CONNECT H.E.R Week 2: Meet the ‘Navigating Change’ panelists & register for event

Financial Services

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, marked the official start of CONNECT H.E.R, a virtual lunch and learn series presented by WOTV 4 Women and MassMutual MidMichigan. After a successful launch and panel discussion on the “Balancing Act, we’re excited to bring forth our second virtual event “Navigating Change”. We invite all of our West Michigan friends to join us on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, from 12 p.m.- 1 p.m.! 


Joining us for Week 2 is a fantastic group of women. Learn all about them below!

Bonnie Nawara

CEO, GROW (Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women)

Bonnie ran a successful business for over 20 years, and she also spent six years in the area of non-profit fund development. Bonnie has been with GROW since September 2010. As CEO, Bonnie is responsible for overseeing all GROW operations including community involvement and outreach, business coaching and consulting, programming, funding for microlending and other financial programs, and much more.

Bonnie is also a board member of the Association of Women Business Centers (AWBC). GROW is one of just over 100 Women’s Business Centers in the country, and one of only three in Michigan. She represents GROW throughout the West Michigan community and beyond.

(Bio courtesy of GROW)

Jennifer Feuerstein

Associate State Director, AARP Michigan

Jennifer Feuerstein is a community organizer, activist, public speaker, and writer on issues related to older adults and the encore years. She currently is Associate State Director for AARP Michigan.

She is a journalist for various publications including Faith Grand Rapids and West Michigan Woman magazines on topics related to the encore population.

She received her certificate in aging and is currently writing her first book (a witty look at growing old). She is a life-long Grand Rapids resident, mother of 3 kids and travels across the state on behalf of the 1.4 million AARP members in Michigan.

Kimberly Slaikaeu

Luxe Artisan Preserves

Dr. Kimberly Slaikeu, a serial entrepreneur, makes her way to Grand Rapids, Michigan by way of her hometown Milwaukee, Wisconsin and knows a bit about navigating change both personally and professionally.  

She has held a successful career in healthcare for over 25 years as a published  author, former university professor, nurse executive and clinician receiving  awards at both state and national levels. She holds a PhD in Nursing and Urban  Studies and in 2011 became certified as a professional life coach through the  Applied Neuroscience Institute. In her doctoral work, she examined resilience in  women who had undergone traumatic life events.  

Dr. Slaikeu has always been a creative at heart, so her most recent venture  should not come as a surprise. In the Fall of 2019, she “officially” launched Luxe  Artisan Preserves which offers a collection of small-batch, hand-crafted  preserves infused with herbs and alcohol using high-quality, locally sourced  ingredients. Luxe’s bright and interesting flavor profiles turn classic ingredients  “inside-out” to provide a unique twist on the traditional construct of customers’  favorite dishes, whether Luxe is used as an ingredient, pairing or an “accessory”. Luxe customers—which Kimberly affectionately describes as “family”—are  currently spread across 17 states and the District of Columbia. Often described  by customers as “love in a jar”, Luxe is set to be on the shelves of several West  Michigan grocers in early October.  

According to Dr. Slaikeu, her biggest accomplishment is being the mother of her  7-year old daughter Reaghan.  

You can find her on Instagram at @luxeartisanpreserves

Suzann Foerster

Executive Leadership Coach

Suzann’s passion is helping leaders create robust cultures and guide their teams to achieve business results.

Her signature approach is compassionately blunt – a combination of direct honesty and nurturing warmth. Suzann builds relationships on a foundation of trust and professional integrity. Through her guidance, clients gain
strength and confidence to develop new skills & overcome the barriers standing between themselves their goals. And she holds them accountable for their desired results.

Over the past 20 years, Suzann has successfully coached a range of leaders and teams. Her focus is working with C-Suite executives & their leadership teams. Suzann Foerster Leadership Coaching has a team of 6 coaches, serving
all levels of leadership. They offer 1-1 coaching, team coaching, strategic
planning and many leadership development training programs.

Suzann began her career as a corporate trainer but soon realized her
entrepreneurial spirit needed an outlet. Building on her passion and desire to
help others succeed she established her leadership coaching business in

She holds a Professional Coach Certification (PCC), is accredited with the
International Coaches Federation (ICF),carries a bachelor’s degree in business
and threw in an associate’s degree in Culinary Arts just for kicks. She’s an
instructor for Corporate Coach University, an international coach-training
organization; and is a Certified Behavioral Analyst (CPBA) and a Certified
Values Analyst (CPVA). Suzann is also a certified trainer and facilitator of The
Change Cycle & holds a Coaching certification from Human Systems Dynamics

Melissa Keating

CONNECT H.E.R Moderator

Melissa Keating is the WOTV 4 Women ambassador focusing on Financial Services. Melissa is the Director of Marketing and Field Development at MassMutual MidMichigan where she works with financial advisors across Michigan helping individuals, families, and businesses connect values and vision to financial assets through awareness and education, local resources, and community engagement.

“For most, the heart of the American Dream is financial security.  We work within our local communities, listening to a client’s specific needs, goals and aspirations, then designing customized solutions, together. Life has a way of handing you little surprises along the way – we are there to help you though them.”

As a mom to five kids (and one chunky French Bulldog), Melissa identifies closely with families seeking balance in saving for children’s college educations, planning for retirement and caring for loved ones.  Together, they live in Grand Rapids with her husband, Mark, a local business owner.

“When you start any journey, you need to map out how you will get from where you are now to where you want to be. Planning isn’t about crunching numbers – it’s about those moments when it all pays off. The more you can plan for life’s greatest moments, the more you can relax and enjoy them.”

Active in industry and community associations, she is a member of Women in Financial Services (WIFS), National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), MassMutual Women’s Pro-Growth Advisory Board, and American Marketing Association.

Local firms are sales offices of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), and are not subsidiaries of MassMutual or its affiliated companies. Securities and investment advisory services offered through registered representatives of MML Investors Services, LLC.

We look forward to having you join us for Week 2!


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