Kolesar is the successful promoter of West Michigan Women’s Expo and the Mid-Michigan Women’s Expo. She is also the promoter of three West Michigan bridal shows held each year at DeVos Place.
In 2011, The Grand Rapids Business Journal also honored Kolesar with a Top Women-Owned Business award. She was recognized for the work she has done for the past 13 years promoting hundreds of women-owned and women-focused businesses through her many shows.
“Being named among the ‘Most Influential Women’ in our community is a great honor,” said Kolesar. “I am grateful to be able to continue to fulfill my passion of promoting women entrepreneurs through my own successful company. My support for women-owned and women-focused businesses is highlighted through the production of five public shows each year encouraging women to put their product and services in front of thousands of consumers.
“Our events have been incubators for success, providing a safe and tested venue for entrepreneurs to introduce new products and services into the market, meet face-to-face with potential clients and fine-tune their messages. Dozens of products have debuted at our Mid-Michigan and West Michigan Women’s Expos before going on to be highly successful in the larger statewide or national marketplace.”
Kohler Expos employs more than 50 full- and part-time workers during show season. The West Michigan Women’s Expo attracts more than 17,000 women and business owners to downtown Grand Rapids during its three-day run.
Kolesar is also active in the community, currently serving on the advisory board and steering committee for Women and Girls Lead, a three-year initiative focusing on educating the community at large about the challenges faced by women around the world. She has previously served on the Pastoral and Outreach commissions at St. Pius Catholic Church as well as providing community and social coordination for the Church. She has also served on the advisory boards for Time Out for Women and Watchmen Ministries with Hospice of Holland Home. In addition to her service to the community, Kohler Expos has donated more than $300,000 to women- and family-focused non-profits since its inception.
Kolesar launched Kohler Expos in 1998, promoting her first West Michigan Women’s Expo in Grand Rapids in the spring of 1999. The current season will mark her 14th West Michigan Women’s Expo and her 13th Mid-Michigan Women’s Expo.