For the seventh consecutive year, Hope College has been named one of the “101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” in West Michigan.

The competition is a program of the Michigan Business and Professional Association (MBPA).  Hope and the region’s other 2012 winners will be recognized during the “West Michigan’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” annual human resources symposium and awards program on Thursday, May 3, at the Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville.

An independent research firm evaluates each company’s entry based on key measures in various categories.  They include Compensation, Benefits and Employee Solutions; Employee Enrichment, Engagement and Retention; Employee Education and Development; Recruitment, Selection and Orientation; Employee Achievement and Recognition; Communication and Shared Vision; Diversity and Inclusion; Work-Life Balance; Community Initiatives; Strategic Company Performance; and the Best of the Best Small Business.

The winners represent industries as diverse as the automotive, insurance, hospitality, communications and nonprofit sectors.  They were chosen for practicing innovative strategies and representing best practices in human resources, according to Jennifer Kluge, MBPA president.

“We are honored to recognize the efforts of this year’s 101 Best and Brightest companies. These companies have created impressive organizational value and business results through their policies and best practices in human resource management,” Kluge said.  “This award has become a designation sought after by hundreds of West Michigan area companies and is a powerful recruitment tool in the drive to attract and retain exceptional employees.”

The winning 101 companies also vie for 11 elite awards, one granted for each category. Also, an overall winner that has excelled in all categories will be honored with a “Best of the Best Overall” award. The award winners will be announced during the luncheon. 

The annual human resources symposium and awards program will begin with registration, networking and an exhibit gallery at 7:30 a.m. Educational workshops will follow at 8 a.m. The topics of this year’s sessions will include “Best Practice Session: Solutions and Considerations,” and “A Look Into the Future: What Skills and Talents Will We Need?” The luncheon and awards ceremony begins at 11 a.m. 

Sponsors of the “West Michigan’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” include “Grand Rapids Business Journal,” WOOD Radio, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, The Employers’ Association, Staples, Davenport University, Spectrum Health, Rehmann, AT & T Michigan, and McGraw Wentworth.

The “101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” recognition is presented annually in several markets: Metro Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and West Michigan.  Nominations are now being accepted for 2013, and applications are available at

Based in Warren, the Michigan Business & Professional Association (MBPA) is the largest business organization of small to medium-sized businesses in Michigan, representing more than 20,000 members who employ more than 200,0000 persons. Members include attorneys, physicians, architects, accountants, construction companies, banks, retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers and the like.  Member businesses receive numerous benefits including free legal and financial consultations; discounted technology, automotive and office products; employee training and recruitment assistance; and competitive insurance rates. The MBPA is a sister association to the Michigan Food & Beverage Association (MFBA) with more than 3,400 members.  Additional information is available online at and