“I am not a politician. I am a wife, mother, business owner and your neighbor.”

I was born at Butterworth Hospital at 12:05 a.m. on January 1st, 1979 in the middle of a snow storm. The first born to my wonderfully supportive parents Deb and Wayne.

I grew up visiting John Ball Zoo on school field trips, making art at the “paint in”, watching performances at Festival of the Arts, and have always loved our 4th of July fireworks show. Finding that perfect spot near the river to view the show is something I still enjoy with my children.

My roots are here in Grand Rapids. I was born here, grew up here, met my wonderful husband here, and our city is  where I am raising my children. Grand Rapids is a one of a kind community full of wonderful people, and I love being a part of our city!

At 21 years old I began working at Blodgett Hospital in the early 2000’s, and while raising my two small children put myself through school at Grand Rapids Community College earning  a skilled trade degree in Radiology. Working in healthcare taught me about process, efficiency, quality and most importantly compassion and empathy.

Several years later I returned to school and earned my B.S. in Career and Technical Education from Ferris State University. My time  giving back in the classroom as an educator was incredibly rewarding. I was able to pass on my knowledge to hundreds of students on their journey to obtain a skilled trade degree, and a better future.

As I was growing and developing into a business and community leader I found myself wanting to learn more about my own leadership skills and how to best help others become leaders. I attended Northwood University School of Business where I earned my MBA with an emphasis on Leadership Development. I used this knowledge as I launched the Training and Consulting division of our company MINDSCAPE, a growth agency located right here on the West Side of Grand Rapids on the banks of the Grand River.

I have spent the last several years strengthening my community connections and leveraging my personal strengths to help others in our community.  If I have learned one thing growing up in Grand Rapids, that is we all have a duty to give back. As a teen mother, I know first hand how a hand up can make a profound impact on the trajectory of your life. I am forever grateful to those that extended a hand to me, and I am thankful that I am now able to do the same for others.  When I needed it most, someone was there for me with an outstretched hand; it’s my turn now!

I believe my unique experience in healthcare, education, small business and community involvement has prepared me to be the champion Grand Rapids deserves. I promise when I am elected to office I will fight every day for every family of Grand Rapids.

I will never forget where I come from.

Amanda L. Brand