Young Talent Attraction

Dana Roefer


Company: Amway North America
Previous Location: Austin, Texas
Impact Activity: Founded Social Ventures: Journey Grand Rapids & Children’s Business Fair
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Attended: Michigan State University
Degree: BA, 2007, Communications


“Outside of just relocating for a job we are more interested in creating jobs and future entrepreneurs based on the knowledge we gained living outside of Michigan.”

Dana Roefer (MSU ’07) and her husband Matt Roefer lived in Austin, Texas for 4 years post-education at MSU (Matt is a 2003 graduate of Hope College in Holland, MI). Dana and Matt were active in the Austin Spartans chapter of the MSU Alumni Association, which kept her connected to her native state in more ways than one.

In addition to rooting for the Spartans on game day, the Alumni Association served as a welcome reminder of the great things associated with the state of Michigan. More importantly, it served as a powerful conduit to a global network of people and organizations, including State of Michigan recruiting events, like MichAGAIN in 2012. After four years in Texas, Dana was recruited by Amway in Grand Rapids, where she is a Lead Corporate Strategist in Global Strategic Planning.

Their decision to move home was based, however, on a number of factors beyond career considerations. According to Dana, “Living in Grand Rapids allows us to raise our two young boys around family and friends. It also allows us the ability to travel easily around the Midwest and country. We love the four seasons, people are amazing and there is a lot of opportunity.” Additionally, she and her husband wanted to make a difference in their Michigan community.

While in Austin, TX, Dana was fortunate to work in the ever-growing start-up community. She led RISE an ‘un-conference’ for entrepreneurs. Through many strong RISE relationships Dana was able to connect with Jeff and Laura Sandefer, Founders of Acton Academy and the Children’s Business Fair. Two years after Dana and Matt moved back to Michigan they were able to reconnect with the Sandefer’s as they were beginning to enlist other entrepreneurs around the globe committed to Education and Entrepreneurship. In September 2016 Dana and her husband will be starting an affiliate school of Acton Academy in Grand Rapids, and will also launch their first Children’s Business Fair to encourage kid entrepreneurship.

The time Dana and her husband spent in Austin has served them and their Michigan employers and community well.


“There are many opportunities and interesting ventures happening in markets around the country and world. Now is a great time to bring thought-leadership and action back to Michigan to move the state forward. The most interesting part of our story is not our careers but the relationships and learning we have from our time in Austin and are working to start new business and non-profit initiatives here in Grand Rapids.”