michigan’s most influential women.
Maranda is a local kids and family expert who hosts “Where You Live”, a daily segment which features a combination of information, inspiration, and insights for West Michigan families. Maranda joined WOOD TV8 in January of 2001, but has served the community as an advocate for kids and families for nearly 35 years. This summer she celebrated her 25th year of Park Parties, which have become a beloved tradition in West Michigan. Every summer, Maranda Park Parties bring entertainment, attractions, community resources, and free lunches to thousands of children in West Michigan. The Maranda Park Parties has even been recognized by the USDA as one of the nation’s largest summer feeding programs for kids. Maranda also serves on several community advisory boards including John Ball Zoological Society Board of Directors, Cornerstone University Board of Trustees, Wedgewood Christian Services Board of Directors, Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding Board of Directors, Careforce International Advisory Board and is the spokesperson for CampFire Boys and Girls Club Incredible Kid Day. Maranda is the recipient of three Gracie Allen Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Women in Radio and Television West Michigan Chapter, an Emmy nomination, the Hope College Distinguished Alumni Award, a 2011 YWCA Tribute! Award, the 2014 Van Andel Institute Angel of Excellence Award, and 2019 Education Advocacy Award from Kent Intermediate Association of School Boards.
Julie Brinks has been WOOD TV8’s General Manager since 2017 and has years of experience in local news. She began her career at WOOD TV8 in 1981 before moving to Traverse City where she worked in the promotion and creative services side of the industry. Throughout her career, she has launched several UPN (United Paramount Network) stations all over the country and has previously led stations in Traverse City, Arizona, and Oregon. During her time in Arizona, she had the unique opportunity to oversee 4 radio stations and 2 television stations as well as help create several digital products, launch a lifestyle show, and develop their radio and TV stations to drive significant market share and audience growth. Due to this, three of the radio stations advanced to be in the top 5 in the market. Now living in West Michigan, Brinks is a member of the Circle of Red for the American Heart Association, a member of the Grand Rapids Rotary where she received the President’s Award in 2019, and currently serves as the Board Chair of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation. Her community and philanthropic activities are very important to her as well as working with and supporting the staff at WOOD TV8.
Congratulations to these two incredible women! They will be honored for this award at a luncheon in March.