West Michigan Women's Expo
DeVos Place - Grand Rapids, MI
March 9 - 11, 2012
March 9, 2012 Fri 10am - 8pm
March 10, 2012 Sat 10am - 8pm
March 11, 2012 Sun 11am - 5pm
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Tickets Available at the door   
Advance Discount Tickets at Meijer  

Press Release

For Immediate Release                                                    
Contact:  Denise Kolesar, Women’s Expo

West Michigan Women’s Expo
Returns to Grand Rapids for 14th Year
Show Slated for March 9-11 Will Focus on
Health, Home and Style; It’s All About the Heart

Grand Rapids, Michigan, February 13, 2012 – West Michigan Women’s Expo returns to Grand Rapids March 9-11 for its 14th year as the original – and largest – consumer show focused entirely on women.

The 2012 show, which will again be held at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids, will feature products and services from more than 375 women-owned and women-focused businesses, as well as presentations by local and national celebrities on topics ranging from food and fitness to exercise and weight loss.  This year’s show will focus on health, home and style – giving women something to feel good about. 

This year, Go Red for Women, the national heart disease awareness initiative, will hold a new casting call to promote Go Red BetterU, a 12-week online nutrition and fitness program that can makeover your heart.  The Friday evening casting call will look for a woman to promote this new Go Red makeover.  Last year, two Mid-Michigan Women’s Expo attendees made the finals and represented Lansing in the Go Red national media campaign.  

Held only in the spring each year, Women’s Expo strives to blend old favorites – such as topics on health, on-site hair styling and makeovers and food sampling – with new offerings.  Highlights of this year’s exhibits include:

  • Ali Vincent, NBC’s first female winner of the “Biggest Loser,” will speak Friday and Saturday on how she regained control of her life – one minute at a time.  She will share the story of her successes from her book, “Believe It, Be It.”
  • A special tribute to Wall Street Journal columnist and best-selling author Jeffrey Zaslow, who was scheduled to appear at Expo in Grand Rapids but was killed in February.  Mr. Zaslow wowed Expo audiences during Lansing’s February, spoke about his just-released book, “The Magic Room, A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters.” The non-fiction book weaves together the stories of six women who have come to the well-known Becker’s Bridal in Fowler, Mich. in search of the perfect wedding dress. Each woman enters Becker’s “magic room” – a room that thousands of women have entered during the retail store’s more than 75-year history – and leaves with a dress filled with her hopes and dreams for her future.  At press time, Kohler Expos is still working out exact details of the tribute.
  • Inventor Sam DiNello will debut Visor Frames, a sleek picture frame that clips onto the visor of your car or truck, allowing you to take photos of your family and friends with you wherever you go.
  • Grand Rapids resident Julie Coash will showcase “Map Pendants,” which she makes and sells from vintage road maps, atlas pages and others to create unique pendants highlight a city, college, baseball park or other special destination.
  • The debut of the Great Lakes Pub Cruiser, a 10-person pedal-powered pub crawl on wheels that allows friends to pedal from pub to pub while seeing the sights of the city.
  • Internationally published author and Grand Haven resident, Tricia L. McDonald will share stories from her books “Life With Sally: Little White Dog Tails” and “Life With Sally: Still Spinnin’ Tails.” Her seminar is designed to help women share their own stories and start writing.  McDonald’s work has been published in magazines and books, including The Breastfeeding Diaries, Mom Writer's Literary Magazine, A Cup of Comfort for Mothers & Sons and A Cup of Comfort for Mothers.
  • Meijer Inc. will again host the Cooking Stage, featuring real-life recipes that allow busy women to expand healthy, everyday meal options for their families.
  • The Girl Scouts of Michigan will host a cupcake challenge in celebration of 100 years. Cookies will be available for purchase and the girls will share tips on how to make a tasty dessert. 

“Women’s Expo is the equivalent of spring break for women – it’s an opportunity to enjoy a fun-filled weekend with friends, focusing on feeling good and living well,” said Denise Kolesar, president of Kohler Expos, which promotes the event each year.  “For many women in West Michigan, this is a destination weekend that allows them to connect with friends and family while pampering themselves following with a mid-winter break.

