Bonnie Nawara is a seasoned professional in both the profit and nonprofit areas. She was a business owner for over 20 years, successfully selling her business in 2003. In 2004 she joined the American Cancer Society (ACS) as Planned Giving Officer in the Fund Development area. During her 6-year tenure at ACS she was top fundraiser in MI, OH and IN and received many awards. In 2010 she joined Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW) as CEO. This 30-year-old non-profit was founded to help disadvantaged women start and grow their businesses. During her time at GROW she diversified the organization to create new revenue streams, resulting in doubling the budget and staffing levels. She also led the organization to become one of the community’s top social enterprise small business lenders and the very first Community Development Financial Institute (CDFI) in the Grand Rapids Area. Bonnie retired from GROW in March of 2021.
Bonnie has been the recipient of many awards, including the Most Influential in West Michigan for the years 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020. She obtained the Diversity and Inclusion award from the Grand Rapids Chamber, Top Volunteer award from the Center for Economic Development and the visionary award from the Association of Women Business Centers to name a few.
Bonnie currently serves on the board of Directors for Frederik Meijer Gardens and is a council member for the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), a nonpartisan council providing policy recommendations to the SBA and the current administration.