A chamber of commerce in the region has recognized two attorneys and the owner of a manufacturing company with awards that celebrate diversity and community advocacy.

The Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce said it presented two awards at its 12th-annual Minority Business Luncheon last month at the Midtown Center in Holland.

Close to 200 people were in attendance at a luncheon held at the Midtown Center, as France Allen, Dawn Garcia Ward and Juanita Bocanegra were awarded two awards.

The Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce handed out the 2017 Minority Business Awards to three recipients on Wednesday, April 19.

Close to 200 people were in attendance at a luncheon held at the Midtown Center as France Allen, Dawn Garcia Ward and Juanita Bocanegra were awarded two awards.

Allen, of Ventura Manufacturing, was awarded the Minority Business of the Year. She launched Ventura Manufacturing in 1997 and it now operates in the U.S., Mexico, China and Hungary.

To qualify for the award, a person must be a member of the West Coast Chamber, must be a minority-owned business, must have been in business for at least three years and demonstrates strong financial stability.

The Minority Business Champion award winners must work for a West Coast Chamber member firm, must promote or positively impact the minority business community and must value diversity and promote appreciation of differences.

Each year, chamber members nominate recipients, and a committee selects the winners.

The Minority Business of the Year recipient must be a member of the chamber, a minority owned business, in business for at least three years and able to demonstrate strong financial stability.

The Minority Business Champion award goes to a recipient who works for a chamber member firm, promotes or positively affects the minority business community, values diversity and promotes the appreciation of differences.

Allen

Allen grew up in Mexico and moved to America as a teenager. She worked in Texas and migrant fields in Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan, which led her to a job at Prince Manufacturing. Her career path took her to Innotec, where she began with small cell assembly.

In 1997, she launched her own company, Zeeland-based Ventura Manufacturing, which now operates in the U.S., Mexico, China and Hungary.

Ventura Manufacturing aims to be a company based on values that include “trust, humility, service, fun, forgiveness, learning, change, hard work and teamwork,” according to the chamber.

 

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