Statement on Grand Rapids Chamber Decision
Founders to stay with Grand Rapids Chamber – Supports equality in business and community
Employee social media post announcing withdrawal from Chamber unauthorized
Grand Rapids, Mich. (Sept. 28, 2018) – Founders Brewing Co. announced today the company’s September 19 social media posts stating its plan to withdraw from the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce were made by an employee without the authorization of company leadership. In short, Founders did not leave the Chamber and is not going to leave the Chamber.
“At Founders, we support and attract diverse, passionate employees with strong personal opinions,” said Mike Stevens, Founders co-founder and CEO. “While we celebrate diversity in everything that we are and everything we do, as a company we strive to stay focused on beer – and leave advocacy and politics to others. To the extent that the message was interpreted as an endorsement or opposition to a particular candidate, we want to be clear – Founders does not endorse any political candidates.”
Founders has a two-decade long relationship with the Chamber and believes the organization has been out front on LGBTQ issues and diversity, equality and inclusion efforts for many years. The unauthorized tweet was inaccurate and unfair to the Chamber and its reputation. Founders intends to continue its involvement with the Chamber as it addresses issues that are important to West Michigan and the business community.
“We will be much stronger together than apart on these issues. We hope the passion over this issue and the recent dialogue driven by it will provide a strong base for continued conversation and action by all parties.” said Stevens.