An accomplished environmental educator, Daniel Schoonmaker was named Executive Director of West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum in 2013, a new role created to position the 20-year-old organization for growth and innovation. Since then, the forum has achieved record growth in participation while launching new strategic initiatives focused on waste diversion, sustainable food systems, climate resiliency, leadership and pollution prevention. It was one of three organizations to receive project funding during the first phase of the Governor’s Recycling Initiative for the Michigan Municipal Waste Characterization and Valuation Project, commonly known as the Trash Research Project. It was named one of two Great Lakes Boundary Organizations for 2016 by the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences & Assessment Center at the University of Michigan. He was recently named one of Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Business Leaders.
Previously, Schoonmaker served as Director of Member Services for West Michigan Environmental Action Council, where he managed communications, volunteers, events and the redevelopment of the organization’s flagship water stewardship programs, including the Grand River Clean Up, Rain Barrel Program, and Stormwater Education Campaign. Prior to that, he promoted “green” products as the public relations lead for Alexander Marketing, with his work appearing in The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Green Builder, E the Environmental Magazine, The New York Times and many other local and national media outlets. He began his professional career as a journalist, with stints locally as a staff writer for Grand Rapids Business Journal and as managing editor for Rapid Growth Media.
Among other distinctions, he is a LEED Accredited Professional with the U.S. Green Building Council and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.