Featuring an exclusive conversation with 

George W. Bush



43rd President of the United States

We invite you to join us for the 23rd Excellence in Business Gala – an annual fundraiser to support student scholarships. This year's event will feature an in-depth conversation between President George W. Bush and Davenport University President, Dr. Richard J. Pappas. As a guest, you will have the opportunity to hear first-hand ​about his time in the White House, the challenges facing our nation in the 21st century, as well his current work at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

Honoring the 2022 Peter C. Cook Excellence in Business Award Recipient

J.C. Huizenga

We are thrilled to announce that J.C. Huizenga will be honored as this year's Peter C. Cook Excellence in Business Award recipient. Huizenga is a transformative member of the Grand Rapids business community. His passion for business, education and philanthropy is influenced by a family history of entrepreneurship and service.

May 26, 2022 | 6:00 pm | DeVos Place

Black Tie Attire | Valet Parking Available at Monroe Street Entrance 
George W. Bush

President George W. Bush

George W. Bush served as 43rd President of the United States of America from 2001-2009.  As Commander in Chief, President Bush worked to expand freedom, opportunity, and security at home and abroad.  His Administration reformed America’s education system, restored robust private-sector economic growth and job creation, protected our environment, and pursued a comprehensive strategy to keep America safe after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

After the Presidency, President Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush founded the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas.  The Bush Center is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the George W. Bush Institute, a nonpartisan public policy and leadership development center.

President Bush is the author of three bestselling books: Decision Points (2010), 41: A Portrait of My Father (2014), and Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors (2017).  He and Laura are the parents of twin daughters: Barbara, married to Craig Coyne, and Jenna, married to Henry Hager.  The Bushes also are the proud grandparents of Margaret Laura “Mila”, Poppy Louise, and Henry Harold “Hal” Hager.

J.C. Huizenga

J.C. Huizenga

2022 Peter C. Cook Excellence in Business Award Recipient

J.C. is an entrepreneur, education reformer and business leader. He is the chairman and founder of Huizenga Group – a privately held firm that provides management services to a diverse portfolio of manufacturing companies, a commercial contracting firm and a consumer products packaging company.

In 1995, J.C. began National Heritage Academies, now serving over 60,000 students in 100+ public charter schools across nine states. National Heritage was founded out of his conviction that every child deserves the opportunity to achieve their dreams. National Heritage was listed in Inc. magazine’s “500 Fastest Growing Private Companies” four consecutive years.

Through the years, J.C. has been recognized for his accomplishments in business as well as his leadership in school reform and his worldwide philanthropy.

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Peter C. & Emajean Cook Foundation

Daniel & Pamella DeVos Foundation

Wilbur & Sharon Lettinga Family

National Heritage Academies Logo

Fifth Third Bank Logo

RDG logo


Presidio Insurance Logo

Town & Country Group

Rockford Construction Logo

Gentex Logo

Wolverine World Wide Logo



Media Sponsor

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Print Sponsor

Holland Litho Logo

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