Gala Events

West Michigan Global Initiative Gala

'Turning Fellowship Into Partnership'
With Michigan enjoying resurgence as a global leader in business and product innovation, the timing couldn’t be better to form new partnerships. West Michigan is at the forefront of that resurgence, and the area’s culture of community and corporate best practices is resonating and attracting interest on a global scale.

These grand Gala events celebrate and foster that culture, highlighted by some of the brightest business minds on two continents. With elite sponsors and speakers, the West Michigan Global Initiative provides guests a platform for ideas, and a forum to transform fellowship into partnership.


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Night of the Stars

The annual fundraising event of the Haff is the gala dinner Night of the Stars. During the dinner we will celebrate the unique bond that exists between the Netherlands and the United States of America. Sponsored by the Holland America Friendship Foundation


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West Michigan Heineken House


The West Michigan Global Initiative invites local, national and global leaders to share ideas and foster business, political and cultural relationships between the West Michigan business community and their counterparts in the Netherlands.


In the fall of 2014 WMGI brought a Delegation from the Netherlands to West Michigan with a focus on Food Agriculture and the Medical Device field in our region.  During the course of three days the group toured leading businesses in our region, making connections, and lasting relationships.  By interacting with other executives of featured businesses in a non-competive enviornment helps diversify discussions facilitated by subject matter with other experts in attendence.  Participants leave with a new perspective, strategic networks relevant across our two nations.


At the culmination of the three day venture we held the very first Heineken House in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  It was said so be the social event of the year.  WMGI, stepped away from the standard Gala and opted for a house party held downtown Grand Rapids, in the Lofts Apartments, two story parking garage.  On one level guests enjoyed music from an artist popular in the Netherlands.  On the second, DJ Shannon Wiliams, combined video, light, and sound.  All food stations were action stations with beer pairing from Founders Brewery.  The only way to get between the two floors, guests had to be taken by a car freight elevator.

The stage was set for guests to relax and mingle, all the while being decked out in orange.

The Heinenken House was a success.  Its success was due to many factors, but the biggest contributing factor was the participants.  WMGI wouldn't be the organization it is without those dedicated to cultivating relationships between the West Michigan business community and their counterparts in the Netherlands.



Founding Sponsors


  • AlpInvest Partners
  • Eenhoorn LLC
  • Haworth, Inc
  • Huizenga Group
  • MERS of Michigan
  • The Carlyle Group
  • Burke E. Porter Machinery
  • Alticor
  • RDV
  • The Windquest Group
  • Amway
  • InnerWorkings
  • Meijer
  • Effen Vodka & DeKuyper
  • Dempsey Ventures
  • Grey Dunes
  • Michigan Legislative Consultants
  • Varnum Attorneys at Law
  • Grand Valley State University




Contact Us

231 W. Fulton Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States
Office: 616.530.5500; Fax: 616.530.0850


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