Speakers - MIPSA 2015

Banquet Keynote Speaker, Thursday, October 29, 2015

Keynote Speaker

George Heartwell
Mayor, Grand Rapids

Now serving his third term, Mayor George Heartwell took office on January 1, 2004. During his tenure, City government has implemented a variety of environmental measures, including purchase of renewable resource energy, use of alternative fuels in city vehicles, continued attention to water quality in the Grand River, and widespread implementation of energy conservation measures. In January 2007 the United Nations recognized Grand Rapids as a "Regional Center of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development."

Grand Rapids is widely recognized as one of the most sustainable cities in America. In 2010 the US Chamber of Commerce gave Grand Rapids the "Nation’s Most Sustainable City" award, and in 2012 Mayor Heartwell was given the first place Climate Protection Award by the US Conference of Mayors.

With twenty-two colleges or universities in the metropolitan area, Grand Rapids is known as a knowledge center. Human medicine, medical education, and health research is the most rapidly growing economic cluster. Even during times of severe economic downturn, Grand Rapids has shown remarkable economic resiliency.

George Heartwell is married to Susan who directs the Student Advancement Foundation. George and Susan are proud parents of three adult children and six extraordinary grandchildren.

Luncheon Keynote Speaker, Friday, October 30

Keynote Speaker

Sara Smolenski
Chief Judge, Michigan 63rd District Court

Judge Smolenski is a Grand Rapids native. She earned an Associate of Arts Degree from Grand Rapids Junior College and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Michigan. In 1982, she earned a Juris Doctorate Degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. She was elected to the bench in 1990. She was appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court as Chief Judge of the 63rd District Court in 1996.