“Once again we are focusing on health, home and style.  We mourn the untimely loss of Jeffrey Zalsow, who was scheduled to be one of our featured speakers before his death earlier this month.  During this year’s Expo, we will pay tribute to the author of The Magic Room, a beautiful and touching story of six women who fell in love. The stories are centered on the treasured Fowler business Becker’s Bridal, which is extremely well known in our region. Additionally, Biggest Loser winner Ali Vincent will share her story of successfully regaining control in her life and being the first female to win on the show.

“Besides bringing in regional and national speakers, Expo offers women the opportunity to view all these wonderful businesses right here in our region during a special event tailored for the lives of busy women.”

The main sponsor for this year’s Expo is Lake Michigan Credit Union.  Coordination of the Cooking Stage comes from Meijer with support from Williams Kitchen and Bath. 

The Expo is slated to run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, March 9, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 11.  Advance tickets are $6 each and are available at all area Meijer stores.  Admission at the door is $8 for adults and $6 for children ages 6-14. 

Central to Expo again this year will be two stages that feature live presentations on a variety of issues throughout the weekend. In addition to the national speaker, local and regional experts will present engaging and entertaining presentations and demonstrations on a variety of subjects, including home updates, fitness and healthy living.

Meijer will again coordinate the Healthy Living Cooking Stage.  Attendees will be able to watch cooking demonstrations and pick up tips – and recipes – for meals that are healthy and smart.  

Highlights from the presentation stages include:
Main Stage

  • Biggest Loser’s Ali Vincent
  • Decorating with humor
  • Zumba
  • Various Michigan writers

Cooking Stage

  • Easy meals for health families
  • Spring cleaning your pantry
  • Classic comfort foods
  • 2012 weight loss plan

Other highlights of this year’s Expo include:

  • On-site day spa services that allow women to pamper themselves for the day, including haircuts, massages, paraffin dips, waxing and other beauty treatments
  • Unique on-site shopping, including cosmetics, scarves, jewelry, purses, wallets, accessories, perfume, cooking items, custom invitations and more
  • Vacation planning services and tips, including long weekend packages
  • Style pick-me-ups with hair restoration, hair extensions, wigs, glimmer body art and hair jewelry
  •  Wide range of women’s apparel, including shape wear
  • Gourmet food products and beverages to sample, including dips, cake, candy, cookies, jams, spices, soups, grown-up slushies and other items
  • Tips from the SavingsAngel.com on cutting grocery bills in half
  • Home builders and remodelers featuring a wide variety of products, including painting, kitchen remodels, glass block, waterproofing, patios, roofing, siding, gutters, replacement windows and doors, and more
  • Numerous vacation destinations, including the close-to-home Grand Rapids Parks and Recreations and Double JJ Resort, and up-north destinations including Saulte Ste. Marie and Traverse City 
  • Health and fitness information, demonstrations, products and services, including spinal analysis, testing for chronic kidney disease, chiropractic services, breast health and related issues
  • Financial management services, including investment planning, insurance, tax planning, education funding, mortgages and related money management issues

“Expo offers something for everyone,” Kolesar explained.  “Whether you are returning for the 14th year or new to the event, you will find an incredible wealth of resources for your health, home and style under a single roof.  Many of Expo’s old favorites will be back for another year, and we have also added fresh, new companies that will give women a chance to explore.” 

Parking is available for a minimal charge conveniently located beneath DeVos Place off its Michigan Street entrance and at various city lots.  Additionally, the DASH bus will offer transportation to the DeVos Place all three days; more details on www.kohlerexpo.com.  A coat check will be available each day during the event to benefit Safe Haven Ministries, which will be collecting old cell phones to benefit its Call for Help program, and Women’s Resource Center.

Attendees can also sign up for a number of give-aways at the door and throughout the Expo. For more information, including a schedule of events and additional information about exhibitors and parking, go to www.kohlerexpo.com.

About West Michigan Women’s Expo
Celebrating its 14th year, West Michigan Women’s Expo offers a balance of education, entertainment and enjoyment in an event tailored for the lives of busy women.  More than 375 women-owned and women-focused businesses will display a wide range of products and services targeted specifically toward women. The Expo also features demonstrations and presentations on topics including healthcare and wellness, finances, business opportunities, beauty, fashion, education, travel, fitness and home remodeling.  The main sponsor is the Lake Michigan Credit Union.  More information is available at

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