JBoard Ambassadors

About the JBoard

JBoard Ambassadors provides a forum, a framework, and an opportunity to build engaging relationships between young individuals and Van Andel Institute (VAI).

  • Become the next generation of ambassadors by 

    Co-chairs, Heidi Campbell & Rachel Mraz

    sharing VAI’s mission with friends and acquaintances and grow JBoard membership by 5% annually
  • Provide outreach to individuals that may not otherwise connect to the Institute through four event engagements per year. Additionally, all members will invite two business associates to the annual dinner each year
  • Support VAI financially with a donation of $250 per year per person, with 100% participation from the group
  • Learn firsthand from the scientists at Van Andel Research Institute about the cutting edge biomedical research that is being done right here in Grand Rapids in the areas of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Plus, hear updates from the educators at Van Andel Education Institute and Van Andel Institute Graduate School about how they are inspiring and preparing tomorrow’s scientists. This will be communicated at periodic research update events with a goal of 75% attendance.

Join the JBoard

  • Attend JBoard Ambassador events that are networking opportunities with peers
  • Learn about new discoveries in biomedical research and science education projects at the Institute
  • Receive news and information about annual VAI events on a regular basis
  • Receive invitations to annual health science forums and luncheons throughout the year
  • Recognition on VAI’s website and in the Institute’s annual report
  • Recognition in an annual Van Andel Institute acknowledgement “Thank You” advertisement in the Grand Rapids Business Journal.
Events for JBoard Members

  • Periodic research and education Lunch & Learn events throughout the year
  • JBoard Ambassadors member mixer event held at the end of each summer
  • Around the World®, the annual JBoard Ambassadors fundraising event, held every November
  • Winterfest Celebration held every February
  • Carol Van Andel Angel of Excellence Dinner and Award Presentation held every April


Current JBoard Members

Co-chairs: Heidi Campbell and Rachel Mraz

Chad Bassett Brian Blodgett Scott & Heidi Campbell
Don & Heather Carlson Heather Christmann Natalie Cleary
Matthew Cook Paige Cornetet Blake Crabb
Afton & Aaron DeVos Samuel DeVries Bo & Jennifer Fowler
Kevin Gardenier Linsey Gleason Andrew Grashuis
Brandi Huyser Jack Iott Kevin & Katie Kileen
Eric Kovalak Michael Lomonaco Erica Lonn
Kimberly Loomis Geoff Ludema Matthew McDonald
Kate Meyer Phillip Mitchell Evan & Caitlin Mlynarek
Mike & Rachel Mraz Alyssa & Chris Nance Matt Osterhaven
Gregory Paplawsky Lee & Alexandra Perez Laurie Placinski
Nikki Probst Jeff & Deidre Remtema Charlie & Tanya Rowerdink
Meriden Smucker Lindsay Slagboom Timothy Streit
Paul & Libby Stuit Alison Waske Sutter Charity Taatjes
William Templin Jane Tomaszewski Aaron Van Andel
Chris Van Andel Jesse Van Andel Kyle Van Andel
Daniel VandenBosch David & Sarah Vanderveen Marc Veenstra
Amanda Whowell MeiLi Wieringa Charlie Wondergem


For more information about the JBoard, please contact Teresa Reid at 616.234.5040 or Teresa.Reid@vai.org.