Annemarie Valdez honored among 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan for 2020

President & CEO of First Steps Kent, Annemarie Valdez has been selected as one of the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s (GRBJ) 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan for 2020!

Annemarie has served as President & CEO of First Steps Kent since 2015. The organization has focused its efforts on system-building processes and worked to pass the Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage in 2018. Now, the organization is the administrator of the millage funds, which generates approximately $5.7 million a year for community-based programs and services that are proven to improve the health, school readiness, and well-being of children under age five.

Annemarie was chosen from a record number of applicants. 248 women were nominated, which is 93 more than the last time the GRBJ held this request for applicants.

GRBJ’s 50 Most Influential Women is a celebration of West Michigan women who are leaders in their industries and are making a difference in the community in a variety of ways. Annemarie will be recognized with 49 distinguished recipients at GRBJ’s honoree luncheon on March 4, 2020. See the full list of 2020 honorees on

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