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Stories to inspire you.

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. 

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? At Bengtson Center for Aesthetics & Plastic Surgery, a specialized team makes it their utmost responsibility to ensure each person portrays and enjoys the best version of herself. "We really believe in a natural look, and in beauty at every age," said Roxanne Cornelius, physician assistant

Ellie Rogers has endured set backs in her life. But to her, failure does not carry stereotypical negativity. From failure, she has learned. And because she has learned, she has the courage to share. That's what the 2013 Failure-Lab is all about—bringing local men, women, employees, and parents together to share how life's road has not always been smooth and straight. Brave presenters will put their stories on the table in hope that those who listen could learn, too. 

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