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Stories to inspire you.

Ask Peggy Keiper to name the most influential person in her life, and she doesn’t hesitate: It’s her mom. She taught Peggy about the power of education, working hard, and following your heart—lessons that brought Peggy to the West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC) as national sports sales manager. 

Pam Zinn, owner of Holland's Holistic Nutrition Center, knows you are what you eat—or at least your health conditions are. Where many are quick to diagnose illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular trouble, difficulty sleeping, or even depression as medical conditions treatable by myriad prescription drugs, Pam advises first taking a good look at your diet. 

Julie Cech is helping West Michigan relax, one massage at a time. And the best part? She'll come to you. As owner of Mobile Massage, Julie specializes in working out the stress of day-to-day life and getting women and men on the right track to healthfulness, via therapeutic practice. Don't add to your stress by having to drive to get a massage, Julie said. When Mobile Massage comes to you, there is zero effort necessary on your part.  

Some people love bar crawls. Some people love bicycling. Laurie Ryan loves both. She also loves Grand Rapids—and  from the combination of the three came the Great Lakes Pub Cruiser, in April 2012. Laurie got the idea for this party on wheels during a trip to Minneapolis: "I saw it and said, what in the world is that?" Laurie signed herself up immediately to take a ride. She had "a ball," and when she got home told friends, "I don't care what I have to sell or mortgage, I'm going to get one of those." So, Laurie and her girlfriends went into business. And now West Michigan can have a ball, too. 

How do you spell passion? In Grand Rapids, it's S-H-A-N-N-O-N-W-I-L-S-O-N. As executive director of the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute, Shannon is working to bridge the gaps in available health care and the knowledge base of healthy lifestyles among minorities through education, research, and advocacy. 

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