Going Global Together            

World Trader of the Year

The WMWTA recognizes that international trade is a vital ingredient for this area’s business growth and economic stability. Annually we recognize either a business, organization, or an individual that has contributed to the growth of world trade in this region.

Founders Brewing Co. : 2017 WMWTA World Trader of the Year

GRAND RAPIDS, April 25, 2017 – The West Michigan World Trade Association (WMWTA) is pleased to recognize local beer giant, Founders Brewing Co., as its 2017 World Trader of the Year. On Thursday, May 11 Founders will be honored at a dinner ceremony at the Watermark Country Club in Cascade. The WMWTA will present this award in conjunction with the 32nd annual World Trade Week, hosted by the GVSU Seidman College of Business.

Companies, organizations, and individuals having a presence in West Michigan and demonstrating a strong commitment to the global marketplace are eligible for the prize, which the WMWTA has given every year since 1977. Founders Brewing Co. joins a distinguished line of recipients that include Mol Belting Systems, Bulman Products Inc., Skytron LLC, GNS, Steelcase, SoundOff Signal, Meijer, X-Rite, Amway and many more.

“With so many West Michigan companies successfully participating in the Global Marketplace, the selection process this year was particularly difficult.” noted WMWTA President, Kerri Orders. “Thank you to WMWTA’s members and board for the many nominations. However, the steady distribution growth and recent international partnership with Mahou San Miguel (a Spanish brewer) made Founders impossible to ignore. WMWTA is excited to watch as Founders Brewing Co.’s international distribution network continues to expand, shedding light on the emerging craft beer scene.”

Founders Brewing Co. was established in 1997 by two craft beer/home brewing enthusiasts—Dave Engbers and Mike Stevens. Specializing in “complex, in-your-face ales, with huge aromatics, bigger body, and tons of flavor”, Founders doesn’t “doesn’t brew beer for the masses.” Today, Founders ranks among the top 20 largest craft breweries in the U.S. They have received awards from numerous sources, including: World Beer Cup, European Beer Star, Great American Beer Festival, RateBeer and BeerAdvocate.

100% family owned and founded in 1890, Mahou San Miguel, has been Spain’s leading brewing company for 125 years. With eight centers, spanning across the global, Mahou San Miguel purchased a minority stake in Founders Brewing Co. in 2015. Together they are focused on long-term strategic growth, with a commitment to brand longevity and product quality.


West Michigan World Trade Association is a 501(c)6  non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining the region's competitive edge in the global marketplace, while providing a forum for executives interested in sharing their experiences and honing their skills in international trade.

West Michigan World Trade Association Copy Right 2012

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