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 the community to help grow JBoard membership.
  • Provide outreach to individuals through engagement events throughout the year.
  • Support VAI financially with a donation of $250 per year per person.
  • 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.

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 “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
  • Around the World®, the annual JBoard Ambassadors fundraising event.
  • Winterfest Celebration
  • Carol Van Andel Angel of Excellence Dinner and Award Presentation.


Current JBoard Members

Co-chairs: Heidi Campbell and Rachel Mraz

Jennifer Baldini 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
Eric Jones 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.