Helping the community in everything she does describes Meredith Gremel perfectly. She’s a former owner of her own marketing, communications, and advertising firm. She’s one of the owners of Reds on the River Restaurant, in Rockford. She’s the director of public relations and marketing for Michigan Blood. And her skills have given her the opportunity to affect the community of Grand Rapids in more than one way.
In 2005-2006—while still running her agency—Meredith and her husband, Andy, founded Reds on the River, a fine dining and one hundred percent, made-from-scratch restaurant. As a master gardener herself, Meredith said that the restaurant is committed to using locally grown products when they are available.
With the beginning of the restaurant, Meredith and Andy created the Rockford Ice Festival, the Heirloom Tomato Festival, the wine school, the cooking school, a number of charity partnerships where they gave back a percentage of sales to community partners like the Rockford Education Foundation, the Rockford Sports Boosters, the North Kent Community Center, and were the co-founders of the Rockford Community Garden.
Although she enjoys her position at Reds, Meredith’s true passion is for her job at Michigan Blood.
“I decided about a year ago that I wanted to take my skill set and reach out and help more people in a nonprofit area,” she said. “I feel like I’m collectively using my skills now on a much bigger, more impactful way. I love what I do.”
Working with more than five hundred volunteers, about four hundred thirty employees, and thousands of donors, Michigan Blood provides blood products to more than forty hospitals in Michigan.
“There is no substitute for blood so we truly are life savers,” said Meredith. “It’s really awesome to be able to meet so many caring people.”
With about thirty-seven hundred blood drives every year, Meredith said that her position with Michigan Blood is a very rewarding one because she knows that she’s helping the donors give back to the community.
“Being able to use your talents to give back and follow your passion, no matter what you do, to me that is the ultimate goal,” she said. “I’m very big on giving back to our community.”
Throughout her career, Meredith feels that her experiences and business opportunities have helped her and her family grow into the role of being volunteers within their own community as well as lead her to the perfect job of director of public relations and marketing at Michigan blood.
“I feel very blessed to do what I do and follow my passions.”
Written by: Chelsea Stoskopf, an intern at Serendipity Media. She recently graduated from Grand Valley State University, and is counting down the days to her wedding in July.