April 26, 2024 - 11:56 am

20Fathoms presents 2024 Community Champion Awards to regional innovators

By 20Fathoms

20Fathoms is pleased to announce the recipients of the annual Community Champion Awards. The seven individuals were recognized during the organization’s Launch Awards & Celebration on April 24 during Northern Michigan Startup Week.

The Community Champion Awards were distributed to the following individuals for their contributions to the region’s growing innovation and entrepreneurship community in the Grand Traverse Region.

  • Laura Galbraith, Executive Director of Venture North
  • Justin Gauthier, Lead Developer at Brightly
  • Mike Groleau, Principal and Chief Analytics Officer at RJG
  • Josh Hart, Founder of Riley’s Candles
  • Ashley Sloat, President & Director of Patent Strategy at Aurora Consulting
  • Gretchen Swanson, Director of Talent at 20Fathoms
  • Shelly VanderMeulen, Career Exploration Coordinator with MiSTEM Network

“Launching a business is really hard work, but these individuals provide critical support and resources that make that journey easier for entrepreneurs in Northwest Michigan,” said Eric Roberts, Executive Director of 20Fathoms. “Their kindness, generosity, and dedication often goes unnoticed, but they are each making a real difference.”

Hosted by 20Fathoms, the Launch Awards & Celebration is an annual event celebrating the innovators, entrepreneurs, and supporters of the region’s startup ecosystem. The 2024 event was held at Bonobo Winery with live music provided by A.S. Lutes. Event support was provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Bonobo Winery.

Community Champion award winner 2024
Eric Roberts, Executive Director of 20Fathoms (far left), joins the 2024 Community Champion Awards recipients. Back row: Josh Hart, Justin Gauthier, and Ashley Sloat. Front row: Mike Groleau, Shelly VanderMeulen, Gretchen Swanson, and Laura Galbraith.