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2020 Annual Report

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This is the 2020 Annual Report for Van Andel Institute.

Jim & Jane Zwiers:

Jim & Jane Zwiers: Embodying the spirit of philanthropy Members of Van Andel Institute’s Board of Governors embody in their everyday lives the spirit of VAI’s mission — to impact human health and enhance lives for current and future generations. Jim and Jane Zwiers are a prime example. The Calvin University alumni have been married for nearly 31 years and together have given time and funds to VAI for almost a decade. “Philanthropy is a big part of our lives and our family, especially as it connects to things like youth, education and the outdoors,” said Jane. “Each of our children has found a way in their adult lives to remain connected to volunteering and nonprofit work, and we are proud that they also continue to give back to this community.” Like many donors and volunteers at VAI, the Zwiers have several close family members and friends who have been impacted by diseases like cancer and Parkinson’s. Supporting the Institute gives them a meaningful role in addressing these diseases at the highest levels of research. “We are privileged to have VAI’s world-class scientists and facilities right here in Grand Rapids; they are deeply impacting the lives of individuals and our community,” said Jim. “At the fundraising and informational events, it’s inspiring to hear about their ingenuity and skills. It makes the work of VAI come to life.” Wedgwood Christian Services Board and volunteers and fundraises for a variety of other charities and nonprofits. Jim, who formerly worked as a CPA and a lawyer after receiving his J.D. degree from the University of Michigan, now serves as executive vice president at Wolverine Worldwide. Like his wife, he prioritizes giving back to his community; he sits on the board of Grand Rapids’ famed ArtPrize and previously served on the boards of several industry and community nonprofit organizations. “VAI’s mission is a bold one, but to supporters, volunteers, scientists, staff and patients, it means hope,” said Jane. “Hope for better health, hope for better understanding and hope for cures to some of the most challenging and devastating diseases facing our society.” Members of Van Andel Institute’s Board of Governors support the Institute financially and are ambassadors who share VAI’s mission, vision and important work with others to advance the Institute’s efforts. Learn more about the Board of Governors at board-of-governors/. The pair, in addition to their philanthropic support, also dedicate time and energy to donor initiatives at the Institute and beyond. Jane serves on VAI’s Hope on the Hill Gala planning committee. She also serves on the 42 | VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE ANNUAL REPORT 2020 JANE & JIM ZWIERS (LEFT); THE ZWIERS FAMILY (RIGHT)

Uniting young, ambitious professionals in support of VAI’s mission PHILANTHROPY Young professionals looking to make an impact on research into diseases like cancer and Parkinson’s need look no further than Van Andel Institute’s JBoard Ambassadors. This group, more than 80 members strong, brings together the young, philanthropic hearts and hands of Grand Rapids in support of VAI’s mission to improve health and enhance lives now and for generations to come. “Van Andel Institute’s ability to bring the community together under a common goal is unmatched,” said Kyle Van Andel, a member of VAI’s JBoard Advisory Council and son of Chairman and CEO David Van Andel and his wife Carol Van Andel. “Whether it be through education events, or volunteering, VAI understands that anyone and everyone can contribute in a positive way. This ability to bring people together has led to major cuttingedge discoveries and will continue to create more opportunities for many generations.” To support those breakthroughs, JBoard Ambassadors pledge to donate a month, or 0 a year, all of which directly benefits biomedical research and K–12 and graduate education at VAI. Members have the opportunity throughout the year to engage directly with Institute scientists and educators and learn more about VAI’s work through events like Virtual Coffee Connection. Although the annual JBoard Member Mixer went virtual in 2020, Ambassadors were still able to enjoy wine and cheese pairings from Aperitivo in the comfort of their own homes while learning about the latest groundbreaking work happening at VAI. Presenters included Chief Education Officer Terra Tarango and postdoctoral fellows Dr. Michael Dahabieh, Dr. Emmanuel Quansah and Dr. Payton Stevens. 2020 JBoard Advisory Council Co-chairs: Chad Bassett & Rachel Mraz Christopher Billmeier Kendra Osowski Alex Schrotenboer Kyle Van Andel APERITIVO’S GENERAL MANAGER EVAN TALEN & LEAD BARTENDER & EDUCATOR BEN VANDERWAAL WALK VIRTUAL ATTENDEES THROUGH WINE TASTINGS VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE ANNUAL REPORT 2020 | 43

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