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Stories to inspire you.

The digital age of photography makes just about anyone with a camera a photographer. But it takes someone special to create images, and Christine Gribble of Grand Rapids takes it one step further as a photographic artist for children and families with special needs. Christine's skill set, lifelong experiences, and her extra dose of compassion are prerequisites in her niche. 

Sometimes epiphanies come slowly. Jana Hall, the new chief operations officer at the Van Andel Institute of Science, experienced this first-hand as she came to her epiphany right after finishing graduate school. 

There's a little something about the Midwest that outfits those in the hospitality industry with innately accommodating personalities. But it takes someone with compassion to really excel in the profession, and Jenifer Cutter has that in spades. Jenifer was recently appointed the general manager at the Downtown Courtyard by Marriott, after spending twelve years at the Amway Grand Plaza. She graduated from Ferris State University and moved to Arizona for a time to build her career and gain hands-on experience. When she came back to her home in West Michigan, her life experiences fueled her professional drive, but her love for collaborating with co-workers and clients alike was something to which she's always been uniquely attuned. 

In 2007, Katherine and Mike Schoenborn got the news of a lifetime: They were going to have triplets! But in the months leading up to the due date, Katherine described her pregnancy as an up-and-down roller coaster ride. "We had one to two doctors appointments a week. We'd leave one positive, then leave the next with a grim feeling. When it all was said and done, it was such a let down." 

Looking at herself in the mirror after receiving her new hairdo and freshly painted nails, tears gathered in her eyes as Barb Andrus took in her new look. After spending three years helping her daughter Ellie through chemotherapy and other treatments for leukemia, as well as going through the death of her oldest son, this was the first time this Mother’s Day Makeover winner was able to pamper and spend some time on herself. 

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