WGVU Morning Show host named one of W. Michigan’s most influential women

Anya Zentmeyer

Actress, athlete, board member and committee chair, Shelley Irwin can now add “One of the 50 most influential women in West Michigan” to her list of accomplishments.

Irwin, known most prominently for her role as producer and host of the WGVU’s “Morning Show” was selected by the Grand Rapids Business Journal for their list of the most influential women in the area.

“We’re very pout of Shelley’s great work here at WGVU and throughout the community,” said WGVU assistant general manager Ken Kolbe in a press release. “She’s a tireless and selfless community advocate. This is truly a well-deserved honor.”

Grand Rapids Business Journal surveyed hundreds of women throughout Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon counties before choosing their 50, including Irwin. Which isn’t surprising, considering the breadth of her involvement in the area.

“Presently I’m president of the University Club of GR, just completed chairmanship of the (Kent District Library) fund board, am Chair of the WGVU Engage Women and Girls Lead Initiative, Chair of the Press Club of GR,” to name a few, Irwin said.

In addition, she serves on the boards of the Epilepsy Foundation, Girl Scouts and Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce and continues to serve on the KDL fund board.

It doesn’t stop there.

She serves on the committees of Athena, Girls Choral Academy, Michigan Women’s Foundation, Rapid Transit committee and St. Cecelia Music Center marketing committee.

Irwin was the first female president of the Grand Rapids Lions Club in 89 years, and has never taken a sick day in her life.

Though she is now recognized as a leader in her field, Irwin did not start out in the broadcasting business. With a master’s in physical therapy, Irwin practiced outpatient orthopedics for fifteen years before finally chasing her “broadcasting dream.”

“The journey took me 2.5 years of education, interning, working for minimum wage and pouring coffee,” Irwin said. “Along the way, I did get sent to Germany, France and was a frequent field producer for WJR.”

In December 2001, she signed on with WGVU as a producer and fill in host, and has hosted the “Morning Show” since 2003. You can also spot her on “Ask the Expert,” “Community Connection” and “Family Health Matters.”

With so many community leadership roles, she said the most challenging part of her job is juggling it all. But the rewarding parts, she said, are worth the challenge.

“Meeting so many people, learning so many things, being told I made the guests comfortable,” Irwin said.

She said receiving the award from the Grand Rapids Business Journal is “quite hard to believe” knowing the company she’s in, but said she doesn’t take it for granted, and still aspires to better.

Irwin will join her 49 counterparts for recognition during a luncheon on March 7 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel’s Ambassador Ballroom.

“I’m blessed to have high energy and a positive attitude, plus enjoy this community,” Irwin said. “Perhaps I’m good at multitasking.”

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